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Drug Guide    A   Acetaminophen

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   Acetaminophen

Acetaminophen
Oral


This drug is used to treat mild to moderate pain (e.g., headaches, cold/flu aches and pains) and to reduce fever.

 
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 Acetaminophen images:

OverviewPhotosHow To UseSide EffectsPrecautionsMissed DoseDrug Interactions
Acetaminophen

Uses
This drug is used to treat mild to moderate pain (e.g., headaches, cold/flu aches and pains) and to reduce fever.
Notes
  • Acetaminophen does not cause the stomach and intestinal ulcers that NSAIDs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen may cause.
  • However, acetaminophen does not reduce swelling (inflammation) like the NSAIDs do.
  • Consult your doctor for more details and to see which medication might be right for you.

Storage
  • Store at room temperature between 68-77 degrees F (20-25 degrees C) away from light and moisture.
  • Do not store in the bathroom.
  • Keep all medicines away from children and pets.

Overdose
  • Symptoms of overdose may include: nausea, vomiting, increased sweating, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine, severe stomach/abdominal pain, extreme tiredness.

How To Use
  • Take this product by mouth as directed.
  • Follow all directions on the product package.
  • If you are uncertain about any of the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.For suspensions, shake the bottle well before each dose.
  • Measure the liquid medication with the provided dose-measuring spoon/dropper to make sure you have the correct dose.
  • Do not use a household spoon.For rapidly-dissolving tablets, chew or allow to dissolve on the tongue, then swallow with or without water.
  • For chewable tablets, chew thoroughly before swallowing.There are many brands and forms of acetaminophen available.
  • Read the dosing instructions carefully for each product because the amount of acetaminophen may be different between products.
  • Do not take more acetaminophen than recommended.
  • (See also Side Effects and Precautions sections.)Do not take this medication for fever for more than 3 days unless directed by your doctor.
  • For adults, do not take this product for pain for more than 10 days (5 days in children) unless directed by your doctor.
  • If the child has a sore throat (especially with high fever, headache, or nausea/vomiting), consult the doctor promptly.Pain medications work best if they are used as the first signs of pain occur.
  • If you wait until the symptoms have worsened, the medication may not work as well.Tell your doctor if your condition persists or worsens or if you develop new symptoms.
  • If you think you may have a serious medical problem, seek immediate medical attention.

Side Effects
  • Tell your doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: easy bruising/bleeding, new signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat).If you do not have liver problems, the maximum dose of acetaminophen for adults is 4 grams per day (4000 milligrams).
  • The maximum dose of acetaminophen for children is based on age/weight (check product package for details).
  • Taking more than the maximum daily amount may cause serious (possibly fatal) liver disease.
  • Tell your doctor immediately if you have any of the following symptoms of liver damage: persistent nausea/vomiting, yellowing eyes/skin, dark urine, stomach/abdominal pain, extreme tiredness.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare.
  • However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, trouble breathing.If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions
  • Before taking acetaminophen, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies.If you have any of the following health problems, consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this product: liver disease, regular use/abuse of alcohol.Acetaminophen may cause liver damage.
  • Daily use of alcohol may increase your risk for liver damage, especially when combined with acetaminophen.
  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.Liquid forms of this product may contain sugar.
  • Caution is advised if you have diabetes.
  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist about using this product safely.This children's form of this medicine may contain aspartame.
  • If you have phenylketonuria (PKU) or any other condition that requires you to restrict your intake of aspartame (or phenylalanine), consult your doctor or pharmacist about using this drug safely.Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before using this medication.Acetaminophen passes into breast milk.
  • Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

Missed Dose
  • If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember.
  • If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule.
  • Do not double the dose to catch up.

Drug Interactions
  • If you are taking this product under your doctor's direction, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them.
  • Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor or pharmacist first.Before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you use any of the following products: anti-seizure medications (e.g., phenytoin, carbamazepine, phenobarbital), "blood thinners" (e.g., warfarin), isoniazid, phenothiazines (e.g., chlorpromazine).Acetaminophen is an ingredient in many nonprescription products and in some combination prescription medications.
  • Read the labels carefully before taking other pain relievers, fever reducers, or cold products to see if they also contain acetaminophen.
  • Consult your pharmacist if you are uncertain whether your other prescription or nonprescription products contain acetaminophen.
  • (See also maximum daily dose information in Side Effects section.)This medication may interfere with certain medical/laboratory tests (including urine 5-HIAA), possibly causing false test results.
  • Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.

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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgement of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of a particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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