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Published On: Mon, Aug 15th, 2016

Abuse of paracetamol can kill you or your kidney, liver

Overuse of Paracetamol, an analgesic- drug used to relieve pains and fever can kill the kidney, a vital organ of the body or even kill the user, pharmacists have warned.

Pharmacists who note that paracetamol is one of the most abused drugs in Nigeria, said that its use beyond recommended dosage and duration may destroty vital organs of the body particularly, the kidney and liver.

Paracetamol are easy to access because it is an over-the-counter drug but  routinely taken by some Nigerians at the least sign of pain, stress or discomfort , some times for more than the recommended limit of two days.  Some take paracetamol with alcohol , coffee  or other liquid other than plain water for various reasons.

“Paracetamol  belongs to the family of NSAIDs. It is highly toxic and even more toxic than ibuprofen. It is broken down in the liver. When it is broken down in to compound, some part are harmless, some part contains benzoquinoneimine which attacks the liver such that if one takes certain dose of paracetamol, it can kill you,” revealed a pharmacist, Pharm Ogochukwu Nwaoha.

Nwaoha explained that , “at normal recommended  dosage, the liver can handle the  benzoquinoneimine but when  it is an overdose, the rate at which benzoquinoneimine is broken down is such that the liver is overwhelmed.”

When is use overuse or an abuse?

Taking paracetamol out of habit at the slightest sign of headache, pain or discomfort is considered by experts as an abuse.

Pharmacist Lydia Iyoyojie who disclosed that abuse of paracetamol kills the kidney said,  “When you take more than 6 tablets , a day or you use it more than 3 days. People who take paracetamol after everyday’s stress is an abuse,”,“ That is why advertisers always say, if symptom persist after two days, see a doctor.”

Some cases of headache, pain or discomfort could be addressed without resort to paracetamol.  A cold bath, placing an ice pack on the affected or bed rest could do it.

Women breastfeeding at the Afribaby Breastfeeding Competition to mark the World Breastfeeding Day held in Lagos, recently .

4 Reasons businesses, individuals should encourage working mothers to breastfeed

According to the 2016 Global Nutrition Report, only 17.4% of Nigerian babies are exclusively breastfeed in the first 6 months of life.. However,  there are both health and economic benefits that breastfeeding can offer the society.

The Senior Associate, Programme Development, Global Alliance for  Improved Nutrition(GAIN), Hannah Theobald, said that exclusive breastfeeding(EBF) is the most nutritious food that a mother can offer to her baby,

“It( breastmilk is the most nutritious food that a mother can offer to her baby. It contains all the nutrients a baby needs. It is hygienic,”

The position of Ms Theobald corroborates that of the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), a global network of individuals and organisations  that promote breastfeeding globally corroborates her which states that

.It is free

Breast milk is free and universally available, even in very resource-constrained settings.

More affordable than infant formula

“It is safer, easier and less expensive to give the mother more food than to expose the baby to risks associated with breast milk substitutes,” says WABA.

Saves cost in medicare for treatment of diabetes, breast cancer in mothers

“In the long term, breastfeeding reduces type 2 diabetes and cancers like breast, uterine and ovarian for the mother,” WABA notes.

Improves earning power

Breastfeeding improves cognitive function of a baby and increases his chance of improving his wages by 50% according to GAIN.

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