Revealed : Nearly every paracetamol tablet available for purchase in Nigeria is substandard


According to a recent study, experts estimate that almost all of the paracetamol tablets in Nigeria may be underdosed. The prospect of treatment failure has not gotten the same attention, which may be a reflection of people’s belief that the practice is safe.

According to the Nigerian Tribune, they said that samples from the five paracetamol brands that were tested were within the permissible limits, with some brands exhibiting lower concentrations than the anticipated limit, which suggests an underdose.

Using the British Pharmacopoeia standard as a guide, the researchers examined and contrasted the ingredients of the various paracetamol brands available in Nigeria.

They claimed that the different paracetamol samples they analysed fell short of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) and British Pharmacopoeia’s recommended standards.

The five distinct brands of paracetamol, each with a 500 mg weight indicated on the package, were acquired from various retailers and subjected to spectrophotometric analysis.

The amounts of the active ingredient in each were computed using the British Pharmacopoeia standards.

The findings showed that the five distinct tablet samples had paracetamol concentrations of 358, 185, 320, 250, and 285 mg, respectively. These values were below the 500 mg recommended by the World Health Organisation and the British Pharmacopoeia.

Additionally, as stated on their individual packaging, the various paracetamol tablets’ masses ranged from 185 mg to 385 mg.

They stated, “A prescribing and underdosing habit that could lead to treatment failure is of potential concern, especially considering the current demands for cost-effective therapy.”

They can result in poor patient outcomes, contribute to polypharmacy and have a significant cost to the healthcare system.”

The 2023 study, entitled, ‘Comparative Analysis of Five Different Brands of Paracetamol Sold in Nigeria with the British Pharmacopoeia Standards,’ was published in the journal Communication in Physical Sciences.

Paracetamol is one of the most widely consumed and common analgesics in Nigeria because of its basic role in relieving pain. However, several concerns have been recorded about the ineffectiveness of the drug, which may be due to the presence of an insufficient concentration of the active ingredient. (Culled from the Tribune)


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