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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Took expired panadol for headache. What are the side effect?

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Allergist and Immunologist
Practicing since : 1999
Answered : 584 Questions
I have had a headache since yesterday. I took one panadol (back and nack panadol as thats all i had) twice during the day yesterday and still woke up with a headache. I took two at once this morning then after I had taken them I noticed they were expired!

What are the potential side effects of this please?
Mon, 7 Jan 2013 in Headache and Migraines
Answered by Dr. Sujoy Khan 2 hours later
Welcome to Healthcare Magic and thank you for writing to us.

There are usually no side effects to taking painkillers past their expiry date, the only thing that does not happen is to cure the pain, in your case lower the headache.
However, if you had taken several over the day without looking at the expiry date, side effects of nausea, vomiting are likely. Some people have complained of feeling 'spaced out' but more so after they have taken a lot and then figured out the tablets had expired!

So unless you are having any symptoms as of now, I would not be worried. Take a different analgesic such as ibuprofen or voveran but after food. Do not take aspirin for headaches. The safest is paracetamol (or panadol) that you had tried.
Regularly check the expiry dates of medicines at home, put them all in a bag, and throw them away instead of pushing it further back in the drawer.
Most important, check what medication you are about to take, and then the expiry date.

I hope that was useful.
Best Wishes.
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