PCM has been used incessantly by millions worldwide, which proves how effective and safe it is.
I reiterate the fact that PCM is a fairly safe drug, which is why it is licensed to be used on the most vulnerable patient group, the pediatric age group, although milder forms are used for them. Still, let us remember, nothing in this world comes without a cost, which is why there must be side effects to Zerodol. The following are the rare few:
The Big Baddies of PCM Toxicities
- Large, lethal doses are hepatotoxic, which translates to liver damage. It is generally advertised in bold over tablet packs that large, indiscriminate doses injure the liver, mostly culminating in Acute Liver Failure. This requires immediate hospitalization, and is an emergency. Zerodol can even result in death. This is common in pediatric age group, since they are more susceptible to accidental ingestion of large amount of PCM. This, therefore, teaches us again that all medications should be well out of reach of toddlers and children. Also, this is possible that an adult, who is having suicidal thoughts, gets access to a whole bunch of tablets and gobbles them down. In any suspected case, where the patient is found unconscious, lying around PCM tablets should be immediately taken to the hospital without delay. If brought within time, patient can be made to vomit out the tablet. Therefore, acting quick is the key here.
- Nausea, which can happen due to any drug.
It can literally take place due to any drug, in rare cases, even anti-allergy medications. So, it is not shocking that it is possible to have an allergy to PCM too. There is a higher chance of this happening in an atopic person, that is, a person who is generally allergic to lots of stuff. Thank God that the number of such cases is fairly small in developing nations like ours, but its incidence is steadily increasing. We explain that on the basis of Hygiene Hypothesis, which states that children living in good environments are exposed very less to allergens, hence do not develop the immune system that tolerates these allergens, therefore developing ‘sensitivity’. If you are one of those people, you should be aware of possibility of an allergic reaction to the usage of Zerodol.
Should be on the lookout for the following reactions:
- Sudden discomfort following ingestion of PCM tablet.
- Reddening and flushing of skin.
- Sudden itch and rash.
- Discomfort in breathing, or abnormal awareness of one’s own breathing.
- Chest tightness
Once you encounter any of these conditions, you must immediately seek medical attention. Rush to the nearest Emergency Room. Also, ensure that you do not take any more of that medication in the future.
Things That You Can Do To Avoid Side Effects
One thing to be remembered is that you should not try to take too much caffeine when Zerodol is taken. Caffeine, in all its form, increases the side effects of Zerodol, hence increasing the chances of toxicity. One should avoid coffee and other caffeinated drinks to be on the safer side.
It is true that sometimes it slips off our mind and we binge drink tea and coffee. It should be borne in mind that too much of caffeine anyway harms our body. Sometimes we are stressed and overburden our system with coffee, not remembering that sickness itself is an added stress which could make the body even more susceptible to the harmful effects of caffeine. Body has a limited capacity to excrete the drug and the caffeine. Also, caffeine induces the metabolism of certain drugs, predisposing us to the toxic levels of caffeine in serum.
Other minor Side Effects
- Light headedness and dry mouth can also occur due to the effect of PCM. It alters body’s parasympathetic system to a minimal extent, thereby causing such symptoms. There are mild and go away on their own, without intervention.
- PCM can also have some effect on the gut. People have reported bowel habit changes, like constipation and upset tummies after PCM intake. Again, such effects are less prevalent and are very mild, not leading to any significant health problem.
PCM toxicity, unlike most other poisonings, is totally avoidable. All that is required is an unending love for one’s liver, and a vigilant mind while taking and storing the medication.
We can do the following for this:
- Keep the medicines in a box that can be tightly shut by a lid. This ensures that toddlers don’t find a way to stick out their hands into the medicine box.
- Keep the box in some high placed shelf, again for self explanatory reasons.
- Ensure that the medicines in the box are all well before their expiry dates. This is extremely important to avoid toxicity.
- Everyone in the family should know where the medicine box is, in case the need arises.