As healthcare providers, you are the primary source of information for patients when it comes to the medicines they are taking. The Acetaminophen Awareness Coalition (AAC), a group of leading healthcare provider and consumer organizations dedicated to promoting safe acetaminophen use, wants to ensure that you have the tools you need at your fingertips to reinforce safe acetaminophen use among your patients.
When discussing acetaminophen with your patients, here are some key things they should know:
- Acetaminophen is a drug ingredient found in more than 600 different over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription (Rx) medicines, including pain relievers; fever reducers; sleep aids; and cough, cold, and allergy medicines.
- Acetaminophen is found in OTC medicines like TYLENOL® and NyQuil®, and prescription drugs like Vicodin® and Percocet. Because it’s in so many different medicines, people might take more than the recommended amount without realizing it.
- Acetaminophen is safe and effective when used as directed, but there is a limit to how much you can take in one day. Taking more than directed is an overdose and can lead to liver damage.
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends taking no more than 4,000 milligrams (mg) of acetaminophen in a 24-hour period.
- If you have questions about dosing instructions or medicines that contain acetaminophen, please ask me.
- You can learn more about acetaminophen at KnowYourDose.org, where you can view a list of common medicines that contain the ingredient.