This scenario is all too familiar: a coughing / feverish child goes to a doctor.  The doctor takes out his/her stethoscope, listens for noises,  looks down the child’s throat, taps around a bit and takes his temperature.  “Mmmh, nothing serious,” the doctor pronounced.  The parents paid for the consultation and leave happily with a prescription.

Now, if the doctor did not prescribed anything, many parents would be miffed. Because they paid for a consultation, did they not?

Yet many of the prescribed medication for minor ailments are found to be useless. Some are even toxic in the long run.  In the UK, we are ever so ready to reach for the paracetamol. It is one of the most over-used drugs ever created. As a rule, I never buy paracetamol.

There is hardly anything in my medicine cupboard apart from antiseptic and plasters.  There are no antacids, painkillers, headache pills or cough mixtures. Especially paracetamol.

“You don’t have paracetamol?” quite a few people have asked me, aghast. It’s cheap and it purportedly does everything.

It is worth listening to this 5minute BBC Radio 4 conversation between two practising doctors and a Professor and make your own mind up. Click here to listen.


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Please note that I am not advocating a blanket ban on paracetamol and all painkillers. The internet is full of scaremongering posts as it is. What I am strongly suggesting is for you to listen to this discussion between three medics (and other similar credible discussions), and more importantly,  get to know your own body. Paracetamol (and controversially, chemotherapy) works for some people and/or some circumstances.  Health and medicine are both highly personalised. Thus, it makes good sense to get to know your own body and what works/doesn’t work for it.

You live in your body for all your life. Know it well, to be able to care for it.