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Drug Detailed Description (Generic name) - Acetaminophen



Acetaminophen possesses analgesic and antipyretic activitieswith few anti-inflammatory effects. It has the same effectiveness as aspirin in in-hibiting brain prostaglandin synthetase but very little activity as a peripheralprostaglandin inhibitor. This difference from aspirin and other NSAIDs might ex-plain its relative lack of effectiveness as an anti-inflammatory, antirheumaticagent. Acetaminophen does not inhibit normal platelet action, prothrombin activ-ity, or adversely affect GI mucosal health.

Administration and Adult Dosage

PO for pain or fever (non-SR) 325–1000 mg q 4–6 hr, to a maximum of 4 g/day; (SR Tab) 1300 mg q 8 hr. PR for pain orfever 650 mg q 4–6 hr, to a maximum of 4 g/day.

Special Populations

Pediatric Dosage

PO for pain or fever 10–15 mg/kg q 4–8 hr, may repeat dose q 4 hr, not to exceed 5 doses per day; or (up to 3 months)40 mg/dose, (4–11 months) 80 mg/dose, (12–23 months) 120 mg/dose, (2–3 yr)160 mg/dose, (4–5 yr) 240 mg/dose, (6–8 yr) 320 mg/dose, (9–10 yr)400 mg/dose, (11 yr) 480 mg/dose, (12–14 yr) 640 mg/dose, (>14 yr) 650 mg/dose.PR for pain or fever (3–11 months) 80 mg q 6 hr, (1–3 yr) 80 mg q 4 hr, (3–6 yr) 120 to 125 mg q 4–6 hr, to a maximum of 720 mg/day; (6–12 yr) 325 mg q 4–6 hr, to a maximum of 2.6 g/day; (>12 yr) same as adult dosage.

Geriatric Dosage

Same as adult dosage.

Dosage Forms

Cap 325, 500 mg; Gelcap 500 mg; Chew Tab 80, 160 mg; SR Tab 650 mg; Tab 160, 325, 500, 650 mg; Drp 48, 100 mg/mL; Elxr 16, 24, 26,32, 65 mg/mL; Syrup 32 mg/mL; Supp 80, 120, 125, 300, 325, 650 mg.

Patient Instructions

Do not exceed the maximum recommended daily dosage of 4 g (2 g in alcoholics). Report unresponsive fever or continued pain persisting formore than 3–5 days to your physician. Do not use with other anti-inflammatoryagents unless directed by your physician. Missed Doses. If you take this drug on a regular schedule, take a missed dose assoon as you remember. If it is about time for the next dose, take that dose only; donot double the dose or take extra.


Serum Levels. (Analgesia, antipyresis) 10–20 mg/L (66–132 µmol/L). Serum concentrations >300 mg/L (2 mmol/L) at 4 hr or 45 mg/L(300 µmol/L) at 12 hr after acute overdosage are associated with severe hepaticdamage, whereas toxicity is unlikely if levels are <120 mg/L (800 µmol/L) at 4 hror 30 mg/L (200 µmol/L) at 12 hr.can be managed by the administration of 140 mg/kg acetylcysteine diluted 1:3 in a soft drink or plain water; follow with 70 mg/kg q 4 hr for 17 doses. If administered within 8–16 hr of ingestion, this therapy has been shown to minimize the expected hepatotoxicity, but treatment is still indicated as late as 24 hr after ingestion, with some data showing effectiveness up to 36 hr postingestion. For the short-term treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee, acetaminophen 2.6 and 4 g/day are comparable to naproxen 750 mg/day and ibuprofen 1.2–2.4 g/day, respectively.

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