What Can Paracetamol Overdose Do To You?



Let’s get to the most important point first and if a paracetamol overdose occurs, hospital treatment should be sought without delay.

Ideally within 12 hours of notifying about the Paracetamol overdose the treatment must start as soon as possible.

Treatment must be done always at the hospital.

The recommended dose of paracetamol for a single adult is two standard 500 mg tablets.

Researches shows that the threshold for liver damage to start from a single paracetamol overdose is 15 gms (30 tablets).

An important Paracetamol overdose as per the standard dosage with hospital guidelines for allowing an extra cover or safety margin.

However, consider that liver damage could start to occur at a single overdose of 24 standard tablets or 150 mg/kg body weight, (whichever is the smaller).

The overdose border or threshold may be lowered in a person on prescription medication.

Moreover,  someone who is an alcoholic or is undernourished to some extent might be at higher risk.

Symptoms of Paracetamol Overdose

Overdose Of Paracetamol often shows no symptoms within the first 24 hours after the overdose.

In some cases although there may be mild nausea and vomiting.

If the overdose is large then liver function may start deteriorating leading to either of these;

  • Jaundice
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness

Jaundice: When your eyes becomes yellow as a result of too much bilirubin in your system which is a sign of serious problem with your liver.

Death due to overdose of Paracetamol is rare but when it occurs it is in majority of cases due to liver failure.

In severe poisoning, hepatic failure may progress to …

  • Encephalopathy
  • Haemorrhage
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Cerebral oedema
  • and like discussed earlier, death.

Encephalopathy: It is a brain damage that can be from simple confusion to memory loss, seizure, coma or death.

Haemorrhage : Bleeding in large flow of blood from tear of blood vessel.

Hypoglycemia : Low blood sugar.

Oedema: Too much fluid or water in the system and body swelling.

Abnormalities of glucose metabolism and metabolic acidosis may occur.

Acute renal failure with acute tubular necrosis, following by loin pain, haematuria and proteinuria, may develop.

Haematuria : Visibility of blood in the urine which the causes are various but in this case we are focusing on Paracetamol Overdose.

Proteinuria : High level of protein in the urine.

Those above symptoms may occur even if there is no severe liver damage.

Cardiac arrhythmias and pancreatitis are also the problems as a result of overdose of Paracetamol.

Arrhythmias : Irregular heartbeat

Treatment of a Serious Paracetamol Overdose

The treatment of Paracetamol overdose must be by administration of an antidote.

Which can defeat and combat the toxic effects of the overdose.

Immediate treatment is essential in case of paracetamol overdose.

Even if the person who has an overdose of paracetamol doesn’t have any signs or symptoms the immediate medical treatments must start immediately.

Therefore, if there are no significant early symptoms, patients must still be refer to the local hospital urgently for immediate medical attention.

Symptoms may show as a nausea or vomiting only.

Therefore, the symptoms may not be severe but the risk of organ damage is very possible and further steps of treatment has to start immediately.

Doctors normally consider treating such patients with activated charcoal if the overdose has been taken within 1 hour.

Likewise, treatment with N-acetylcysteine may be use within up to 24 hours after ingestion of paracetamol.

However one must know that the maximum protective effect will be obtain up to 8 hours after ingestion.

The effectiveness of the antidote diminishes sharply after this time.

If vomiting is not a problem, oral methionine may be a suitable substitute for remote areas, outside the hospital.

Followup Treatments after Paracetamol Overdose

For a common person with an overdose of paracetamol it is best to visit the doctor and seek immediate advice.

If you or someone you know being diagnose with an overdose of paracetamol do the following…

  1. Call your doctor or go to the hospital emergency
  2. You should be monitor for the possible damages by your physician after the fact.
  3. Do not try to do any self treatments
  4. Follow up tests should be done for the next 2 years
  5. No alcohols until you get the total healthy result for your liver
  6. If you use any medication discuss it with your physician before continuing taking your medication

Therefore, even whether to not symptoms start to surface you should visit the doctor for the followup treatments.

Earlier the better to start the Paracetamol overdose treatments.

Best within one hour of intake of it.

Otherwise, starts getting really dangerous after 24 hours of having taken the Paracetamol overdose.

No self medication, no taking cues and advises from people.

Don’t search for stories about people who have experienced this horror Paracetamol overdose.

If you are overdose with Paracetamol never check out the internet for immediate assistance.

Keep it simple. VISIT THE GO TO THE EMERGENCY HOSPITAL OR DOCTOR.

13 thoughts on “What Can Paracetamol Overdose Do To You?”

  1. I have taken 24 co codamol8/500 mg is this a dangerous doseage.
    I feel slightly confusrd, blurred vision, nausea and shakes

  2. I was in a very dark place in 2015 i mean dark i had enough & decided I no longer wanted to be apart of this world, I had everything planned boxes of paracetamol & ibuprofen, went on a bender first i thought it would be easier & quicker fuelled with alcohol, it certainly wasn’t a cry for help I don’t think actually I don’t know, anyway I took the tablets whilst at home in my bedroom one after another box after box after box it was 80 plus paracetamol & a couple of packs of iburofen……..then the drama then the hospital……..five weeks I spent in hospital dialasis 3 times a week my body was wrecked I was very close to my intention, hospital was scary the illusinations & pain I was in really wasn’t nice, however I was very lucky indeed within a few months my body was recovering & to date 2 years on I’m fit & healthy. I’ve massive regrets for what I did & will carry them regrets with me to my grave hopefully at a ripe old age. I was the lucky one guess it wasn’t my time.

  3. I took a deliberate overdose of paracetamol when I was sixteen years old….had my stomach pumped clear, from a tube inserted down my throat….one of the most unpleasant experiences I’ve ever endured…..

  4. I was silly enough to take 150 tablets. My inr was 2.9 when I was omitted to hospital. I’m very lucky enough to have survived the doctors confirmed to my family I’d die. Do not be silly and do what I did. Please

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