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When do I use the different dosages of paracetamol?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2004
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when do I use paracetamol 650 mg? and
when do I use paracetamol 500 mg?
Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Sujeet N Charugulla 22 hours later

Thanks for your query in here. Your question is very genuine and I shall try to answer it for you.

To begin with, one needs to understand the dosage recommendations of paracetamol drug. I presume you have asked about the oral preparation (tablets) that you simply could buy them over-the-counter. For Mild to moderate pain and fever, in Adults: 0.5-1 g 4-6 hrly as necessary upto Max: 4 g daily is allowed. Provided no other liver condition or many other evaluations as required are present, as upto 2 gm/day is allowed maximum in this category.

Now, this 4 gm dosage can be achieved by taking 500 mg tablets or 650 mg tablets, as the TOTAL DOSE PER DAY is important and not single dose. For any condition of pain and fever that warrants the use of this drug the 4 gm top range cannot be crossed.

So, 325 to 650 mg every 4-6 hours is the allowed range. That calculates as 325 x 4 = 1300 mg to 650 x 4 = 2600 mg if taken every 6 hrs. And 325 x 6 = 1950 mg to 650 x 6 = 3900 mg if taken every 4 hours. Both cases which fall below 4 gm/day.

The exact dosing will be decided on the relative basis of how much fever or pain the patient taking can bear. And this will vary from person to person.

I may not advice you which one of 500 mg or 650 mg to take because I do not know which condition you have. But, would ask you to calculate yourself how much you would need first - anything ranging from 1300 to 3900 mg as you have seen in the above figures.

For eg; a moderate fever or pain upto 2 gm is fine. For severe pain or fever 3-4 gm may be needed as required.

I hope you have understood this aspect in detail.

Let me know if you have any further queries or further clarifications. I shall be glad to reply.

Till then, wish you good health.


Dr Sujeet N Charugulla,
Consultant Physician.
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