Paracetamol is one of the most popular painkillers and antipyretic drugs. How and when was the drug synthesized, and what are the potential risks of taking it?
General information about the drug
Paracetamol is a popular analgesic that has a antipyretic effect on the body. According to the official chemical nomenclature, the substance is called paracetylaminophenol. In this regard, in a number of western countries, paracetamol is known as acetaminophen.
The history of this drug stretches from the end of the 19th century. In 1886, the analgesic and antipyretic drug Antifebrin, an aniline derivative, was introduced into medical practice. However, it soon became clear that this medicine has serious side effects, in particular, cyanosis. Since then began the search for a new substance, which would allow to achieve the same effect, but without serious adverse reactions. It took more than 10 years until Harmon Northrop Morse was able to synthesize paracetamol at Johns Hopkins University (USA) by recovering p-nitrophenol in cold acetic acid.
Paracetamol was first tested on patients in 1887, and in 1893, clinical pharmacologist Joseph von Mehring published an article where he reported on the results of his research. Then, paracetamol was repeatedly investigated, and only in 1955 it went on sale in the United States under the trade name Tylenol. And in 1956, paracetamol under the brand name "Panadol" enters the UK pharmacy chains.
Currently, in the US alone, paracetamol is contained in more than 500 prescription and non-prescription drugs. In the largest database of medical and biological publications "Pubmed" you can find over 26 thousand scientific articles on paracetamol, which indicates a rather deep and comprehensive study of this drug.
Paracetamol and temperature
For several decades, paracetamol has been actively used as the main antipyretic drug. Its use is very convenient, because the drug also relieves headaches – high temperature satellite.
The World Health Organization recommends using paracetamol preparations as antipyretic only if the body temperature is above