Acetaminophen

Acetaminophen

Acetaminophen is an OTC pain reliever that reduces fever and eases pain from many conditions, such as headaches, muscle aches, OA, periods, and backaches. Learn what acetaminophen may do for you, when to take it, and what its risks are.

Conditions: Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Migraine, Back Pain, Neck Pain, Fibromyalgia, Undiagnosed

Symptoms: Fever, abdominal pain, aching, back pain, burning, cramps, headache, joint pain, joint tenderness, muscle pain, pain, all over pain, ankle pain, arm pain, buttock pain, chest pain, elbow pain, finger pain, hand pain, hip pain, jaw pain, knee pain, leg pain, lower back pain, neck pain, face pain, foot pain, shoulder pain, thigh pain, upper back pain, wrist pain, stiff joint

Triggers:

Treatments: Tylenol, Panadol, acetaminophen, Mapap, Aminofen

Categories: Meds

Duration

7

Acetaminophen Uses

Common brands of acetaminophen include Aminofen, Mapap, Panadol, and Tylenol. Many people use it to ease mild to moderate pain. It elevates your pain threshold; that is, pain must be more intense before you feel it. Doctors sometimes advise acetaminophen over aspirin or another NSAID as a pain and fever reducer for people who have a history of gastric ulcers or other gastrointestinal bleeding, people who take blood thinners, and those at high risk for heart disease or stroke. The following conditions also make acetominophen a safer over-the-counter medication:

*Renal disease

*Uncontrolled hypertension

Prompt: Use acetaminophen?

CTA: When to use this pain reliever.

Conditions: Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Migraine, Back Pain, Neck Pain, Fibromyalgia, Undiagnosed

Symptoms: Fever, abdominal pain, aching, back pain, burning, cramps, headache, joint pain, joint tenderness, muscle pain, pain, all over pain, ankle pain, arm pain, buttock pain, chest pain, elbow pain, finger pain, hand pain, hip pain, jaw pain, knee pain, leg pain, lower back pain, neck pain, face pain, foot pain, shoulder pain, thigh pain, upper back pain, wrist pain, stiff joint

Triggers:

Treatments: Tylenol, acetaminophen, Panadol, Mapap, Aminofen

Categories: Meds

Acetaminophen Prep

If you take acetaminophen regularly, make sure to tell your doctor about all the meds you take. He may want to change the dose or check you for side effects if you take certain other medications, including:

* Blood thinners, such as Coumadin (warfarin); Coumadin levels may increase with daily moderate dose acetominophen.

 * Seizure meds, including Tegretol (carbamazepine), phenobarbital, and Dilantin (phenytoin)

* Other meds for pain, as they may also have acetaminophen as an ingredient

* Meds for fever, coughs, or colds

* Phenothiazines, sometimes taken  for mental illness or nausea

Prompt: Safe, not sorry.

CTA: Tell doc about all meds you take.

Conditions: Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Migraine, Back Pain, Neck Pain, Fibromyalgia, Undiagnosed

Symptoms: Fever, abdominal pain, aching, back pain, burning, cramps, headache, joint pain, joint tenderness, muscle pain, pain, all over pain, ankle pain, arm pain, buttock pain, chest pain, elbow pain, finger pain, hand pain, hip pain, jaw pain, knee pain, leg pain, lower back pain, neck pain, face pain, foot pain, shoulder pain, thigh pain, upper back pain, wrist pain, stiff joint

Triggers:

Treatments: Tylenol, acetaminophen, Panadol, Mapap, Aminofen

Categories: Meds

Acetaminophen OD

Common adult acetaminophen doses are 325, 500, or 650 mg. The maximum advised dose for adults is 4,000 mg a day. Many experts say to reduce that to 2,000 mg a day if you have liver problems or have 3 or more alcoholic drinks a day.

Add the mg. of acetaminophen in other meds you take toward your max. It's often in cold, flu, and allergy meds. Read labels carefully.

Get medical help ASAP if you or someone you know shows signs of toxicity: nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, belly pain, or sweating.

Prompt: Don't accidently OD.

CTA: Even OTC meds can hurt you.

Conditions: Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Migraine, Back Pain, Neck Pain, Fibromyalgia, Undiagnosed

Symptoms: Fever, abdominal pain, aching, back pain, burning, cramps, headache, joint pain, joint tenderness, muscle pain, pain, all over pain, ankle pain, arm pain, buttock pain, chest pain, elbow pain, finger pain, hand pain, hip pain, jaw pain, knee pain, leg pain, lower back pain, neck pain, face pain, foot pain, shoulder pain, thigh pain, upper back pain, wrist pain, stiff joint

Triggers:

Treatments: Tylenol, acetaminophen, Panadol, Mapap, Aminofen

Categories: Meds

Acetaminophen Risks

Side effects can occur even when using acetaminophen correctly, especially if you take it every day. Stop taking it, and get medical attention immediately if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction:

* Rash, hives, or itching

* Swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs

* Hoarseness or difficulty breathing or swallowing

Prompt: Heed stop signs.

CTA: Learn to ID serious side effects.

Conditions: Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Migraine, Back Pain, Neck Pain, Fibromyalgia, Undiagnosed

Symptoms: Fever, abdominal pain, aching, back pain, burning, cramps, headache, joint pain, joint tenderness, muscle pain, pain, all over pain, ankle pain, arm pain, buttock pain, chest pain, elbow pain, finger pain, hand pain, hip pain, jaw pain, knee pain, leg pain, lower back pain, neck pain, face pain, foot pain, shoulder pain, thigh pain, upper back pain, wrist pain, stiff joint

Triggers:

Treatments: Tylenol, acetaminophen, Panadol, Mapap, Aminofen

Categories: Meds

Track Acetaminophen

Each time you take acetaminophen, track it, and the dose, in your Journal. Logging regularly helps you:

* Review with your doctor to make sure you're not taking too much and that you're not getting if from another med without knowing it.  

* Track acetaminophen use against your tracked pain levels to see if it is managing pain as well as you expected.

If you plan on using acetaminophen more than 10 days, talk with your doctor.

Prompt: Log acetaminophen.

CTA: Add OTCs to Journal.

Conditions: Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Migraine, Back Pain, Neck Pain, Fibromyalgia, Undiagnosed

Symptoms: Fever, abdominal pain, aching, back pain, burning, cramps, headache, joint pain, joint tenderness, muscle pain, pain, all over pain, ankle pain, arm pain, buttock pain, chest pain, elbow pain, finger pain, hand pain, hip pain, jaw pain, knee pain, leg pain, lower back pain, neck pain, face pain, foot pain, shoulder pain, thigh pain, upper back pain, wrist pain, stiff joint

Triggers:

Treatments: Tylenol, acetaminophen, Panadol, Mapap, Aminofen

Categories: Meds

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Sabrina Felson, MD on May 22, 2019

Sources

SOURCES:

Pubmed Health: "Acetaminophen."

Magnum: "Drug Profiles: Acetaminophen or Tylenol."

Headache, March 2006.

FDA: "Acetaminophen and Liver Injury: Q&A for Consumers" and "A Guide to Safe Use of Pain Medicine."

Family Doctor: "Pain Relievers: Understanding Your OTC Options."

UpToDate.

© 2019 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.