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For detailed information about the active ingredient in Panadol, see Paracetamol, also known as acetaminophen
Panadol 500 mg tablets
Panadol Rapid 500 mg caplets

Panadol is one of GlaxoSmithKline's trade names for paracetamol (INN) (/ˌpærəˈstəmɒl/ or /ˌpærəˈsɛtəmɒl/) or acetaminophen (USAN) Listeni/əˌstəˈmɪnəfɨn/, which is an analgesic (pain reliever) and antipyretic (fever reducer). According to GlaxoSmithKline, Panadol is marketed in 85 countries,[1] including Australia,[2] Belgium,[3] Brazil,[3] Bulgaria,[3] Chile,[3] England,[3] Finland,[3] France,[3] Greece,[3] Hong Kong,[3] Indonesia,[3] Ireland,[3] Italy,[3] Korea,[3] Netherlands,[3] New Zealand,[4] Nigeria,[5] the Philippines,[3] Peru,[1] Pakistan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, South Africa,[3] Sri Lanka, Switzerland,[3] Taiwan,[3] Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, [3] the United Kingdom, Malta, and Uruguay.[3]

In 1955, Panadol was introduced to hospitals in the United Kingdom.[6] It was first marketed by Phillips, Scott & Turner, which was acquired by Frederick Stearns & Co, a subsidiary of Sterling Drug Inc. It was advertised as being "gentle on the stomach", since other analgesic agents at the time contained aspirin, a known stomach irritant. Panadol was originally available only by prescription in the UK, but is now available over the counter. In 1988 Sterling Winthrop was acquired by Eastman Kodak which sold the over the counter drug rights to SmithKline Beecham in 1994.[7]

Other GlaxoSmithKline brand names of paracetamol include Panodil (marketed in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden), Calpol (marketed in India, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Puerto Rico, South Africa, and Thailand) and Crocin (the most popular paracetamol brand in India).[3][8][9]

Panadol is sold in different formulations and packaging with different names, including:

  1. Panadol
  2. Panadol Extra
  3. Panadol Rapid
  4. Panadol Night
  5. Panadol Extra Strength (sold in Latin America-based countries)
  6. Panadol Multi-Symptom (sold in Latin America-based countries)
  7. Panadol Osteo
  8. Panadol Extend Tablets
  9. Panadol with Optizorb (sold in the Philippines)
  10. Panadol Rapid Handipak (sold in Australia)
  11. Panadol Cold and Catarrh (sold in Nigeria)[10]
  12. Panadol Cold and Flu (sold in Greece, United Kingdom and some parts of Latin America)
  13. Panadol Fever and Congestion (sold in Ireland)
  14. Panadol ActiFast (sold in Malaysia)[11]

Panadol Extra, an S2 pharmacy-only medicine in Australia, combines 65 mg of caffeine (65 mg) with 500 mg of paracetamol per tablet. Caffeine may improve the analgesic effect of paracetamol. Studies have reached conflicting conclusions regarding the clinical significance of this incremental pain relief.[12][13]

Panadol Osteo and Panadol Extend Tablets are modified-release formulations of paracetamol.[14] Panadol Osteo is marketed in Australia and New Zealand; its immediate to sustained release ratio is 33% to 66%.[15]

Panadol with Optizorb reduces the time for pain-relieving levels of paracetamol to reach the blood stream to five minutes, according to GlaxoSmithKline.[1]

Panadol Rapid Handipak is Panadol Rapid packaged in a slim, stylish, plastic container of ten 500 mg caplets, designed to appeal to Australian women who are 20–35 years of age.[16][17]

Panadol Cold and Catarrh contains three active ingredients: paracetamol, phenylephrine hydrochloride as a nasal decongestant, and chlorpheniramine maleate to prevent certain allergies.[10]

Panadol Cold and Flu and Panadol Fever and Congestion both combine paracetamol with phenylephrine hydrochloride as a nasal decongestant.[4][18]


The active ingredient in Panadol, paracetamol, has been compared to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) for the treatment of minor pain syndromes including post-surgical pain, migraine pain, and arthritis pain.

The American College of Rheumatology recommends paracetamol as one of several treatment options for patients with arthritis pain of the hip, hand, or knee that is refractory to non-pharmacological interventions such as exercise and weight loss.[19]

A joint statement of the German, Austrian, and Swiss headache societies and the German Society of Neurology recommends the use of paracetamol in combination with caffeine as one of several first line therapies for treatment of tension or migraine headache.[20] In the treatment of acute migraine, it is superior to placebo, with 39% of people experiencing pain relief at 1 hour compared to 20% in the control group.[21]

Based on a systematic review, paracetamol is recommended by the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society as a first line treatment for low back pain.[22][23] However a systematic review published by other authors concluded that evidence for its efficacy is lacking.[24]

The combination of paracetamol with caffeine is superior to paracetamol alone for the treatment of common pain conditions including dental pain, postpartum pain, and headache.[12]


  1. ^ a b c Crisostomo, Sheila (30 January 2014). "GSK launches paracetamol brand in Phl". The Philippine Star. 
  2. ^ Agence France-Presse (26 February 2014). "Pain reliever acetaminophen linked to ADHD". (News Limited). 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Weiner, Carl P.; Buhimschi, Catalin (2009). Drugs for Pregnant and Lactating Women. Elsevier Health Sciences. p. 37. ISBN 1-4377-2136-2. 
  4. ^ a b Mathewson, Nicole (20 March 2014). "Flu remedies pose dosage risk". The Press (Fairfax Media Digital). Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  5. ^ Akpotaire, Ufuoma (22 September 2013). "A peek into sex passing-off cases in Nigeria". NLIPW Trademark Law 1 (12) (Nigerian Law Intellectual Property Watch). Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  6. ^ GlaxoSmithKline | Panadol 50 Years
  7. ^ SEC Info| Eastman Kodak Co | 8-K | For 6/30/94
  8. ^ "Merger of painkiller manufacturers to be scrutinised" (Press release). Konkurrensverket, Swedish Competition Authority. 18 February 2009. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  9. ^ Paliwal, Ankur (8 December 2011). "Govt prescribes placebos for drug price control, charge activists". Business Standard. 
  10. ^ a b Okonta, Chuks Udo; Agboola, Toba (25 December 2008). "GlaxoSmithKline unveils Panadol Cold & Catarrh". The Nation. 
  11. ^ "Panadol ActiFast". 
  12. ^ a b Derry CJ, Derry S, Moore RA; Derry; Moore (2012). "Caffeine as an analgesic adjuvant for acute pain in adults". Cochrane Database Syst Rev 3: CD009281. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD009281.pub2. PMID 22419343. 
  13. ^ "Paracetamol with caffeine (Panadol Extra) available over the counter from pharmacies". NPS Radar. National Prescribing Service. Retrieved 10 August 2012. 
  14. ^ Graudins, A.; Chiew, A.; Chan, B. (2010). "Overdose with modified-release paracetamol results in delayed and prolonged absorption of paracetamol" (PDF). Internal Medicine Journal 40 (1): 72–76. doi:10.1111/j.1445-5994.2009.02096.x. ISSN 1444-0903. PMID 20561368. 
  15. ^ Graudins, Andis; Pham, Hanh Ngoc; Salonikas, Chris; Naidoo, Daya; Chan, Betty (2009). "Early presentation following overdose of modified-release paracetamol (Panadol Osteo) with biphasic and prolonged paracetamol absorption". New Zealand Medical Journal 122 (1300): 64–71. ISSN 1175-8716. 
  16. ^ Vaczek, David (9 December 2007). "GSK's Handipak for Panadol Offers Discreet Portability". Pharmaceutical & Medical Packaging News. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  17. ^ "PR positions Panadol Rapid Handipak as the must have accessory for every girl's handbag!". Golden Target Awards. UTS Library, University of Technology, Sydney. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  18. ^ "Package leaflet: information for the user – Panadol Cold and Flu 500 mg / 30 mg Film Coated Tablets" (PDF). GlaxoSmithKline. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  19. ^ Hochberg MC, Altman RD, April KT et al. (April 2012). "American College of Rheumatology 2012 recommendations for the use of nonpharmacologic and pharmacologic therapies in osteoarthritis of the hand, hip, and knee". Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken) 64 (4): 465–74. doi:10.1002/acr.21596. PMID 22563589. 
  20. ^ Haag G, Diener HC, May A et al. (April 2011). "Self-medication of migraine and tension-type headache: summary of the evidence-based recommendations of the Deutsche Migräne und Kopfschmerzgesellschaft (DMKG), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurologie (DGN), the Österreichische Kopfschmerzgesellschaft (ÖKSG) and the Schweizerische Kopfwehgesellschaft (SKG)". J Headache Pain 12 (2): 201–17. doi:10.1007/s10194-010-0266-4. PMC 3075399. PMID 21181425. 
  21. ^ Derry S, Moore RA; Moore (2013). "Paracetamol (acetaminophen) with or without an antiemetic for acute migraine headaches in adults". Cochrane Database Syst Rev 4: CD008040. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD008040.pub3. PMID 23633349. 
  22. ^ "National Guideline Clearinghouse | Expert Commentaries: Diagnosis and Treatment of Low Back Pain: A Joint Clinical Practice Guideline from the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society. What's New? What's Different?". 
  23. ^ Chou R, Huffman LH; Huffman; American Pain; American College Of (October 2007). "Medications for acute and chronic low back pain: a review of the evidence for an American Pain Society/American College of Physicians clinical practice guideline". Ann. Intern. Med. 147 (7): 505–14. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-147-7-200710020-00008. PMID 17909211. 
  24. ^ Davies RA, Maher CG, Hancock MJ; Maher; Hancock (November 2008). "A systematic review of paracetamol for non-specific low back pain". Eur Spine J 17 (11): 1423–30. doi:10.1007/s00586-008-0783-x. PMC 2583194. PMID 18797937. 

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