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Acetaminophen is ineffective against flu

By Tim Sandle     Dec 10, 2015 in Health
To help with flu symptoms, some medical doctors recommend patients take acetaminophen, or paracetamol, to relieve their symptoms. A study shows no benefits from taking the drug.
Acetaminophen (paracetamol) is a widely used over-the-counter pain medication and medication to reduce fever. The drug is an active metabolite of two analgesics: phenacetin and acetanilide. For treating fever, the efficiency of the drug in comparison with ibuprofen is a subject of continuing discussion.
One of the applications of acetaminophen is to help alleviate the symptoms of influenza, especially the fever associated with the virus. in fact, many medics recommend its use.
On this basis, it may come as surprise that a randomized clinical trial has revealed there are no benefits in taking the medication in terms of reducing the infection time from the influenza virus or in reducing a patients' temperature or any other symptoms.
The study was made-up of adults aged between 18 and 65 years of age. Each adult had been diagnosed with influenza. Each adult was either treated with the maximum recommended dose of paracetamol or a placebo, over the course of five days. Signs and symptoms were monitored over a 14 day duration. The outcome was that acetaminophen made no significant difference to the well-being of the study participants.
Commenting on the outcome, one of the lead scientists, Dr. Irene Braithwaite, told Pharmaceutical Processing magazine: "We initially theorized that taking paracetamol might be harmful, as the influenza virus cannot replicate as well at higher temperatures, and by reducing a person's temperature the virus may have thrived. Fortunately this was found not be the case. In this study, paracetamol was not harmful, but we also found that paracetamol was not beneficial either."
Dr. Braithwaited concluded that the study could not provide supporting data the use of paracetamol for those who have flu. The study is published in the journal Respirology, in a paper titled "Randomized controlled trial of the effect of regular paracetamol on influenza infection."
More about Acetaminophen, Flu, Influenza, Virus, Fever
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