Mersyndol - Paracetamol - Codeine - Doxylamine

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Mersyndol Forte is a version of Mersyndol marketed for faster pain relief in adults. It is more potent than its non-Forte ranges, and is recommended for the treatment of persistent aches that do not respond to the regular dosage. These afflictions could take the form of migraine, toothache, tension pain or severe dysmenorrhea. But before taking Mersyndol Forte, it is important to be aware of some important things.

- Mersyndol Forte may be taken by someone who has a sensitivity to aspirin. It does not cause gastrointestinal upset under regular circumstances, and may be taken on an empty stomach. However, it is best taken with a full glass of water.

- It is also good for lowering a patient's fever.

- Under no circumstances should a person drive or operate heavy machinery after taking Mersyndol Forte. Immediate bed rest - or enjoying any form of quiet rest - is suggested after taking the drug.

- Mersyndol itself has a small amount of codeine: a derivative of morphine which is significantly less potent and addictive. Very small amounts of codeine are deemed safe to be made into ingredients for OTC medicines. However, a Forte drug contains slightly stronger dosages of all the ingredients found in its regular OTC version.

It is possible that a chemical dependence on this drug could be formed within someone who has been using it for an extended period of time. Generally, prolonged Mersyndol use is not recommended by a physician. If you suspect that a patient has developed a dependence on the drug, consult a physician for alternative pain relief medication, or a routine for "weaning" the patient off Mersyndol.

Extensive and indiscriminate use of acetaminophen/paracetamol, or taking a very large amount of it at any one time, has been known to cause liver damage.

- Regular Mersyndol, and especially its Forte version, should not be administered to children under the age of 12. Care must also be taken in administering the Forte version to people over the age of 60.

- Mersyndol Forte is sometimes dispensed as part of an antihistaminic therapy, and one must pay close attention to the other substances ingested in the duration of the therapy. For example, this drug should not be taken with other antihistamines. The doxylamine succinate ingredient of the Forte version should provide enough of the antihistamine needed by the body in a single intake. Examples of common antihistamines are Diphenhydramine, Promethazine and Chlorphenamine.

- This drug should also not be taken with alcohol, tranquilizers, sedatives, or antidepressants.

- Exercise great care in taking the drug if you have a pre-existing respiratory condition, such as asthma or pulmonary emphysema. The codeine ingredient decreases the body's sensitivity to cough reflexes, which may lead to difficulty in breathing. In extreme cases, it may lead to complete respiratory failure.

- Patients who have undergone laparotomies or thoracotomies may suffer postoperative complications if given Mersyndol soon after surgery.

- Patients with liver or kidney problems may wish to regulate their intake of paracetamol-based medicines. Use this product sparingly and only as directed.

- Do not take this drug in combination with other analgesics, especially those containing paracetamol/acetaminophen, doxylamine or codeine. If you feel that Mersyndol Forte alone is not sufficient as a pain reliever, your physician should be able to recommend alternative or complementary medication.

- Drowsiness is a common side effect of this drug. However, some other side effects may become manifest; when this occurs, you should seek medical help and attention at once. You may be allergic to paracetamol, or to one or more of the drug's components. Examples of uncommon side effects are skin rash, constipation, nausea and vomiting.

- Be aware of its expiry date. The drug may be less effective if taken after it has expired.

- Pregnant and nursing mothers should take care when using Mersyndol. While paracetamol and doxylamine succinate may not have produced any adverse effects on pregnant women, the narcotic codeine content however crosses the placental barrier, and may affect the unborn baby's health. It is common that babies of mothers taking narcotics are born with a narcotic addiction.

Nursing mothers may also wish to abstain from taking medicine with codeine, as narcotics pass into breastmilk. Bottle-feeding is recommended.
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