Paracetamol oral liquid: Brand change
The supplier of Paracare and Paracare Double Strength, API, has left the New Zealand market. We have sourced alternative brands, Paracetamol (Ethics) 120 mg per 5 ml and Pamol 250 mg per 5 ml.
Brand availablity by strength
There has been a lot of changes for oral liquid paracetamol recently, a summary of the brands for each presentation follows.
Colour free warning
All newly listed brands of paracetamol oral liquid (Pamol, Avallon and Ethics), as well as the currently funded ibuprofen liquid, are colour free.
When prescribing and dispensing, this similarity may need to be specifically highlighted to patients, whānau or caregivers.
120 mg per 5 ml brand
Ethics brand oral liquid paracetamol is now available (Pharmacode 2650665). It is the contracted brand from 1 January 2023. The Avallon brand remains available and will be funded until 1 April 2023 (Pharmacode 2643138). Avallon was a temporary listing to cover a supply issue.
Ethics paracetamol oral liquid:
- Flavour is strawberry (same as Paracare brand, Avallon is strawberry-vanilla)
- Colour is off-white (Paracare brand was pink, Avallon is also off-white)
- A smaller pack size, 200 ml glass bottles with a child-resistant cap.
Health Navigator has developed consumer pamphlets to support this change. Each pamphlet includes a dose chart.
- Brand Change Ethics Paracetamol liquid 120mg [PDF 273 KB]
- Paracetamol liquid brand change Avallon 120 mg [PDF 148 KB]
Translations of the Avallon pamphlet
Te Reo Māori [PDF](external link)
Chinese (Simplified) [PDF](external link)
Pamol 250 mg per 5 ml
Pamol is the new funded 250 mg per 5 ml oral liquid paracetamol.
Key differences between Pamol and the previously funded brand, Paracare Double Strength
- A smaller pack size, 1000 ml to 200 ml, glass bottles with a child-resistant cap
- A change in colour from orange to colour-free
- Remains orange flavour
- Alcohol and sugar free
A pamphlet for consumers explaining the change has been developed by Health Navigator.
Package size change
200 ml is the most common amount dispensed. As such, changing to a 200 ml pack size means most dispensing can be in the original packaging.
This will allow paracetamol oral liquid to be dispensed with clear strength information, which will reduce the chance of dispensing errors in the pharmacy and result in less confusion for people using this medicine.
Information for pharmacies
We are advised that there is still stock of Avallon 120 mg per 5 ml and Paracare Double Strength 250 mg per 5 ml available. Wholesalers may request that this stock is used before the new brands are released.
Pharmacists can still claim dispensing of Avallon 120 mg per 5 ml and Paracare Double Strength. Paracare Double Strength will remain funded until 1 April 2023, and Avallon will be delisted at a date TBC to allow time for any remaining stock to be dispensed.
We suggest pharmacies contact their wholesaler if they are having trouble ordering paracetamol oral liquid.
Prescribing and dispensing restrictions remain
Restrictions will continue for all brands to ensure everyone who needs paracetamol liquid can access this medicine. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
The restrictions are:
- A maximum of 600 ml liquid paracetamol can be prescribed per prescription. Patients with long-term conditions who need regular daily dosing can be prescribed quantities greater than 600 ml by endorsement.
- A maximum of 200 ml can be dispensed for non-endorsed patients, dispensed by repeat dispensing if the amount prescribed exceeds 200 ml.
Why are these restrictions in place?
There is significant demand here and around the world for paracetamol to help manage the symptoms of COVID-19.
To ensure there is enough oral paracetamol for everyone who needs it, we have limited the amount anyone can be prescribed or dispensed.
We acknowledge that these changes may inconvenience some regular users of oral paracetamol.
1 June 2022 - Prescribing and dispensing restrictions began
1 September 2022 – Avallon brand paracetamol listed (both 120 mg and 240 mg strengths)
1 November 2022 - Pamol brand paracetamol 250 mg listed
1 January 2023 - Paracetamol (Ethics) brand paracetamol 120 mg listed, Avallon brand 240 mg delisted
Mid-January 2023 - Paracetamol (Ethics) brand paracetamol 120 mg available
1 April 2023 - Paracare Double Strength 250 mg (pharmacode 306088) delisted
1 June 2023 - Paracare 120 mg per 5 ml oral liquid (pharmacode 304905) delisted
TBC – Avallon 120 mg paracetamol will be delisted later, to allow time for any stock to be dispensed.
Who to contact
We welcome feedback on these changes, email firstname.lastname@example.org