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Anadin extra

Dr Roger Henderson
Reviewed by Roger HendersonReviewed on 29.04.2024 | 4 minutes read

Anadin extra contains aspirin, paracetamol and caffeine. This triple-action tablet can be used for the treatment of mild to moderate pain including headache, migraine, back pain, rheumatic pains, muscle aches and pains, period pains, toothaches, sore throat, fever and cold symptoms.

Doctor’s advice

How do I take it?

Anadin extra can be taken by anyone over the age of 16 at a dose of 2 tablets every four hours with a maximum of eight tablets in 24 hours. Avoid any other products containing paracetamol or aspirin whilst taking Anadin extra.

How does it work?

Anadin extra contains three main active ingredients per tablet; Aspirin 300mg, Paracetamol 200mg, and caffeine 45mg. Aspirin is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) from the same family as ibuprofen and naproxen. Because of this, you should make sure you aren’t taking aspirin alongside other anti-inflammatories, as this can upset your stomach.

Aspirin’s anti-inflammatory effect works by blocking the body’s production of chemicals called prostaglandins, which are released in response to illness or injury. Prostaglandins can cause pain and inflammation to alert the body that it is unwell. By stopping prostaglandin production, the medication can help stop pain, inflammation and fever. Paracetamol also reduces the production of prostaglandins although it uses a different mechanism of action to help stop the pain signals and bring down a fever.

Caffeine, whilst it is a stimulant, is used to help speed up your pain relief by sensitising your body to the aspirin and paracetamol present in Anadin extra. How much difference this makes is up for scientific debate, although many people swear by the difference they feel it makes.

Pharmacist recommended products

Should anyone avoid taking it?

Like all medications, avoid Anadin extra if you are under the age of 16 due to a risk of an adverse reaction called Reyes syndrome, which can be very fatal. You should also of course avoid Anadin extra if you have previously had an allergic reaction to the medication or any of the other constituents.

If you have severe kidney or liver problems, or if you have other medications or medical conditions where you would normally discuss with your doctor or pharmacist before starting something new – avoid starting Anadin extra at home before discussion.

If you are asthmatic and haven’t had anti-inflammatories before, they can sometimes cause an acute asthma attack. You should avoid Anadin extra if you are breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant or are already pregnant unless advised by your midwife or doctor. If you have a known stomach ulcer or inflammatory bowel disease, you should avoid taking Anadin extra unless advised by your doctor.

Are there any side-effects?

Common side effects include headaches, feeling dizzy, nausea and vomiting. This is often because excess amounts of aspirin in the brain can bind to other receptors causing undesired effects.

Indigestion and heartburn are other common side effects of all anti-inflammatories, as they can irritate the lining of the stomach. If they are taken in the long-term without any medication to protect the stomach from excess acid, they can cause stomach ulcers.

If you have started aspirin and your doctor doesn’t know, you should speak to them to see if they would recommend stomach protection medication whilst taking aspirin. High doses of caffeine can cause tremors and palpitations. As with any medication, seek urgent medical advice if any severe symptoms develop including those of a severe allergic reaction such as shortness of breath, wheezing, or swelling of the tongue, mouth, lips, face or throat.

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Dr Roger Henderson
Reviewed by Roger Henderson
Reviewed on 29.04.2024
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