The difference between APC and P

“I CAN’T THINK VERY well nowadays. I actually feel confused and I don’t know why,” I complained to a friend. He pointed out to me that it might be due to the prevailing political climate. “Politics? Not for me!” I exclaimed. I have neither a gubernatorial ambition nor a desire to be a presidential candidate. “But you have been President before. Weren’t you?” my friend teased, trying to lighten my mood. I managed a smile. “Yes, indeed I have been President of several organisations a number of times but not President of Nigeria.” “Weren’t you addressed as Mr. President?” he asked sarcastically. Now he was getting on my already frayed nerves. “You yourself know there are presidents and there are Presidents,” I said, reminding him that in all the positions, I didn’t have any political platform.

“You often talk about APC and P….. What’s it called? My friend asked. I was alarmed. The last thing I wanted to discuss was Nigerian politics and political parties. I get depressed. Why? It would worsen my depression. With politicians crossing over from one party to another, was there any real difference between the parties? And in a country where someone who was not on a ballot was declared the winner because he should have been the candidate on the ballot and the votes were for the party and not for the individual what could be more confusing. “You have to shift the discussion away from politics.” I told myself.

So, I quickly answered, “Do you mean Paracetamol?” “I mean PDP,” my friend said assertively, pushing it further. Now he was becoming impossible. I didn’t like this line of discussion. “Do you know that APC was widely used years ago…?” “APC?” he cut in and repeated with a look of bewilderment on his face, “APC?” Surprised he was at sea, it suddenly occurred to me he was born only in 1982, the year before APC was banned. “APC is an abbreviation for three drugs – Aspirin, Phenacetin and Codeine and was widely used as a remedy for pain and fever. Its use was banned because one of the components, Phenacetin was associated with serious adverse effects which included kidney damage and increased risk of certain cancers. “By the way after taking APC, do you know what you will find in your urine?” I answered gleefully, “Paracetamol!”

“What is Paracetamol?” he asked. “You can’t be serious that you don’t know Paracetamol but you know everything about PDP and APC,” I said unconvinced. He quickly redeemed himself as he asked, “Is it the same as Panadol?” “Panadol is just one of the many brands of Paracetamol,” I replied. It is the most widely used medicine for the relief of pain and fever in Nigeria today. But you must remember that pain and fever are symptoms of a disease process and the medicine has no effect on the underlying cause. Therefore, it is imperative that the cause of the pain and fever must be investigated and treated. This makes it susceptible to abuse. It should not be used for more than a few days at a time.

The recommended adult dose is two 500mg tablets three times daily. It is dangerous to exceed the recommended dose. An overdose of Paracetamol can cause serious harm to your liver. Once it affects your liver every part of your body including your eyes would suffer. If you drink a fair quantity of alcoholic beverages per day on a regular basis, you must discuss with your doctor before taking Paracetamol and never use more than 4 tablets per day. A combination of Paracetamol and alcohol could increase the risk of liver damage. Paracetamol (also known as acetaminophen) is contained in many combination medicines and it is advisable to read the leaflets of any other medication to avoid inadvertent over dosage.    

Now I can think clearly. It has taken me three days to put my thoughts on paper. As I reflected over what I have written, the cause of my anxiety became obvious. I am worried about the political situation in the country, the intolerance everywhere; the alarming greed and corruption; the herdsmen and the killing of innocent men, women and children; the bombings and terrorism and the mother of all the situations – the impending famine and economic woes. Or what do we expect if farmers cannot farm?  The omen indeed is bad. I asked myself again, “Would an election change all these?” Now I am having a headache. What choice do I have, I could take APC if I could lay my hands on them or settle for Paracetamol but for how long? The cause of the anxiety has to be tackled! How?

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