Acetaminophen — What You Should Know

There are over 600 medicines that contain acetaminophen, both prescription and over-the-counter. With its widespread use, it’s important to know the facts about acetaminophen.

The most common ingredient in prescription and over-the-counter drugs is acetaminophen. You can find it in allergy medicines, fever reducers, pain medications and sleep aids.

Because taking too much acetaminophen in a day can be dangerous, you need to know what contains the drug if you are taking multiple medications, even if you don’t think it’s an ingredient — you can even find it in cough medication.

To make sure that you are being safe when taking more than one medication, follow these instructions and consult your doctor about any medications you may be taking.

  • Do not take two medicines at the same time if they both contain acetaminophen. This can cause serious liver damage because you may end up taking too much.
  • Know if acetaminophen is in your medications. Read your ingredients carefully, checking for the words “acetaminophen” or the abbreviated version of the drug: “acetam” or “APAP.” Do not assume that the medications you are taking do not contain the drug.
  • Read the labels on all of your medications. Never assume what’s in your medications. In the case of acetaminophen, the liver damage caused by taking too much can be dangerous.