What is the most important information I should know about acetaminophen?
An overdose of acetaminophen can damage your liver or cause death.
Call your doctor at once if you have upper stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, or jaundice (yellowing of your skin or eyes).
Stop taking this medicine and get medical help if you have skin redness or a blistering rash.
What is acetaminophen?
Acetaminophen is used to reduce fever and relieve minor pain caused by conditions such as colds or flu, headache, muscle aches, arthritis, and menstrual cramps.
Acetaminophen may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking acetaminophen?
You should not take acetaminophen if you are allergic to it, or if you take other medications that contain acetaminophen.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist if this medicine is safe to use if you've ever had cirrhosis of the liver, or if you drink alcohol daily.
Ask a doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
How should I take acetaminophen?
Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. An acetaminophen overdose can damage your liver or cause death.
Adults and teenagers at least 12 years old: Do not take more than 1000 milligrams (mg) at one time or more than 4000 mg in 24 hours.
Children younger than 12 years old: Do not take more than 5 doses of children's formula acetaminophen in 24 hours.
Do not give extra-strength acetaminophen to a child younger than 12 years old without medical advice.
A child's dose is based on age and weight. Carefully follow the dosing instructions provided with this medicine. Ask a doctor before giving this medicine to a child younger than 2 years.
Acetaminophen made for infants comes with its own medicine dropper or oral syringe. Measuring with the wrong device may cause an overdose. Use only the provided dosing device provided to measure an infant's dose.
Acetaminophen comes in many different forms such as capsules, liquid, chewable or disintegrating tablets, and dissolving powders or granules. Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you need help.
Stop taking acetaminophen and call your doctor if:
- you still have a sore throat after 2 days of use;
- you still have a fever after 3 days of use;
- you still have pain after 7 days of use (or 5 days if treating a child);
- you have a skin rash, ongoing headache, nausea, vomiting, redness or swelling; or
- your symptoms get worse, or if you have any new symptoms.
Taking acetaminophen may cause false results with certain blood glucose monitors. If you have diabetes, ask your doctor about the best way to monitor your blood sugar levels while using acetaminophen.
Store at room temperature away from heat and moisture.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Acetaminophen is used when needed. If you are on a dosing schedule, skip any missed dose. Do not use two doses at one time.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose can be fatal.
Overdose symptoms include vomiting, stomach pain, and yellowing of your skin or eyes.
What should I avoid while taking acetaminophen?
Avoid using other medicines that may contain acetaminophen.
What are the possible side effects of acetaminophen?
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
In rare cases, acetaminophen may cause a severe skin reaction that can be fatal, even if you took acetaminophen in the past and had no reaction. Stop taking this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have skin redness or a rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling.
Stop taking acetaminophen and call your doctor at once if you have signs of liver problems:
- stomach pain (upper right side);
- loss of appetite;
- tiredness, itching;
- dark urine, clay-colored stools; or
- jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Less serious side effects may be more likely, and you may have none at all.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect acetaminophen?
Other drugs may affect acetaminophen, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use.
Where can I get more information?
Your pharmacist can provide more information about acetaminophen.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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