Skip to content

    Acetaminophen

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    Topic Overview

    Acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) reduces fever and relieves pain. It does not reduce swelling, as do nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin and ibuprofen, but it is less likely to cause stomach upset and other side effects.

    Be sure to follow the nonprescription medicine precautions.

    Dosage

    • Adults: The usual dose is 650 mg. Take every 4 hours, as needed, up to 4 times in a 24-hour period. Do not take more than 4,000 mg in a 24-hour period.
    • Children: Check with your child's doctor if your child is less than 2 years old or less than 24 pounds. Give acetaminophen every 4 hours as needed. Do not give more than 5 doses in a 24-hour period. Dosages are based on the child's weight. There are different acetaminophen products for infants and children.
      • Follow all instructions on the label. If you give medicine to your baby, follow your doctor's advice about what amount to give. Do not use acetaminophen if your child is allergic to it.
      • Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are different products with different dosing recommendations. Talk to your child's doctor before switching back and forth between doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. When you switch between two medicines, there is a chance your child will get too much medicine. Studies have not shown any added benefit from alternating these medicines.
      • Talk to your doctor before you give medicine to reduce a fever in a baby who is 3 months of age or younger. This is to make sure a young baby's fever is not a sign of a serious illness. The exception is if your baby has just had an immunization. Fevers sometimes occur as a reaction to immunizations. After immunizations, you can give your baby medicine to reduce a fever.

    Caution: Do not use this dose table with any other concentration of this medicine. Use only with the concentration of 160 mg in 5 mL. Check the label on your medicine to find the concentration.

    Acetaminophen dose (160 mg in 5 mL) for your child's weight
    Child's weight in pounds Child's weight in kilograms Dose in milligrams Dose in milliliters

    less than11.0

    less than 5.4

    Ask a doctor

    Ask a doctor

    12.0-17.0

    5.5-7.9

    80 mg

    2.5 mL or 1//2 teaspoon

    18.0-23.0

    8.0-10.9

    120 mg

    3.75 mL or 3/4 teaspoon

    24.0-35.0

    11.0-15.9

    160 mg

    5 mL or 1 teaspoon

    36.0-47.0

    16.0-21.9

    240 mg

    7.5 mL or 1 1/2 teaspoon

    48.0-59.0

    22.0-26.9

    320 mg

    10 mL or 2 teaspoons

    60.0-71.0

    27.0-31.9

    400 mg

    12.5 mL or 2 1/2 teaspoons

    72.0-95.0

    32.0-43.9

    480 mg

    15 mL or 3 teaspoons

    Side effects of acetaminophen are rare if it is taken in correct doses.

    1 | 2

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    Next Article:

    Hot Topics

    WebMD Video: Now Playing

    Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

    Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

    Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

    disciplining a boy
    Types, symptoms, causes.
    fruit drinks
    Eat these to think better.
    embarrassed woman
    Do you feel guilty after eating?
    diabetes supply kit
    Pack and prepare.
    Balding man in mirror
    Treatments & solutions.
    birth control pills
    Which kind is right for you?
    Remember your finger
    Are you getting more forgetful?
    acupuncture needle on shoulder
    10 tips to look and feel good.
    Close up of eye
    12 reasons you're distracted.
    woman biting a big ice cube
    Habits that wreck your teeth.
    pacemaker next to xray
    Treatment options.
    Pink badge on woman chest to support breat cancer
    Myths and facts.

    Women's Health Newsletter

    Find out what women really need.