Acetaminophen FAQ

What is acetaminophen?

This is a medicine that is often used in relieving fever and pains. Although acetaminophen is available without a prescription, your health care professional may provide special instructions on proper acetaminophen dosage for your particular medical condition.

Has there been any recent news about acetaminophen?

On December 19, 2006, the FDA proposed to amend the labeling regulations on over-the-counter pain relievers, to include important safety information about the potential for stomach bleeding and liver damage. Warnings have been released by the FDA as this drug creates the bigger chance of having damaged liver.

On November 9, 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) alerted the public to a recall of 383 lots of acetaminophen 500 mg caplets manufactured and distributed under various store-brands. Small metal fragments have been found in a small number of these caplets affecting approximately 11 million bottles with varying quantities of acetaminophen 500 mg caplets. The recall has been proposed by different companies that have been negatively affected by the fact that there are negative aspects caused by this drug.

What should I know before taking acetaminophen?

If there are precautions on the label, these precautions should always be followed. This is to ensure that the patients are informed of the effects of the medicine. Because some children’s acetaminophen products contain aspartame, they may pose a danger to children with phenylketonuria. Also, acetaminophen may interfere with medical test results. If you are undergoing any treatment, it is your obligation to let the person treating you know if you have taken acetaminophen in the past few days. If you are unable to tell such fact, the person treating you would be relieved from the liability.

What should I tell my healthcare professional before using acetaminophen?

Tell your health care professional if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reactions to acetaminophen or aspirin, or to any other substances (foods, preservatives, or dyes); if you have any medical problems, especially alcohol abuse, kidney disease (severe), hepatitis or other liver disease, or phenylketonuria; if you are taking acetaminophen to relieve pain, including arthritis pain, and the pain lasts for more than 10 days for adults (or 5 days for children); if you are taking acetaminophen to reduce fever, and the fever lasts for more than 3 days or returns; or if you are taking acetaminophen to treat a sore throat, and the sore throat is very painful, lasts for more than 2 days, or occurs together with or is followed by fever, headache, skin rash, nausea, or vomiting. These could be signs of a serious condition that needs treatment.

What are the side effects associated with acetaminophen?

If the symptoms are present, you should always make sure that your health provider is able to have knowledge of such fact.

Does acetaminophen interact with any food or drugs?

To avoid any unwanted effects, tell your healthcare professional about any prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you take or plan to take. You should not drink alcoholic beverages if you are planning on taking this medicine because it has derimental reactions to such. Doing so may increase the chance of liver damage, especially if you drink large amounts of alcoholic beverages regularly, if you take more acetaminophen that recommended on the package label, or if you take it regularly for a longer period of time.

What should I do if I think I have been injured as a result of using Acetaminophen?

Having the unusual symptoms means that you should begin to contact your doctor and ask for proper remedies in order to prevent further damage. You may also wish to meet with an experienced attorney to discuss your options and to protect your right to a legal remedy for any injuries caused by acetaminophen use.

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