Various social media posts have gone viral claiming that a mixer of Coca-Cola and Biogesic (Paracetamol) can calm a person and treat anxiety/depression but one must be aware as it can cause health hazards.
The post is originally in Filipino and has been translated in English by NewsMobile, “From what I have heard drinking a mixture of coke and Biogesic can treat anxiety and depression and can also be used for abortion. But the mixture can also lead to organ damage. Hence, those with anxiety and depression must not take it and just pray.”
(Original: First of all, ay hindi po yan pampalaglag ng baby, yan po ay pampakalma ng anxiety at depression. If you drink coke with biogesic, for sire you’ll get dizzy and be sleepy all the sudden, what’s worst is you can fall asleep to 9 to 10 hours and there’s a possibility ay hindi kana magigising pa. It also damages our organ (shuta gagawa). So if you wanna try that, please DO NOT. Is you have anxiety or depression, just PRAY.)
NewsMobile did a fact-check and found the claim to be misleading.
Why is Biogesic used?
Biogesic (Paracetamol manufactured by Unilab) is a medicine used to treat fever, mild pain, and headache.
Unilab, the manufacturer of Biogesic, attributing National Health Service in the United Kingdom, claims that the medicine is safe for babies, elderly, and pregnant/breastfeeding women. According to Unilab, “Paracetamol is often recommended as one of the first treatments of pain because it gives relief for most people, even for children, breastfeeding and/or pregnant women, and the elderly. However, if you’re pregnant and breastfeeding, you should still seek consultation with your doctor prior to taking the medication.”
Can Biogesic Mixed With Coke Relieve Anxiety or Depression?
A study based on research done on rats published by the United States National Institute of Health (NIH), concluded that excessive dose of paracetamol increases anxiety‐like and anhedonic behaviour, and impairs recognition memory in un-operated controls, while in neuropathy. However, a low dose of the same reduces nerve injury‐associated anxiety probably by reducing neuropathic pain. However, no such research was done on humans.
Another study published by NIH associated that consumption of soft drinks could cause mental health issues. According to the study, “High levels of soft drink consumption were positively associated with depression, stress-related problem, suicidal ideation, psychological distress, and a current mental health condition, but not anxiety.”
As both paracetamol and soft drinks (excessive doses/intake, beyond prescribed limits) are associated with an increase in mental health issues, the claim that they can be used as anti-depressant/anti-anxiety falls flat.
Can Biogesic Mixed With Coke Cause Abortion?
A Philippines-based paper published in the United States National Institute of Health mentions that many people in the Philippines believe that Paracetamol mixed with soft-drink can abort a child. However, not much evidence has been found to substantiate the claim.
A website The Asian Parent quoted Dr Maria Carla Esquivias-Chua, who specializes in obstetrics and gynecology. She said that paracetamol is a pain-killer drug and is safe for pregnant women as long as there is no overdose. She further said that there is no proven case to confirm that taking paracetamol with a soft drink can be used as a contraceptive.
Australia’s Department of Health also called the claim, ‘taking coke with paracetamol acts as contraceptive’ as a myth.
Hence, the viral claim that coke with Biogesic causes contraception is false.
Is Mixture Of Coke and Paracetamol Harmful For Health?
Research published by NIH suggests overdose of paracetamol can cause liver failure. The same is also reiterated by Unilab. According to Unilab’s Biogesic leaflet, it says, an overdose of Biogesic can lead to liver failure.
A report published by Harvard University states that soft drinks contain a high amount of sugar which can cause obesity, diabetes, heart disease, bone health and gout. United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) also suggests that consumption of sugary drinks can cause weight gain/obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney diseases, non-alcoholic liver disease, tooth decay, cavities, and gout.
Unilab has also warned against taking Biogesic with drinks such as coke. It has said, “Biogesic can be taken with a non-alcoholic beverage, preferably water, to help with swallowing. However, it should not be taken with any drink such as Coke for any usage other than the approved indications. Taking this medicine for other medical conditions may do more harm than good.”
Hence, we can evidently conclude that the viral claim is misleading. While Coke and Paracetamol can cause health issues and organ failure, if taken in overdose, they do not act as anti-depressant/anti-anxiety, if taken together.
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