acetaminophen, Tylenol and Others (cont.)
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:
SIDE EFFECTS: When used appropriately, side effects with acetaminophen are not common. The most serious side effect is liver damage due to large doses, chronic use or concomitant use with alcohol or other drugs that also damage the liver.
Chronic alcohol use may also increase the risk of stomach bleeding.
Other important side effects include:
WARNING: Acetaminophen can cause liver failure which can lead to liver transplant and possibly death. Liver toxicity is more commonly due to high amounts of acetaminophen dose, especially when there is more than one product containing acetaminophen.
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes.
PREPARATIONS: Solution/suspension: 160 mg/5 ml; Liquid: 500 mg/ml; Chewable tablets: 80, 160 mg; Tablet (disintegrating): 80, 160 mg; Caplets: 325, 500, 650 mg; Caplet (extended release): 650 mg; Gelcaps: 500 mg; Geltabs: 500 mg
STORAGE: Tablets and solutions should be stored at room temperature 15 C to 30 C (59 F to 86 F). Suppositories should be refrigerated below 27 C (80 F).
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Acetaminophen is metabolized (eliminated by conversion to other chemicals) by the liver. Therefore drugs that increase the action of liver enzymes that metabolize acetaminophen, for example, carbamazepine (Tegretol), isoniazid, rifampin (Rifamate, Rifadin, and Rimactane), reduce the levels of acetaminophen and may decrease the effectiveness of acetaminophen. Doses of acetaminophen greater than the recommended doses are toxic to the liver and may result in severe liver damage. The potential for acetaminophen to harm the liver is increased when it is combined with alcohol or drugs that also harm the liver.
Cholestyramine (Questran) reduces the effect of acetaminophen by decreasing its absorption into the body from the intestine. Therefore, acetaminophen should be administered 3 to 4 hours after cholestyramine or one hour before cholestyramine.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/26/2014
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Need help identifying pills and medications?
Back to Medications Index