What Is Acetaminophen?

Acetaminophen (pronounced a SEET a MIN oh fen) is the primary active ingredient in TYLENOL® products, and is one of the most common active drug ingredients in the U.S. It is found in over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medicines.

What does acteminophen do and how does it work?

Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and fever reducer. It is thought to work to relieve minor aches and pains by elevating the body's overall pain threshold so you feel less pain, and lowers your fever by helping your body eliminate excess heat.

What is acetaminophen used for?

Acetaminophen is most commonly used to treat minor aches and pains, including headache, backache, minor pain of arthritis, toothache, muscular aches, premenstrual and menstrual cramps. It is also commonly used to temporarily reduce fever.

Acetaminophen may be an appropriate pain reliever for people who are concerned about the effects that other pain medication can have on blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure or are taking medication to help manage high blood pressure, you can learn more here.

Is acetaminophen an NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug)?

Acetaminophen is not an NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug), the other main type of pain reliever. Ibuprofen, Aspirin, and Naproxen sodium are NSAIDS and different than Acetaminophen.

What forms is acetaminophen available in?

Acetaminophen is an active ingredient in TYLENOL® products and in more than 600 other over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medicines. Do not take more than one medicine containing acetaminophen at the same time.

Adult TYLENOL® with Acetaminophen comes in many forms including caplets, liquid gels, and dissolve packs for those who prefer not to take pills.
Additionally for children, TYLENOL® is available in liquids, chewables and dissolve packs.

Acetaminophen warnings and acetaminophen side effects for adults

Liver warning: This product contains acetaminophen. Severe liver damage may occur if you take more than 4,000 mg of acetaminophen in 24 hours, with other drugs containing acetaminophen, and/or 3 or more alcoholic drinks every day while using this product. Ask a doctor before use if you have liver disease.

Allergy alert: acetaminophen may cause severe skin reactions. Symptoms may include, skin reddening, blisters and/or rash. If a skin reaction occurs, stop use and seek medical help right away.

Stop use and ask a doctor if pain gets worse or lasts more than 10 days, fever gets worse or lasts more than 3 days, new symptoms occur and/or redness or swelling is present. These could be signs of a serious condition.

If pregnant or breast-feeding, ask a health professional before use.

Keep out of reach of children.

Overdose warning: In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away (1-800-222-1222). Quick medical attention is critical for adults as well as for children even if you do not notice any signs or symptoms.

Do not use with any other drug containing acetaminophen (prescription or nonprescription), you can get more information on what other drugs have acetaminophen at Get Relief Responsibly®. If you are not sure whether a drug contains acetaminophen, ask a doctor or pharmacist. Also do not use if you are allergic to acetaminophen or any of the inactive ingredients in this product.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before use if you are taking the blood thinning drug warfarin.

Always read and follow the product label. If you experience any side effects after using acetaminophen or have any other questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare professional.