Paracetamol oral liquid: Brand change

Brand change Access change Active

From 1 June 2022, we are limiting the amount of paracetamol anyone can get on prescription. In the future, both strengths of the oral paracetamol liquid are changing brand and pack size.

Prescribing and dispensing restrictions changing

From 1 June 2022:

  • A maximum of 600 ml Paracare(external link) or Paracare Double Strength(external link) 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 Paracare or Paracare Double Strength can be dispensed for non-endorsed patients, dispensed by repeat dispensing if the amount prescribed exceeds 200 ml.
  • Stat (all-at-once) dispensing is removed from Paracare and Paracare Double Strength.

Why is this happening?

Paracare brand paracetamol is supplied by API Consumer Brands. API are leaving the pharmaceutical market. However, there is significant demand here and around the world for paracetamol to help manage the symptoms of COVID-19. 

To ensure there is enough Paracare brand 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.  

Long-term supply of paracetamol oral liquid

We have secured long-term supply of paracetamol oral liquid through our tender process. This decision means that there will be a change to the current funded brands of paracetamol oral liquid. 

  • From 1 November 2022, the funded brand of paracetamol 250 mg per 5 ml oral liquid will be Pamol.
  • From 1 January 2023, the funded brand of paracetamol 120 mg per 5 ml oral liquid will be Paracetamol (Ethics). 

The new brands will have the same flavours as the current brands - strawberry for the lower strength and orange for the higher strength. Both strengths will be colour-free, supplied with a child-resistant cap, and come in 200 ml bottles. 

Pack size change

Changing to a 200 ml pack size has a number of advantages for most people, including dispensing in original packs for the majority of dispensings. However, we are aware this change may cause challenges for some, especially people who use oral liquid paracetamol regularly and their caregivers. We welcome feedback on ways we can help address this while ensuring supply for all of Aotearoa New Zealand.

Key dates

1 June 2022 - Prescribing and dispensing restrictions begin

1 November 2022 - Pamol brand paracetamol 250 mg per 5 ml oral liquid listed

1 January 2023 - Paracetamol (Ethics) brand paracetamol 120 mg per 5 ml oral liquid listed

1 April 2023 - Paracare Double Strength 250 mg per 5 ml oral liquid (pharmacode 306088) delisted

1 June 2023 - Paracare 120 mg per 5 ml oral liquid (pharmacode 304905) delisted

Who to contact

We welcome feedback on these changes, email enquiry@pharmac.govt.nz