By Briac Trebert
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The authorities ask to limit the consumption of Doliprane, Efferalgan, or Dafalgan these next few months. The National Agency for the Safety of Medicines and Health Products (ANSM) calls on pharmacists, doctors and patients to moderate the use of paracetamolin order to reserve these medicines for those who need them most.
As the winter season approaches and during the resumption of the Covid-19 epidemic, the ANSM, the College of General Medicine (CMG) and the pharmacists’ unions (FSPF and USPO) are making recommendations to moderate the use of paracetamol and thus allow patients who have an immediate need to benefit from it
“Two boxes per patient” in the absence of a prescription
To pharmacists, the public establishment placed under the supervision of the Ministry of Health asks in particular to restrict dispensing “to two boxes per patient” in the absence of a prescription, favor prescription dispensing and limit online sales. In a press release, the ANSM urges doctors to avoid prescribing paracetamol to patients who do not need it immediately.
It also asks them, to the extent possible, to favor three daily doses every eight hours, rather than four daily doses every six hours. And invite patients to do not store if they do not have an immediate need and informs them of the possibility of an “adapted waiver”.
In fact, pharmacists will be able to sell a quantity of paracetamol that is less than what appears on the prescription.
Paracetamol is the best-selling active ingredient in France
In question, production difficulties (supply tensions have lasted since July) and an increase in consumption with the waves of Covid-19.
Paracetamol is the best-selling active ingredient in France and its consumption has increased by more than 50% in recent years.
For several years, the ANSM has wanted to make patients and health professionals aware of the liver risks associated with the misuse of this drug.
Paracetamol is the most prescribed and used drug (more than 500 million boxes a year approximately), as an analgesic (pain reliever) or antipyretic (against fever) in adults and children. It is present in many drugs, alone or in combination with other active substances.
“Paracetamol is a safe and effective drug under normal conditions of use, but in case of improper use, in particular due to overdose due to the combination of several products containing paracetamol and/or due to non-compliance with its dosage (dose and frequency of intake, Ed ), paracetamol can cause serious liver damage in some irreversible cases”, insists the ANSM.
The misuse of paracetamol is the leading cause of drug-induced liver transplantation in France.
Already last July, the ANSM warned of a shortage of paracetamol, and recommended not to abuse it, as we indicated in a previous article.
Beware of the risks of NSAIDs
Health authorities also regularly warn the French about the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Nurofen, etc.), which are also sometimes available without a prescription but not without risks.
NSAIDs should be avoided in children under 15 years of age, unless the drug’s package insert clearly states that it can be used in children and under what conditions, people over 65 years of age, and women who are breastfeeding.
They are contraindicated in pregnant women from the sixth month of pregnancy. And, generally speaking: I am recommended to prolong the treatment for three days in cases of fever, and to prolong the treatment for five days in cases of pain, and I need to take some AINS medications in Same time.
It is important to point out that in a context of infection (angina, otitis, chicken pox, cough, nasopharyngitis in children or adults, etc.) the use of NSAIDs (particularly ibuprofen and ketoprofen) should be avoided due to the risk of serious infectious complications. . In these cases, the use of paracetamol should be preferred to combat fever or pain.
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