Fact Check: Painkiller Paracetamol P-500 Tablets Do NOT Kill When Taken Normally

Fact Check

  • by: Jamal Halaby
Fact Check: Painkiller Paracetamol P-500 Tablets Do NOT Kill When Taken Normally No Killer

Will the Israeli-made acetaminophen painkiller end the lives of those who take it? No, that's not true: Paracetamol, more commonly known as acetaminophen, is sold in Israel under the brand name Acamol. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that acetaminophen is a safe drug.

The claim appeared in a video (archived here) on TikTok on October 24, 2023, or 17 days into the Hamas-Israel conflict. The same footage is appearing elsewhere on TikTok and various other social media platforms, such as X, formerly known as Twitter.

The silent, 15-second video showed an expired packaging of paracetamol 500-milligram tablets, with a headline claiming it would kill anyone who took it. The headline (translated from Arabic to English by Lead Stories staff) read:

Hey guys! You shouldn't take this painkiller made in 🇮🇱. Those who do will die. Send it to your friends and repost this video.

This is how the post looked like on TikTok at the time of writing:


(Source: TikTok screenshot taken on Wed Nov 8 13:46:42 2023 UTC)

A Google News search on November 8, 2023, (archived here) using the words: "Ïsrael-made paracetamol p-500 tablets kill those who take them" yielded several results that debunked numerous identical claims made previously, mostly at times of crisis in the past six years, such as during COVID-19 and later during Russia's war on Ukraine. Most of them depicted the P-500 tablets produced by the Indian company Apex in August 2016.

The current claim showed an expired pill package of P-500 with blue and black printing on the back, also manufactured by Apex in August 2016, not in Israel. The brand name on the package is paracetamol P-500, not the Israeli Acamol. It had an expiration date of July 2019, four years before the video was posted. The authenticity of the packaging was verified in an Apex post on India Mart, which showed a more recent bag of P-500, the only difference being that the colors had changed to green and black.

The FDA vouches for acetaminophen, saying it is "an active ingredient in hundreds of over-the-counter and prescription" medicines that relieves pain and fever.

ChemAnalyst, a website specializing in chemical industry news and market intelligence, said in a January 2023 report that around 60 percent of the world's active pharmaceutical ingredients, including paracetamol, are manufactured in China or India.

In Israel, Acamol is manufactured by the Tel Aviv-based Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited, according to Volza, a New York-based self-service app that provides the export and import data and trade intelligence analysis for 209 countries. The drug is approved and registered with the Israeli Ministry of Health.


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  Jamal Halaby

Jamal Halaby is a fact-checker, who has been working with Lead Stories for nearly two years, helping bring the truth and factual information to the organization's global audience. With extensive background in investigative journalism and content writing and editing in Arabic and English, Jamal uses that experience to expose a burgeoning market of misinformation and disinformation. Previously, he worked as a writer for the Associated Press and several other reputable international news organizations. He has a passion for empirical analysis and discerning the veracity of the news.

Read more about or contact Jamal Halaby

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