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paracetamol ingredients

I've been ill with viral tonsillitis and was advised by the emergency doctor to take ibuprofen. I explained that I had previously had a gastric problem with this so she advised co-codamol and/or paracetamol. Let me tell you this tonsillitis was vicious - I could not even swallow my own saliva and taking the 2 tablets took 10 minutes each! After visiting the doctor on day 2 of being ill, I took 2 co-codamol in the day time and 2 again at bedtime. It was difficult to sleep although I did doze off during the night but on several occasions woke up with reflux, or thought was drowning and had hallucinations. So I switched to paracetamol which I took every 4 hours for 3 days. I then found I had reflux and had problems with my oesophagus. I read the leaflet accompanying the tablets and went to see the doctor again. This doctor was very reassuring as I was convinced I had something nasty but he diagnosed reflux caused by the difficulty in swallowing the medication, and/or possibly a reaction to the co-codamol. He did not think it was the paracetamol causing the problems. However, as usual after the visit the electric light bulbs came on. The symptoms of reflux were very similar to pre-diagnosis and I checked the ingredients of paracetamol. It contains pregelatinised maize starch, sodium metabisulphite and magnesium stearate. I cannot tolerate maize starch so I am wondering if this was the cause of the problem? But if it is I am stuffed for pain relief in the future unless the disposable tablet have different ingredients. Has anyone else had problems with analgesic?

14 Replies

Ha ha I meant dissolvable paracetamol!


Hi Urbangirl, this sounds really nasty so poor you. Now firstly if I get a cold, sore throat, or chesty I have honey with lemon (freshly squeezed) Honey has natural antibacterial qualities and is very soothing.

As for paracetamol (I misread the disposable line LOL) here's a link about soluble paracetamol:


You could get your Dr to give you some codeine phosphate tablets but I'd be tempted with Codeine linctus, which you can buy from your chemist, so here's a link:


And I hope that you feel better soon.

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Thanks Jerry! I very rarely get ill and luckily don't get colds, flu or suffer from headaches. I do get muscular/skeletal problems and have needed pain relief for these. But I am quite worried about pain relief in general and for the future. In the last year I have found myself in great discomfort and needed something to help me get by and I do have a high pain threshold and reluctance to take medication.

I checked co-codamol ingredients and they too contain maize starch etc. Interestingly this is not mentioned on the outside of the packet - the information is contained in the leaflet accompanying the medication. The more I think about this the more I am convinced that taking paracetamol every 4 hours, which contained maize starch, for several days gave me the extra problems with upper gastro problems. I just wish I had got it together earlier and discussed this with the doctor because then I would be able to look at future pain relief rather than have to discuss it again with another doctor when I might not be able to articulate this as well as I would be in discomfort.

Thanks for your good wishes - I am fully recovered thank you and busy catching up!

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Yes. I have huge issues with the available pain 'relief'. I did find a brand of paracetamol that didn't have additives - I'm going to name it although maybe we are not supposed to on the forum - Anadin Paracetamol (*not dissolvable - just noticed you mentioned that). Last time I bought it, it did not have metabisulphate in it which is a migraine trigger for me (and others) but I can't guarantee the formulation remaining the same.

However, the down side, it is not widely stocked as chemists tend to stock own brand cheaper things and products which contain a cocktail of paracetamol, NSAIDs and caffeine and these preservatives.

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Thank you for this advice Frodo. We have a fabulous pharmacy that it is so helpful so I am going to talk to them now I know there are products available as I am sure they will get some in and maybe know of others.


I use a branded Paracetamol which has nowt in it that disagrees with me. Also liquid paracetamol proved to be safe. Got pharmacy to check ingredients before buying. Finding safe pain relief is a long road. Like you I avoid medication. Although the formula should stay the same, I still check each time.

Bizarrely, the superstores mail order groceries list the ingredients of Paracetamol.


Excellent advice thanks FFNick. Will be on to this at the local pharmacy asap. How extraordinary that superstores mail orders list the ingredients of paracetamol! Be good to know your branded paracetamol name.


Forget paracetamol. It is a liver poison that is so poisonous that people use it to commit suicide.

An over-the-counter antihistamine tablet that contains Loratadine sold for hay fever relief by Tesco will suppress the acid production that give you the symptoms of GERD (histamine is an essential component of the biochemical pathway leading to gastric acid production). I found that one tiny tablet lasted for at least two days. Surprisingly, it is not licensed for the treatment of GERD but it works and, with so many people taking it for hay-fever, it is unlikely to be poisonous.


Thank Mathri but I only get the GERD when I take the medication so I don't need to take anything to suppress the acid production at any other time. However, I do need to think about pain relief and whilst I agree with you about the dangers of paracetamol there are limited analgesic alternatives.


I'm sorry about your problems with the medications. Codeine derivatives are opioids and can give nasty withdrawal symptoms if you stop them suddenly, as can proton pump inhibitors such as Omeprazole and Nexium prescribed for GERD.

An alternative and very effective painkiller that is not an opioid nor an NSAID is green lipped mussel. See permahealthcare.com/glm-ext... and the links on the left hand side.

The best source I have come across for this is the 500mg capsules from Innopure These are available from Amazon at a reasonable price and contain no additives. They are brilliant for arthritis and may help your pain too.

Good luck


I would have asked if the tonsillitis was viral or bacterial. The former is (as you say) treated with painkillers and plenty of fluid. The bacterial type really does need antibiotics.

You can develop some undesirable illnesses through untreated tonsillitis.

As for your painkiller question. Yes, codeine can be quite disturbing. I've previously found gargling beneficial. I can't use ibuprofen tho' its good for pain and reducing temperature.


Hi go for paracetomol in capsule form (the type that come apart) not the solid white tablets. They work for me. Avoid any cheap brands.



Just read through your whole post, I couldn't find anything in Paracetamol, but did find maize starch in Co Codemol. I think it is the outer coating. I am on crutches at the moment so full investigations are not easy, however, once fully mobile again I will check them all out. If it is the coatings then a dissolvable or liquid preparation maybe the way to go.

I will come back when I find out more.


I initially took co codemol as advised by the doctor which made feel even more wretched so I switched to paracetamol and took this every 4 hours for 3 days and the effect got worse and worse. The ingredients on the brand I took included maize starch. Today I took two of the dissolvable paracetamol and nothing adverse happened!

BTW the other day I was out at a friends place for dinner (she is a coeliac) and she had some GF breadsticks and vegetables which people dipped in hummus - I did not have any of the breadsticks as some of the ingredients in GF products make me ill particularly maize starch, so just had the veggies but I had a problem the next day. Checked out the ingredients of the breadsticks and yes they contained maize starch. I must have picked up some crumbs in the dip which did not have anything dodgy in.


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