At What Age Is It Safe to Purchase Paracetamol?

Looking for a pain reliever and fever reducer that is widely available? Paracetamol is an effective treatment option for mild to moderate pain. It comes in various forms including tablets, capsules, liquids, and suppositories, and can be used to relieve symptoms of migraines, muscle aches, stomach pain, toothaches, period cramps, and arthritis.

However, there are some restrictions when it comes to purchasing paracetamol. To ensure maximum safety for patients, only those of legal age are allowed to buy it without a prescription or a one-off purchase. In this guide, we will give you all the information you need to know about these restrictions, including the legal age to buy paracetamol in the UK, the number of tablets you can purchase, and more.

Do I need a prescription to buy paracetamol?

No, you don't need a prescription from a doctor or pharmacist to buy paracetamol, making it an over-the-counter medication that can be purchased at most supermarkets, convenience shops, pharmacies, or online via The Independent Pharmacy. However, if you require a larger quantity of paracetamol due to chronic pain, for example, a pack of 100, you'll need a prescription from a medical professional. At The Independent Pharmacy, you can buy a 100-pack of paracetamol caplets after completing a short online consultation.

Can I buy paracetamol over the counter?

Most shops and pharmacies sell packs of 16 tablets, which you can buy over the counter, but may only be allowed to buy up to two packs at a time. Pharmacies, on the other hand, may offer it in larger quantities at the pharmacist's discretion. However, if you require a higher quantity of paracetamol, such as for chronic pain relief, you'll need a prescription or online consultation.

There are no legal age restrictions when buying medication, but most retail outlets have their own policies that restrict the sale of medicines to children for safety purposes. Most shops and pharmacies will sell paracetamol to those aged 16 and above. The Think 25 policy may require you to show photo identification (passport or driving licence) to prove your age if the shop assistant or pharmacist thinks you may be under 25.

Can you buy paracetamol at 16 years old?

Yes, most shops and pharmacies in the UK will sell paracetamol over the counter to those aged 16 or older, but you may need to provide photo identification to prove your age. If you're under 16 and require paracetamol for pain relief, you'll need a parent or legal guardian to purchase it for you.

Can you take paracetamol under the age of 16?

While most shops and pharmacies limit paracetamol purchases to individuals aged 16 and older, children as young as 10 can take 500mg paracetamol tablets, supervised by an adult. Younger children, aged six and over, can also take paracetamol, but the dose should be lower.

Looking to alleviate mild to moderate pain in children? The appropriate dosage varies by age:

  • Age Group
  • Dosage
  • Frequency
  • 6 to 8 years
  • 250mg
  • Up to 4 times per day
  • 8 to 10 years
  • 375mg
  • Up to 4 times per day
  • 10 to 12 years
  • 500mg
  • Up to 4 times per day
  • 12 to 16 years
  • 750mg
  • Up to 4 times per day

Paracetamol can be ingested with or without food, and typically one or two tablets can be taken up to four times per day with at least a four-hour interval between each dose. Taking more than the recommended amount in any 24-hour window may result in severe effects for both children and adults. If you exceed the recommended limit, it's critical to obtain prompt medical attention.

What is the maximum number of paracetamol tablets you can purchase?

Paracetamol usually comes in packs of sixteen tablets, and according to the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), no more than two of these packs should be purchased in a single transaction. Some pharmacies, however, sell thirty-two-tablet packages, while others may prescribe 100-tablet packs at their discretion to help alleviate persistent pain.

Want to obtain paracetamol for mild to moderate pain relief? You can easily obtain yours from The Independent Pharmacy and typically receive it as soon as the following business day. If you're unsure whether paracetamol is suitable for your needs, check our pain treatments page to learn more about pain relief and view alternative therapies to paracetamol.

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