Potential Dangers of Administering Undiscarded Paracetamol Syrup

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Akinniyi A. Aje
P. A. Idowu
Titilayo O. Fakeye



Paracetamol is one of the most commonly used over-the-counter (OTC) drugs as adjunct for children with feverish condition. Paracetamol syrup may be susceptible to microbial growth because of presence of sugar. Considering the health hazard to children, it is imperative to evaluate the type of microbial contaminations that may be present in bottles of paracetamol that have been opened for use.


Questionnaires were administered to 150 parents and caregivers of children below five years of age to evaluate their level of awareness of the proper storage conditions of paracetamol syrup and the potential dangers for re-using undiscarded syrup for their chiidren and wards. Microbial assessments were carried out on 1U bottles of paracetamol syrup randomly collected from the caregivers of parents who brought children for immunization to evaluate the microbial load. Standard methods of microbial isolation were employed and the various isolates were subjected to morphological and biochemical tests for identification. Descriptive statistics was used to summarize data.


There was a poor level of awareness on the proper storage of paracetamol syrup as well as a low level of awareness on the potential dangers of administering contaminated paracetamol syrup in the form of reuse of undiscarded syrup to children. Pathogenic bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus Escherichia coli and species and fungi, species, Mucorspecies,Aspergillus species, Candida species and Penicillium species in different loads were isolated from the samples of undiscarded paracetamol syrup.


The re-use of paracetamol syrup not properly stored is potentially hazardous for children. There is a need for creating awareness on the proper storage of paracetamol syrup that has been opened for use, and the likelihood of microbial contamination of such syrups.

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How to Cite
Aje, A. A. ., Idowu, P. A. ., & Fakeye, T. O. . (2014). Potential Dangers of Administering Undiscarded Paracetamol Syrup. The Nigerian Journal of Pharmacy, 48(1). Retrieved from https://psnnjp.org/index.php/home/article/view/191