Paracetamol is an aniline analgesic - the only one still in use today.
Acts by inhibiting COX enzymes (COX II-specific) and thus blocking prostaglandin synthesis.
Reduces oxidised form of COX.
Adult dosage - 1,000 mg single dose, maximum 4,000 mg/day (2,000 with alcohol).
Classed as a NSAID but lacks much anti-inflammatory activity.
Because of its selectivity for COX-2 it does not significantly inhibit the production of the pro-clotting thromboxanes.
Half-life 2-4 hours
Time to action 15 - 30 mins
Synthesis (NB no stereocentres):