Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Paracetamol History and Development

Widely employed as a medicinal remedy, paracetamol functions both as a pain reliever and fever reducer, celebrated for its analgesic and antipyretic properties. Its inception can be traced back to 1893 at the University of Strasbourg, where Professor Adolf Kussmaul tasked assistants Arnold Cahn and Paul Hepp with administering naphthalene treatment to patients. Despite the intended antiseptic effect being limited, the identification of paracetamol in the urine of patients who had ingested phenacetin resulted in a significant reduction in fever.

In 1887, Bayer introduced phenacetin as a less harmful alternative to acetanilide, solidifying the company's standing as a pharmaceutical leader. Despite its initial success, concerns regarding carcinogenicity and kidney damage led to a decline in phenacetin usage after approximately 90 years.

Recognized as a urinary metabolite of acetanilide in 1889, paracetamol did not garner much attention at the time. It wasn't until 1948-1949, when Brodie and Axelrod unveiled paracetamol as the primary metabolite of both acetanilide and phenacetin, that interest in paracetamol experienced a resurgence. Their research revealed that both acetanilide and phenacetin underwent metabolism into paracetamol, endowing them with their antipyretic and analgesic properties.

In 1950, the initial paracetamol product, Triagesic, containing paracetamol, aspirin, and caffeine, entered the U.S. market but was promptly withdrawn due to reported cases of blood diseases. Subsequent confirmation that paracetamol was not linked to blood damage paved the way for its reintroduction to the American market by 1955.

The year 1956 marked the introduction of 500 mg paracetamol tablets in the UK, swiftly gaining popularity as an over-the-counter analgesic. Its appeal was partly attributed to its gentler impact on the stomach compared to certain other pain relievers.
Paracetamol History and Development

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