Acetaminophen Overview

What is Acetaminophen?

Acetaminophen is a medicine used to relieve pain and reduce fever. Although acetaminophen does not relieve the redness, stiffness, or swelling caused by rheumatoid arthritis, it may relieve the pain caused by mild forms of arthritis. Acetaminophen is available without a prescription. There are special instructions on how you can take the formulation so as not to affect your health in a negative manner.

Acetaminophen can be taken orally in the form of capsules, granules, liquids, powders, suspension (drops or liquid), and chewable and non-chewable tablets.

Store-BrandAcetaminophen Recalled by Perrigo Company

On November 9, 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration¬†(FDA) alerted the public to a voluntary recall by Perrigo Company (Allegan, Michigan) of 383 lots of acetaminophen 500 mg caplets manufactured and distributed under various store-brands. The formulation has a considerable amount of metal fragments that would be dangerous to one’s health.

As of the time of the recall, no illnesses, injuries, or consumer complaints had been reported. The affected consumers should immediately contact their healthcare providers if they suspect to be affected by the negative effects. The FDA is investigating the presence of the metal particles in the caplets.

For more information about this recall, visit the following pages:

Acetaminophen and Liver Risk

In recent years, studies have shown that taking acetaminophen in large amounts can lead to serious liver damage. The FDA has warned consumers that over-the-counter pain relievers should be taken with care, in order to avoid the serious liver problems that can occur with misuse.

Signs of liver disease include abnormally yellow skin and eyes (jaundice), dark urine, light-colored stools, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. One should be vigilant in knowing the symptoms and signs for having been affected by this formula. Indications of seriously harmful effects have been found by studies.

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. The products that contain this formulation should only be taken in modulation. Alcoholic intake is further discouraged with this formula. The FDA also proposed that the ingredient acetaminophen be prominently identified on the product display panel on the immediate container, and on the outer carton (if applicable).

What Should I Know Before Using Acetaminophen?

If you are taking acetaminophen without a prescription, carefully read and follow any precautions on the label. Consider the following when taking acetaminophen:

  • Birth defects might occur when there is acetaminophen in the woman’s body in a considerable amount.
  • This formula is also dangerous to babies because the metabolism of babies may not be able to handle the rough formulation.
  • Acetaminophen used by children has not been shown to cause different side effects or problems than those found in adults. However, some children’s acetaminophen products also contain aspartame, which may pose a danger for children with phenylketonuria.
  • Medical test results can be altered by the presence of this formulation.

Acetaminophen Side Effects

The side effects of acetaminophen can indeed be really serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, contact your healthcare professional immediately:

  • Rash
  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • Hoarseness
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing

Food and Drug Interactions with Acetaminophen

You are obligated by law to disclose to the medical professionals the information that could possibly be instrumental in rendering the medicine to your physical body.

If you plan to take more than the occasional one or two doses of acetaminophen, do not drink alcoholic beverages. If you keep on having alcoholic beverages, your chances of getting the harmful effects might even worsen.

Taking certain other medicines together with acetaminophen may increase the chance of unwanted effects. Do not take any of the following medicines together with acetaminophen for more than a few days unless your director has directed you to do so and is following your progress:

  • Diclofenac (e.g., Voltaren)
  • Diflunisal (e.g., Dolobid)
  • Tenoxicam (e.g., Apo-Tenoxicam)
  • Tiaprofenicacid (e.g., Surgam)

Acetaminophen – Getting Legal Help

While all medications have certain anticipated side effects, a drug manufacturer has a duty to make its products as reasonably safe as possible and to inform the medical community and the public of known risks associated with its drugs. There will be product liability if the injury sustained by a person is brought by the bad effects of a product.

If you or a loved one have experienced any dangerous symptoms or unusual medical conditions while using acetaminophen, you should first contact your doctor or other healthcare professional. With all your preparation and readiness in facing this fact, it is best to consult with an experienced lawyer to make sure you will be helped.


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