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What is acetaminophen?

Acetaminophen is a potent and widely used pain reliever and fever reducer that is commonly used to alleviate mild to moderate pain, moderate to severe pain in combination with opiates, or to reduce fever. It is a drug that is frequently used to treat a variety of ailments, such as headaches, muscle aches, arthritis, backaches, toothaches, sore throats, colds, flu, and fevers. It is also found in many over-the-counter and prescription combination drugs, including Actifed, Alka-Seltzer Plus Liquid Gels, Cepacol, Contac, Coridicin, Dayquil, Dimetapp, Dristan, Excedrin, Feverall, Liquiprin, Midol, Nyquil, Panadol, Robitussin Singlet, Sinutab, Sudafed, Theraflu, Triaminic, Vanquish, Vicks, and Zicam.

Acetaminophen can be given orally or intravenously, and it is critical to follow the label’s directions when taking it to avoid an overdose, which can damage the liver or result in death. Adults and teenagers who weigh at least 110 pounds should not take more than 1000 milligrams at one time or more than 4000 mg in 24 hours. Children under 12 years old should not take more than five doses in 24 hours, and only the recommended milligrams per dose for the child’s weight and age should be used.

It is critical to avoid using other medications that contain acetaminophen, as an overdose can be fatal. If you experience any symptoms such as nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of your skin or eyes), you should seek medical attention immediately. It is also necessary to stop taking this medication and contact your doctor right away if you have a skin rash or redness that spreads, causes blistering, or peeling.

If you have cirrhosis of the liver, drink alcohol regularly, or are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is critical to seek medical advice before using acetaminophen. The drug comes in various forms such as capsules, liquid, chewable or disintegrating tablets, and dissolving powders or granules, each with their own Instructions for Use that must be followed carefully. Acetaminophen made for infants comes with its own medicine dropper or oral syringe, and measuring with the wrong device may cause an overdose, making it necessary to use only the provided dosing device. The chewable tablet must be chewed thoroughly before swallowing it, and the disintegrating tablet should be placed on the tongue to dissolve without being swallowed whole. The effervescent granules should be dissolved in water, and the resulting mixture should be consumed entirely.

In conclusion, acetaminophen is a powerful drug that should be taken with caution and as directed to avoid an overdose, which can be fatal. It is used to treat a wide range of ailments, and it is available in various forms, each with its own set of directions. It is critical to seek medical advice before using acetaminophen if you have any medical conditions or are pregnant or breastfeeding.

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