What is it about?

It's often recommended that those with influenza and influenza-like illness use paracetamol , in the belief it may help alleviate the symptoms of the 'flu. There is no evidence base for this. In fact paracetamol use might be harmful, as its' antipyretic effects may inhibit the human immune response. We set up a trial to see if using paracetamol would have any effect on virus replication in humans, or any effect on the flu symptoms in humans.

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Why is it important?

Paracetamol and similar medications are widely used for the treatment of human ailments without any significant evidence base. This is the first randomised controlled trial assessing the effects of a common (often over the counter) medication in influenza. To our knowledge this is the first gold-standard randomised double-blind controlled trial in this area.

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This page is a summary of: Randomized controlled trial of the effect of regular paracetamol on influenza infection, Respirology, December 2015, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1111/resp.12685.
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