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Acetaminophen (Tylenol) Poisoning

Acetaminophen (Tylenol) Poisoning Symptoms

Soon after taking an overdose of acetaminophen, you may have no symptoms from taking a toxic amount. You may remain symptom-free for up to 24 hours after taking a toxic overdose of acetaminophen.

After this initial period, the following symptoms are common:

When to Seek Medical Care

You must call a doctor, a poison control center, or emergency medical services for any suspected acetaminophen overdose.

Overall it is important that anyone suspected to have taken an overdose of acetaminophen get treatment early, before symptoms occur. Starting treatment early can greatly improve the outcome.

Seek emergency medical care at a hospital's emergency department in the following situations:

If the person suspected to have taken an overdose of acetaminophen is unconscious, semiconscious, or not breathing, call 911 immediately.

Go to the hospital's emergency department if the poison control center tells you to go.

Seek emergency care if you are unsure of the types and amounts of medication taken.

If a child took acetaminophen without adult supervision and may have taken an overdose, seek immediate medical attention.

Exams and Tests

Your doctor will diagnose acetaminophen overdose with the following methods:

  • History. The doctor will attempt to determine the time and amount of acetaminophen taken. Having access to all medication bottles that the person may have taken will help the doctor to determine the maximum amount taken.
  • Physical. The doctor will look for signs and symptoms of acetaminophen poisoning. These may include jaundice (yellow skin), abdominal pain, vomiting, and other signs and symptoms.
  • Laboratory tests. A blood level of acetaminophen will aid in determining if a toxic dose was taken. The doctor may order more than one blood level of acetaminophen and test for other drugs taken. In addition, the doctor may order other blood and urine tests as needed.

Acetaminophen (Tylenol) Poisoning Treatment

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