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Acetaminophen (N-Acetyl-p-Aminophenol; APAP)

A to Z Drug Facts

Acetaminophen (N-Acetyl-p-Aminophenol; APAP)

Lab Test Interferences
Adverse Reactions
PrecautionsPatient Care Considerations
Patient/Family Education

(ass-cet-ah-MEE-noe-fen)Acephen, Apacet, Arthritis Pain Formula Aspirin Free, Aspirin Free Anacin Maximum Strength, Bansesin, Children's Dynafed Jr., Children's Feverall, Children's Mapap, Children's Silapap, Children's Tylenol, Dapa, Datril Extra-Strength, Dolanex, Extra Strength Dynafed E.X., Feverall Sprinkle Caps, Genapap Extra Strength, Genebs, Halenol, Infants' Silapap, Junior Strength Panadol, Liquiprin, Mapap Extra Strength, Mapap Infant Drops, Mapap Regular Strength, Maranox Meda Cap, Myapap, Oraphen-PD, Panadol, Panex, Phenaphen, Redutemp, Ridenol, Snaplets-FR, Tapanol Extra Strength, Tempra, Tylenol, Tyenol Extended Relief, Tylenol Extra Strength Geltabs, Tylenol Infants' Drops, Tylenol Junior Strength, Uni-Ace,  Abenol, A.F. Anacin, Apo-Acetaminophen, Atasol, Children's Acetaminophen, Children's Chewable Acetaminophen, Extra Strength Acetaminophen, Pediatrix, PMS-Acetaminophen, Regular Strength Acetaminophen, Tempra, 222AF, TylenolClass: Analgesic/antipyretic

 Action Inhibits prostaglandins in CNS but lacks anti-inflammatory effects in periphery; reduces fever through direct action on hypothalamic heat-regulating center.

 Indications Relief of mild-to-moderate pain; treatment of fever. Unlabeled use(s): Pain and fever prophylaxis after vaccination.

 Contraindications Standard considerations.



ADULTS: PO 325 to 650 mg prn q 4 to 6 hr or 1 g 3 to 4 times/day. Do not exceed 4 g/day. CHILDREN: PO 10 to 15 mg/kg dose prn q 4 to 6 hr; do not exceed 5 doses/24 hr.


ADULTS: PR 650 mg q 4 to 6 hr; do not exceed 6 suppositories/24 hr. CHILDREN: 3–6 YR: PR 120 mg q 4 to 6 hr; do not exceed 720 mg/24 hr. CHILDREN: 6–12 YR: PR 325 mg q 4 to 6 hr; do not exceed 2.6 g/24 hr.


Ethanol: Chronic excessive use may increase risk of hepatotoxicity. Hydantoins, sulfinpyrazone: May decrease therapeutic effect of APAP; concomitant long-term use may increase risk of hepatotoxicity.

 Lab Test Interferences With Chemstrip, bG Dextrostix, Visidex II home blood glucose measurement systems, drug may cause > 20% decrease in mean glucose.

 Adverse Reactions

HEMA: Hemolytic anemia; neutropenia; leukopenia; pancytopenia; thrombocytopenia. HEPA: Jaundice. OTHER: Hypoglycemia; allergic skin eruptions or fever.


Pregnancy: Category B. Lactation: Excreted in breast milk. Hepatic impairment: Chronic alcoholics should not exceed 2 g/day. Persistent pain or fever: May indicate serious illness. Physician should be consulted.




  • Administer with water 30 min before or 2 hr after meals.
  • Store tablets and capsules at room temperature in tightly closed container. Refrigerate suppositories. Refrigeration of elixir improves palatability.


  • Obtain patient history, including drug history and any known allergies.
  • Assess for pain and fever before and 1 to 2 hr after administration.
  • Assess serum glucose and liver enzyme levels before long-term therapy.

OVERDOSAGE: SIGNS & SYMPTOMS Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, anorexia, malaise, diaphoresis, confusion, low BP, cardiac arrhythmias, jaundice, acute renal failure, liver failure

 Patient/Family Education

  • Instruct family to consult physician for use in children < 3 yr and, not to continue taking drug > 5 days unless advised by physician.
  • Instruct adult patients not to continue taking drug > 10 days for pain or 3 days for fever.
  • Instruct patient/family to contact physician if pain or fever (> 103°F) persists > 3 days.
  • Advise diabetic patients to use sugar-free form of drug.

Copyright © 2003 Facts and Comparisons
David S. Tatro
A to Z Drug Facts



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