Absorption of effervescent paracetamol tablets relative to ordinary paracetamol tablets in healthy volunteers

Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 2000 May;56(2):141-3. doi: 10.1007/s002280050732.


Objectives: The aim of this study was to compare the rate of absorption between ordinary paracetamol tablets and effervescent paracetamol tablets.

Methods: Twenty healthy volunteers participated in an open randomised crossover study and were given a 1000-mg dose of either ordinary paracetamol tablets (2 x 500 mg Panodil tablets, SmithKline Beecham) or effervescent paracetamol tablets (2 x 500 mg Pinex Brusetablett, Alpharma AS) with a 3-week washout period in between. Blood samples were collected for 3 h. Maximum serum concentration (Cmax) and the time to maximum serum concentration (tmax) were recorded and the area under the concentration versus time curve (AUC) was calculated.

Results: The mean tmax was significantly shorter when paracetamol effervescent tablets were taken (27 min) rather than ordinary paracetamol tablets (45 min) (P = 0.004). There was no significant difference between the mean Cmax of 143 micromol/l with effervescent tablets and that of 131 micromol/l with ordinary tablets. The mean AUC(0-3 h) was significantly higher with paracetamol effervescent tablets (223.8 micromol x h x l(-1)) than with ordinary tablets (198.2 micromol x h x l(-1); P = 0.003). After 15 min, 17 (85%) subjects in the effervescent group had a serum concentration of 70 micromol/l (lower therapeutic serum concentration) or higher relative to only 2 (10%) subjects in the ordinary tablet group (P = 0.001).

Conclusion: Paracetamol effervescent tablets are absorbed significantly faster than ordinary paracetamol. Thus, effervescent tablets might offer significantly faster pain relief when paracetamol is used.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetaminophen / administration & dosage*
  • Acetaminophen / blood
  • Acetaminophen / pharmacokinetics*
  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Tablets / metabolism
  • Time Factors


  • Tablets
  • Acetaminophen