How each panadol differs and how to choose your post-vaccine pill

Nothing says “just had my second shot” like fending off your mother’s third cup of coconut water and taking Panadol to alleviate the arm soreness. If you reached home, opened the medicine cabinet, and immediately got overwhelmed by the stash and variety of identical white pills in endless rows of blister packs, don’t worry. Yes, there are more types of Panadol than you’d expect, and some of them better suited for your post-vaccination body than others. Bear in mind that everyone’s bodies respond different, so ultimately, you know what’s best for yourself and your lifestyle.

a picture of the range of panadol
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Chemist Mas Faiz took to Twitter to educate netizens on the differences between each type of Panadol and when to take them. Spoiler alert, it should be taken only after the vaccine shot instead of before. Otherwise the salt ion (Na+) in our bodies will increase, resulting in giddiness that will be worsened by the vaccine’s side effects.

Panadol ActiFast

Panadol Actifast
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It’s one of the most common and accessible options, and for good reason. Panadol ActiFast (S$10.10) contains a high amount of Natrium (Na+)—about 173mg per tablet—and absorbs into the bloodstream twice as quickly for speedier pain relief. Though aptly named, those with a history of high blood pressure should be cautious when ingesting this.

Panadol Optizorb

Panadol Optizorb
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If you haven’t heard of Panadol Optizorb (S$7.20), that’s because it’s one of the latest formulations  which replaces Natrium (Na+) with Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3) and alginic acid to help with digestion. It’s gentle on the stomach, works fast within 20 minutes, lower in Na+, and best to be taken after food.

Panadol Extra

Panadol Extra
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Panadol Extra (S$8.70) combines paracetamol and 65mg of caffeine per tablet that’s ideal for relieving migraines and pain. Caffeine drinkers and smokers should be wary about taking this painkiller, because the maximum dosage of caffeine a day is 500mg and a cup of coffee already has 80-100mg.

Panadol Extend

Panadol Extend
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As its name suggests, Panadol Extend (S$9.10) has longer-lasting effects than its siblings. This tablet offers eight-hour pain relief as compared to the regular three to four hours. It has two layers, the first acts fast, and the second one providing a slow but steady pain relief over a longer duration. Though deemed as less immediately effective in comparison, it offers improved convenience of fewer doses.

Panadol Soluble

Panadol Soluble
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If you struggle with swallowing tablets, the effervescent Panadol Soluble (S$7.90) is a good option. It is high in Natrium (Na+) with approximately 450mg per tablet, and best to be avoided for those suffering from high blood pressure.

Panadol is available islandwide in all Watsons and Guardian outlets.

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