|Acetaminophen Acetaminophen

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Generic name: Acetaminophen
Brand names: Tylenol, Aspirin Free Anacin

Why is Acetaminophen prescribed?

Acetaminophen is a fever- and pain-reducing medication that is widely used to relieve simple headaches and muscle aches; the minor aches and pains associated with the common cold; backache; toothache; minor pain of arthritis; and menstrual cramps.

Most important fact about Acetaminophen

Do not use Acetaminophen to relieve pain for more than 10 days, or to reduce fever for more than 3 days unless your doctor has specifically told you to do so.

How should you take Acetaminophen?

Follow the dosing instructions on the label. Do not take more Acetaminophen than is recommended.

--If you miss a dose...

Take Acetaminophen only as needed.

--Storage instructions...

Store at room temperature. Protect extra strength gelcaps and geltabs from high humidity and excessive heat. Keep the extended relief caplets away from high heat.

What side effects may occur?

Acetaminophen is relatively free of side effects. Rarely, an allergic reaction may occur. If you develop any allergic symptoms such as rash, hives, swelling, or difficulty breathing, stop taking Acetaminophen immediately and notify your doctor.

Special warnings about Acetaminophen

Stop taking Acetaminophen and check with your doctor if you develop new symptoms, if redness or swelling are present, if pain gets worse or lasts more than 10 days, or if fever gets worse or lasts more than 3 days. Children"s and Junior Strength Acetaminophen should not be used for more than 5 days for pain, or 3 days for fever.

If you generally drink 3 or more alcoholic beverages per day, check with your doctor about using Acetaminophen and other acetaminophen-containing products, and never take more than the recommended dosage. There is a possibility of damage to the liver when large amounts of alcohol and acetaminophen are combined.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Acetaminophen

If Acetaminophen is taken with certain other drugs the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Acetaminophen with the following:

Cholestyramine (Questran)
Isoniazid (Nydrazid)
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Dolobid and Motrin
Oral Contraceptives
Phenytoin (Dilantin)
Warfarin (Coumadin)
Zidovudine (Retrovir)

Acetaminophen should not be used with other products containing acetaminophen.

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

As with all medications, ask your doctor or health care professional whether it is safe for you to use Acetaminophen while you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Recommended dosage


Acetaminophen Regular Strength

The usual dose is 2 tablets every 4 to 6 hours. Do not take more than 12 caplets or tablets in 24 hours.

Acetaminophen Extra Strength

The usual dose is 2 pills or tablespoonfuls every 4 to 6 hours. Do not take more than 8 pills or tablespoonfuls in 24 hours.

Acetaminophen Extended Relief

The usual dose is 2 caplets every 8 hours, not to exceed 6 caplets in any 24 hour period. Swallow each caplet whole. Do not crush, chew, or dissolve the caplets.


Acetaminophen Regular Strength

One-half to 1 tablet every 4 to 6 hours. Children in this age group should not be given more than 5 doses in 24 hours.

Junior Strength Acetaminophen

All doses of Junior Strength Acetaminophen chewable tablets may be repeated every 4 hours, up to 5 times a day. The usual dose for children 6 to 8 years of age is 2 tablets; 9 to 10 years, 2-1/2 tablets; 11 years, 3 tablets; 12 years, 4 tablets

Children"s Acetaminophen

All doses of Children"s Acetaminophen may be repeated every 4 hours, but not more than 5 times daily. Chewable tablets: The usual dose for children 6 to 8 years of age is 4 tablets; 9 to 10 years, 5 tablets; 11 to 12 years, 6 tablets. Suspension liquid: (A special cup for measuring dosage is provided.) The usual dose for children 6 to 8 years of age is 2 teaspoons; 9 to 10 years, 2-1/2 teaspoons; 11 to 12 years, 3 teaspoons.


Children"s Acetaminophen

All doses of Children"s Acetaminophen may be repeated every 4 hours, but not more than 5 times daily. Children under 2 years old should be given Children"s Acetaminophen only on the advice of a physician. Chewable tablets: The usual dose for children 2 to 3 years of age is 2 tablets; 4 to 5 years, 3 tablets. Suspension liquid: (A special cup for measuring dosage is provided.) The usual dose for children 4 to 11 months of age is 1/2 teaspoon; 12 to 23 months, 3/4 teaspoon; 2 to 3 years, 1 teaspoon; 4 to 5 years, 1-1/2 teaspoons.

Infants" Acetaminophen Concentrated Drops

The usual dose for children 0 to 3 months of age is 0.4 milliliter; 4 to 11 months, 0.8 milliliter; 12 to 23 months, 1.2 milliliters; 2 to 3 years, 1.6 milliliters.


Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. Massive doses of Acetaminophen may cause liver damage.

  • Symptoms of Acetaminophen overdose may include:
    Excessive perspiration, exhaustion, general discomfort, nausea, vomiting

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