Touted as Singapore’s favourite pain reliever by its manufacturer GSK, Panadol products are targeted at ailments ranging from menstrual cramps to the common cold.
They range in price from around $6.50 per box of general-purpose, no-frills pills, to $9.80 for Panadol for coughs and colds – but how different are they really?
What’s in your Panadol?
Most types of Panadol sold in Singapore contain around 500mg of paracetamol, another common painkiller, as well as extra ingredients that set products apart from one another, say the experts.
For example, said Ms Jocelyn Yeo, a senior pharmacist at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital, the cough and cold formula contains ingredients to clear blocked noses and chest congestion. Panadol Extra, which targets severe headaches, has an extra 65mg of caffeine added for better pain relief.
These products contain different active ingredients, and hence the effects will be different, Ms Yeo said. Just because these amounts seem small compared with the amount of paracetamol does not mean they are ineffective, said Professor Paul Ho from the pharmacy department in the National University of Singapore’s science faculty.
“These ingredients are added to complement the effect of paracetamol to manage different medical conditions,” a spokesman from the Health Sciences Authority said.
Still, one could save a dollar or two by picking the right type of Panadol to suit one’s needs. For instance, if you just want to relieve menstrual pain, the generic Panadol will do as well.
By Linette Lai, The Straits Times, 24 May 2016