Brand name: Panadol, Actamin, Anacin, Tylenol, Apra
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Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and fever reducer, and is used to treat mild to severe pain, muscle ache, backache, toothache, fever and arthritis. Acetaminophen belongs to a class of drugs called analgesics (pain relievers) and antipyretics or fever reducers. The exact mechanism of its working is still not clear but it may work by reducing the production of prostaglandins chemicals in the brain that cause inflammation or swelling. Acetaminophen works by eliminating the pain threshold and reduces fever by acting on the heat-regulating center of the patient’s brain, by making it lower the temperature when it is elevated.
The medication may be prescribed by the doctor for the purposes not mentioned here.
How to take it
The medication is available in multiple formulations. If you are giving Acetaminophen to a child, make sure you read the concentration of the medication on the bottle and the formulation your using is indicated for children. Measure the medication with the measuring spoon/dropper or syringe provided by the pharmacist with the product to ensure that correct amount of the medication is being given. Rapidly dissolving tablets should be allowed to be dissolved on the tongue. Chewable tablets should be chewed thoroughly before being swallowed.
Adults should not take more than 1000 mg at one time or 4000 mg of Acetaminophen in 24 hours. Always remember to check the labels of medication you are taking as some may contain acetaminophen. In children younger than 12 no more then 5 doses should be given in 24 hours.
Dosage will be prescribed as per your specific medical condition and adjusted by your doctor based on your response to the treatment.
It is very important to follow your doctor’s dosing instructions exactly. Read the instructions carefully on your prescription label and if available, patient information leaflet provided by your pharmacist with the medication.
What if I miss a dose?
To avoid the chances of missing a dose, take the medication at the same time each day. However, if you happen to miss a dose, skip the medication if it is almost time for the next dose. Do not overdose yourself to compensate for the missed dose, as taking extra medication without doctor’s advice can cause you severe side effects, and won’t treat you earlier or faster.
Precautions and side effects
Most of the people taking Acetaminophen do not have any serious side effects. Do not use Acetaminophen if you have severe liver disease. Call your doctor if you experience serious allergic reaction to the medication such as itching, rashes and swelling of the face, tongue or throat. Do not take more than the prescribed amount of the medication as its overdose can cause you liver damage or even death in some cases.
Disclaimer: The information and content posted on this website is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used as a replacement for medical advice. Always seek medical advice from a medical professional for diagnosis or treatment, including before embarking on and/or changing any prescription medication or for specific medical advice related to your medical history.