Journal of the Nigerian Optometric Association

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The effect of Acetaminophen (Paracetamol ) on Tear Production

UA Megwas, MA Izuawuba


The effect of acetaminophen (paracetamol ) on the tear production of 100 young healthy subjects was studied using their right eyes. These subjects with the mean age of 22.5±3.24
years consisted of 40 men and 60 women selected after a thorough case history, IOP measurement and TBUT determination to rule out pathology. Schirmer's test was done in all the selected volunteered subjects before ingestion of 1000mg (2 tablets) of acetaminophen. The test was repeated at interval of one hour after the ingestion for 4 hours. The mean induced tear secretion reduced fromthe mean baseline tear secretion by as 3.70mm(14.43%), 7.06mm(27.55%), 5.76mm (22.47%) and 5.30mm(20.68%) for the first 1-4hours respectively. The mean baseline tear secretion was found to be 25.63mm. These reductions were found to be statistically significant (p>0.05), showing that paracetamol significantly inhibits tear production. Paracetamol should therefore be usedwithcautioninindividuals that have or are predisposed to dry eye syndrome.

Keywords: acetaminophen (paracetamol ), prostaglandins, cyclo-oxygenase, Schirmer's strips, tear production.
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