Acetaminophen (By mouth)

Introduction

Acetaminophen (a-seet-a-MIN-oh-fen)

Treats minor aches and pain and reduces fever.

Brand Name(s)

Tylenol, Tylenol Children's, Tylenol Extra Strength, Tylenol Arthritis, Quality Choice Non-Aspirin, TopCare Pain Relief, Good Neighbor Pharmacy Pain Relief, Rite Aid Acetaminophen, APAP Arthritis, Mapap, The Medicine Shoppe Pain Reliever, Leader Pain Reliever, Non-Aspirin Children's, Apra, Silapap Children's

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to acetaminophen.

How to Use This Medicine

Capsule, Liquid Filled Capsule, Liquid, Powder, Tablet, Chewable Tablet, Dissolving Tablet, Fizzy Tablet, Long Acting Tablet

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to use and how often. Do not use more medicine or use it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • Carefully check the labels of all other medicines you are using, because they may also contain acetaminophen. It is not safe to use more than 4 grams (4,000 milligrams) of acetaminophen in 1 day (24 hours). For Tylenol® Extra Strength, it is not safe to use more than 3 grams (3,000 milligrams) in 1 day. Large doses of acetaminophen can damage your liver.
  • If you are taking this medicine without the advice of your doctor, carefully read and follow the Drug Facts label and dosing instructions on the medicine package. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure how to use this medicine.
  • Do not take this medicine longer than 10 days in a row, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
  • The chewable tablet should be chewed or crushed before you swallow it.
  • Oral liquid (with syringe):
    • Shake the bottle well before each use.
    • Measure the dose with the provided oral syringe (such as AccuSafe?) that comes with the package. Do not use any other syringe, dropper, spoon, or dosing device.
    • Remove the cap. Attach the syringe to the flow restrictor. Turn the bottle upside down.
    • Pull back the syringe plunger until it is filled with the correct dose.
    • Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure how much medicine to use.
    • Slowly give the medicine into your child's mouth. Point the syringe so the medicine goes towards the inner cheek.
  • Oral liquid (with dropper):
    • Shake the bottle well before each use.
    • Measure the dose with the provided oral dropper that comes with the package. Do not use any other syringe, dropper, spoon, or dosing device.
    • Remove the cap. Insert the dropper into the bottle. Withdraw the correct dose.
    • Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure how much medicine to use.
    • Slowly give the medicine into your child's mouth. Point the dropper so the medicine goes towards the inner cheek.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.Use only the measuring tool that came with the liquid medicine. Do not use a spoon, syringe, or cup that came with a different bottle.
  • Swallow the extended-release tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it.
  • Drink a full glass of water when taking this medicine.
  • Use only the brand of this medicine that your doctor prescribed. Different brands may not work the same way.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to use your medicine, use it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to use the medicine and skip the missed dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
  • Keep all medicine away from children and never share your medicine with anyone.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are using a blood thinner, such as warfarin or Coumadin®.
  • Talk to your doctor before you take more than one medicine that contains acetaminophen. You might take too much acetaminophen and cause serious liver damage. Many combination medicines contain acetaminophen, including products with brand names such as Alka-Seltzer Plus®, Comtrex®, Drixoral®, Excedrin Migraine®, Midol®, Sinutab®, Sudafed®, Theraflu®, and Vanquish®.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine. Both acetaminophen and alcohol can damage your liver. If you regularly drink 3 or more alcoholic drinks every day, do not take acetaminophen without asking your doctor first.

Warnings While Using This Medicine

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease or liver disease.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse, call your doctor. Stop using the medicine and call your doctor right away if you have a fever that lasts longer than 3 to 5 days, a sore throat that lasts longer than 3 days, or pain that last longer than 5 to 10 days. Also call your doctor if you start to have new symptoms, or if you also have a rash, nausea, vomiting, redness, or swelling. These maybe symptoms of a serious condition that needs to be treated with a different medicine.
  • Check with your doctor right away if you have stomach pain, pale stools, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, or yellow eyes or skin. These could be symptoms of a serious liver problem.
  • Tell your doctor if you have phenylketonuria (PKU). Some brands of acetaminophen contain aspartame, which can make this condition worse.
  • Make sure any doctor or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect the results of certain medical tests.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Bloody or black, tarry stools
  • Dark-colored urine or pale stools
  • Lightheadedness, fainting, sweating, or weakness
  • Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, or severe stomach pain
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Vomiting blood or material that looks like coffee grounds
  • Yellow skin or eyes

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Version Info

  • Last Reviewed on 06/12/2013

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This page was last updated: June 18, 2013

         
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