What Is the Difference Between Acetaminophen and Paracetamol?

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There is no difference between paracetamol and acetaminophen, according to Drugs.com. Acetaminophen is the generic form of paracetamol. Both drugs contain the same properties, treat the same ailments and produce the same effects.

Paracetamol is a pain reliever and fever reducer that can be purchased over the counter or with a prescription. It is used to treat many conditions including headache, toothache, muscle pains and the common cold. According to Drugs.com, it is important to read the dosage on a bottle of acetaminophen carefully. The maximum dose for an adult is 1,000 milligrams per dose and no more than 4,000 milligrams per day. Taking more acetaminophen than the recommended dose could result in liver damage, especially if combined with alcohol consumption. Symptoms of an acetaminophen overdose include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting or increased sweating.

According to Drugs.com, acetaminophen can also be used to treat the pain associated with arthritis, but it does not treat the underlying inflammation. The analgesic medication that can treat pain caused by inflammation is ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug that works to reduce the hormones that create pain and swelling. It treats many of the same conditions as acetaminophen but is chemically distinct. The main difference between acetaminophen and ibuprofen is the method of how each drug relieves pain.