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Acetaminophen (By mouth)

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

Treats minor aches and pain and reduces fever.

Brand Name(s):

8 Hour Pain Relief, APAP Arthritis, AcetaDrink, Acetaminophen Children's, Acetaminophen Infant, All-Purpose First Aid Kit, Arthritis Pain Formula, Arthritis Pain Relief, Cetafen, Cetafen Extra, Children's Acetaminophen, Children's Mapap, Children's Nortemp, Children's Pain & Fever, Children's Pain Relief

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. Do not use it if you 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

  • Take your medicine as directed.
  • 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 for more than 10 days in a row, unless directed by your doctor.
  • The chewable tablet should be chewed or crushed before you swallow it.
  • Oral liquids: Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup. Do not use a spoon, syringe, or cup that came with a different medicine.
  • Oral liquid (with syringe):
    • Shake the bottle well before each use.
    • 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 toward the inner cheek.
  • Oral liquid (with dropper):
    • Shake the bottle well before each use.
    • 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 toward the inner cheek.
  • Extended-release tablet: Swallow the extended-release tablet whole. Do not crush, break, or chew it. Take this medicine with a full glass of water.
  • Use only the brand of medicine your doctor prescribed. Other brands may not work the same way.
  • Missed dose: Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

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

  • Some medicines and foods can affect how acetaminophen works. Tell your doctor if you are taking a blood thinner, such as warfarin.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine. Acetaminophen can damage your liver, and alcohol can increase this risk. Do not take acetaminophen without asking your doctor if you have 3 or more drinks of alcohol every day.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney or liver disease. Tell your doctor if you have phenylketonuria (PKU). Some brands of acetaminophen contain aspartame, which can make PKU worse.
  • This medicine contains acetaminophen. Read the labels of all other medicines you are using to see if they also contain acetaminophen, or ask your doctor or pharmacist. Do not use more than 4 grams (4,000 milligrams) total of acetaminophen in one day. For Tylenol® Extra Strength, it is not safe to take more than 3 grams (3,000 milligrams) in 1 day.
  • Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse.
  • Tell any doctor or dentist who treats you that you are using this medicine. This medicine may affect certain medical test results.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.

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 urine or pale stools, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, severe stomach pain, yellow skin or eyes
  • Fever or a sore throat that lasts longer than 3 days, or pain that lasts longer than 5 days
  • Lightheadedness, fainting, sweating, or weakness
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Vomiting blood or material that looks like coffee grounds

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


Last Updated: 11/4/2014
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