Why don't paracetamol's have a sugary coating?

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  • Why don't paracetamol's have a sugary coating?
  • maxtorque
    Member

    To stop kids thinking they are sweets??

    ernie_lynch
    Member

    I believe that death caused by paracetamol overdose is slow and particularly painful and unpleasant, so it’s probably not a good idea to make eating them a pleasant experience.

    richpips
    Member

    I quite like the taste of paracetemol.

    Can’t say I take them often though.

    handyman153
    Member

    In which case is paracetamol worse for you than ibuprofen? In larger/un-recommended doses..

    ernie_lynch
    Member

    Quite likely I would have thought. My understanding is that there is very little that can be done if someone has overdosed on paracetamol, it’s apparently mostly a question of waiting to see if the person survives.

    fizzicist
    Member

    Cost. You’re buying the cheap ones!

    Paracetamol is a very commoditised API and cost is king – by reducing the excipients to not a lot more than talc or sodium carbonate + a few other bits for compressibility and dispersion, you can get most of the cost out.

    Plus certain grades of Paracetamol compress into tablets really easily so you don’t need much else.

    Ibuprofen is a bit harder to get into a tablet and I think the tabletting process works better with Lactose which gives a sweeter flavour.

    My job is very dull at times but hey ho, every so often I question pops up that I unfortunately know the answer to…as you can imagine I’m a hit at parties.

    ernie_lynch
    Member

    My job is very dull at times

    I found your pill-making expertise most interesting πŸ™‚

    CountZero
    Member

    My job is very dull at times but hey ho, every so often I question pops up that I unfortunately know the answer to…as you can imagine I’m a hit at parties.

    πŸ˜†

    I found your pill-making expertise most interesting

    So did I, I never use Paracetamol, only the cheap Wilco ibuprofen, and I didn’t know that Paracetamol didn’t have a sugar coating.
    Cheers. πŸ˜€

    handyman153
    Member

    Evening

    I have got a bit of a headache at the moment, so have taken some pills.. And while swallowing I wondered to myself why Paracetamol’s don’t have that sugary (almost tasty) coating that ibuprofen have?

    I will admit its not a very important question, but a question nevertheless!

    Cheers
    J

    Premier Icon bigblackshed
    Subscriber

    It depends on which brand I have, but one of the meds I take daily can either have the coating or not. It tastes vile without the coating.

    As above, down to cost.

    Kevevs
    Member

    can you not hollow out some smarties/minstrels and grind up/sandpaper your paracetamols into a fine dust and pour it into the hollow smartie/minstrel casing. Maybe seal it with melted chocolate for that extra sugary kick?

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    I believe that death caused by paracetamol overdose is slow and particularly painful and unpleasant, so it’s probably not a good idea to make eating them a pleasant experience.

    It’s a long and lingering one with plenty of time for reflection fear and regret. Most of the people awaiting liver transplants are for paracetamol related liver failure.

    Premier Icon Matt24k
    Subscriber

    In addition to the production issues outlined in one of the previous posts, the coating on Ibuprofen is there because they are very acidic. The coating’s primary function is the ease the passage of the tablet until it reaches the stomach. The acidity in very large doses of Ibuprofen can cause serious damage.
    Paracetamol is less acidic so does not require the coating.
    If you are exceeding the maximum dose on any OTC medicine, see a doctor.

    zokes
    Member

    Most of the people awaiting liver transplants are for paracetamol related liver failure.

    Even when compared to alcohol abuse? 😯

    globalti
    Member

    Ibuprofen has a strange flavour, almost like detergent powder – anybody else noticed?

    fizzicist
    Member

    Zokes – yes. Paracetamol overdose can be achieved inadvertently over a sustained period, withou the dramatics of charging into the medicine cabinet and emptying the bottle.

    If you’re taking the stuff regularly (daily) at the higher end of the recommended dose then see a doctor NOW!

    If you exceed the dose on a regular basis, by a small amount, then you are damaging your liver severely.

    It’s a great analgaesic but would never get licensed nowadays.

    Plus which,AFAIK liver surgeons dont transplant alcoholics if they’re still drinking.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Subscriber

    Even when compared to alcohol abuse?

    Totally. Only takes a packet of paracetamol to **** your liver, rather than a lifetime of binge drinking. Some of the paracetamol damage will be deliberate suicide attempts with a very poor choice of method- as it does kill you, just a long time after you’ve changed your mind. But the other problem is paracetamol is hidden in a lot of produces so someone can take tablets for their headache, something for their runny nose and something for their cough without realising they’ve taken 3 max doses at once. Repeat that 4 times a day for the duration of a lurgy and that’s a lot of liver attack in a short time.

    DrP
    Member

    Quite likely I would have thought. My understanding is that there is very little that can be done if someone has overdosed on paracetamol, it’s apparently mostly a question of waiting to see if the person survives.

    Not quite true – you’ve a window of opportunity to give an antidote medicine.

    DrP

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    Most of the people awaiting liver transplants are for paracetamol related liver failure

    Is that right ? I’d be surprised – surely chronic liver failure’s plenty more common than acute

    ernie_lynch
    Member

    Not quite true – you’ve a window of opportunity to give an antidote medicine.

    You see that’s what I thought made paracetamol so dangerous – that there was no effective antidote. So I’m glad to hear that’s not the case.

    zokes
    Member

    Zokes – yes. Paracetamol overdose can be achieved inadvertently over a sustained period, withou the dramatics of charging into the medicine cabinet and emptying the bottle.

    Right-oh. Next time I have a headache I’ll just get pished instead then πŸ˜€

    But on a serious note, scary stuff!!!

    boblo
    Member

    As we’ve got the experts in…. IIRC, the max Brufen dose is 2400mg p/day. What does it do to you if you go over this and should it always be taken with food? Ta.

    zokes
    Member

    What does it do to you if you go over this

    Presumably suffer from stomach ulceration, in the medium to long term

    and should it always be taken with food? Ta.

    In order to avoid the above, yes (or at least not an empty stomach)

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    Ernie, you get up to maybe 12-24 hrs MAX to treat an overdose, after which it’s too late (you’re not healing the damage, you’re mopping up the dangerous by-product of paracetamol as it gets metabolised, before it can do any damage).
    Trouble is that you’d generally feel “fine” after a para overdose so may not even seek help; the damage becomes obvious after a couple of days

    zokes
    Member

    The more I read on this thread, the more genuinely scared I become….

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    boblo, for “any” licensed medicine, go Here, type in the drug or brand name and view its SPC. Section 4.9 of that document deals with overdose

    CaptJon
    Member

    zokes – Member
    The more I read on this thread, the more genuinely scared I become….

    I know! Why aren’t the dangers of paracetamol more widely discussed!?

    Premier Icon Pik n Mix
    Subscriber

    I’ve overdosed on paracetamol it was the taste of the sheer volume of grimness that made me throw up! If they were sugar coated I think I would have succeeded.

    swiss01
    Member

    i’d take raise an eyebrow with the notion that transplant units are awash with people as a result of paracetamol use. is there data to back this up?

    similarly a 12- 24 window just isn’t true tho, broadly speaking, if you’re coming in with a staggered overdose after 24 hours, your levels are high and your liver function is off, we’ll be none too happy but we’ll still be treating. hepatorenal syndrome – it’s no fun.

    here’s the mhra stuff from last year, nomogram and all (check the pdfs for the detail)
    http://www.mhra.gov.uk/Safetyinformation/DrugSafetyUpdate/CON185624

    a question on domestic use tho – do they give weight guidelines? we give half dose for the under 50kg and i’ve seen toxicity not infrequently in wee old people taking their ‘safe’ dose

    salls
    Member

    I’m sure I’ve had ones with the sugary coating before – does it not depend on the brand? I struggle to take ones without!

    ohnohesback
    Member

    So what is a lethal dose of paracetamol? I know that stores are prohibited from selling more than two packets at a time, but what would it take for someone intent on killing themselves to visit serveral stores and buy packets at each one?

    camo16
    Member

    I’ve overdosed on paracetamol it was the taste of the sheer volume of grimness that made me throw up! If they were sugar coated I think I would have succeeded.

    😯

    All okay now, I hope?

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    whilst on this morbid topic* why do all the labels on stuff that can kill you if you ingest too much say “do not induce vomiting”

    *interesting tho

    monkeyfudger
    Member

    Weird how what was considered an unimportant question by the OP can result in a very interesting thread, interesting stuff and more than a bit scary! Love this place sometimes.

    Premier Icon Pik n Mix
    Subscriber

    So what is a lethal dose of paracetamol? I know that stores are prohibited from selling more than two packets at a time, but what would it take for someone intent on killing themselves to visit serveral stores and buy packets at each one?

    I had to visit a fair few shops to get enough.

    All okay now, I hope?

    Better than they have been, I still regularly have to fight the urge to top myself but it makes life a bit spicy πŸ˜‰

    DrP
    Member

    why do all the labels on stuff that can kill you if you ingest too much say “do not induce vomiting”

    Because only some of it gets vomited out, and some gets ‘pushed’ into your digestive tract (imagine squeezing a tube of toothpaste with two open ends)
    This can then cause unpredictable absorption i.e. may shorten the ‘antidote window’ (basically speaking).

    DrP

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    cheers DrP did not know vomiting was a “squeeze the middle of the tube” effort. Bit of a crap system for getting rid of toxins then, intelligent design my arse πŸ™„

    camo16
    Member

    Better than they have been, I still regularly have to fight the urge to top myself but it makes life a bit spicy

    Glad to see the ‘better’!!! Have you talked to someone about this, BTW? Someone who knows, that is, not us, obviously. πŸ˜‰

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    I don’t bother with Paracetamol, I find Ibuprofen so much more effective against headaches and general aches and pains….

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