Acetaminophen Drug Interactions

Right dosage of Acetaminophen and treatment for over dosage problems

Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and also treats many other types of pain ailments. The medicine still has its own set of drawbacks which can cause permanent damage to your liver or other health problems, if not taken in right doses. This article would help you know the right dosage of Acetaminophen and the effects of overdosing along with the treatment used to treat overdosing problem.

You need to store the medicine in room temperature and keep it away from moisture and heat. Stop using Acetaminophen can contact your doctor if

  1. The fever persist even after 3 days of its consumption
  2. The pain exist after seven days of using the medicine
  3. You develop skin rash, redness, swelling or constant headache.
  4. If the symptoms turn severe or you develop some other new symptoms.

What if you missed a dose?

Since Acetaminophen is used as required, you do not need to maintain a dosing schedule. If you are using the medicine regularly, you can always take the dose you missed as soon you come to know. Do not take extra dose of medicine to make up your missing dose.

What if you overdose?

You need to immediately call emergency medical help as overdose can be fatal. The initial symptoms of overdose of Acetaminophen can be vomiting, sweating, stomach pain, appetite loss, weakness or confusion.

Dosing Information

Dose for Adults – for fever

Adolescents and adults having body weight 50 kg or more

1000mg after every 6 hours or

650 mg every 4 hours

With a single dose of 1000 mg per day, you can take maximum 4000mg per day

Adolescents and adults having body weight less than 50 kg

15 mg after every 6 hours or

12.5 mg after every 4 hours

No adjustment of dose is necessary when changing between IV and oral Acetaminophen dosing in adolescents and adults. The highest dose of Acetaminophen per day entirely depends on all courses of administration like rectal, oral and intravenous and all types of products comprising of Acetaminophen.

Overdose of Acetaminophen and treatment

Overdose of Acetaminophen can affect your liver; many people are using Acetaminophen for pain relief or to reduce fever. Acetaminophen is an active ingredient in many other OTP products like the ones used for sleeping remedies, flu, cold etc., it is also an active ingredient in many pain relievers.

Overdose of Acetaminophen results in abnormal functioning of liver, liver failure, increased liver enzymes or even death. Acetaminophen leaves residues in your liver that are highly toxic and liver needs help to flush out the toxins from the body.

Acetaminophen overdose is a serious problem, which needs proper treatment. Treatment should be given to the patient immediately. Patients are treated by giving medicine like activated charcoal to absorb Acetaminophen that is still present in your stomach. Activated charcoal makes the patient vomit. This helps cleaning of gastric lavage and flush out Acetaminophen.

Sometimes antidote medicine is given to control and stop the effects of overdosing.

Explore the side effects of Acetaminophen

As we know that Acetaminophen, is a fever reducer and pain reliever too. There are many benefits associated with the medicine, but you should also explore the side effects related to the medicine. Acetaminophen comes with side effects that can be mild to severe. When taken in excess amounts, the side effects of Acetaminophen can be fatal too. Let us explore the side effects of Acetaminophen so that you know how to use your medicine safely and get maximum benefits from your drug.

For some unwanted side effects you need immediate medical attention, so knowing about the side effects can help you understand your drug in detail.

Major Side effects

If you see some of the major and severe side effects while using Acetaminophen as listed below, contact your medical help immediately.

  • Tarry stools, black or bloody stools
  • Red spots on your skin
  • Hives, itching or skin rash
  • Fever with chills and fever without chills
  • Pain in side or in lower back (sharp or severe pain)
  • Sore throat
  • Sore ulcers
  • Unusual bruising or bleeding
  • Sudden decrease in urination
  • Unusual weakness or tiredness
  • Yellow skin or eyes
  • Cloudy or bloody urine

Over dose symptoms

These symptoms can occur as a result of overdose of Acetaminophen, cases ask for medical help immediately.

  • Increased sweating
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Appetite loss
  • Stomach pain or cramps
  • Pain, tenderness or swelling in upper stomach area or abdomen

Some common side effects of Acetaminophen are

  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Pain in injection site or reaction in injection site.

Hepatic

Increased – aspartate aminotransferase- common side effect

Increased – hepatic transaminases- rare side effect

Liver failure

Gastrointestinal

Nausea and Vomiting

Constipation, enlarged abdomen, diarrhea, dyspepsia and constipation

Dry mouth

Hypersensitivity

Hypersensitive reactions and Anaphylaxis

Hematologic

Postoperative hemorrhage – common side effect

Thrombocytopenia, neutropenia and leucopenia- Very rare effects

Dermatologic

Pruritus and rash- common

Skin reactions (severe) – rare

Lyell syndrome, Pemphigoid reaction and Pustular rash- very rare

Respiratory

Dyspnea, hypoxia, coughing, pleural effusion, wheezing, stridor, breath sounds (abnormal), pulmonary edema

Some side effects do not need medical attention and they go away with time, but serious side effects needs medical attention. Do not consume alcohol while you are on Acetaminophen as it can lead to serious liver problems.

Speak to your doctor about the related side effects and how Acetaminophen is going to work for you. If you are using herbal supplements, vitamins or other products, you should let your doctor know as using Acetaminophen with these products can also lead to unwanted side effects. You doctor will be able to tell you about the contents present in supplements or other products you are taking and whether they can cause any serious effects when consumed with Acetaminophen.

Acetaminophen is a useful medicine if used as prescribed by the doctor. Do not ignore if you notice any unusual signs as they can be the side effects of Acetaminophen. You can treat these side effects, if you consult your doctor immediately.

Effects of Acetaminophen during Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Acetaminophen, the prime ingredient present in Tylenol is considered absolutely safe to be used in pregnancy. Recently a study showed that children who were exposed to Acetaminophen for 28 days or more suffered from adverse developmental results at age of 3. So as per studies, using Acetaminophen for a long-term during pregnancy is not recommended.

Pregnant women suffering from anemia, liver or kidney disease should speak to their physicians before they start using Acetaminophen.

Precautions

Pregnant women should take less doses of Acetaminophen to treat pain, which can be mild to moderate in nature and for fever. The maximum dose of Acetaminophen that is allowed on a daily basis is 4000mg. Using excess dose of Acetaminophen that is more than 4000mg per day can result in kidney disease, liver disease and anemia.  If you are suffering from any of the diseases mentioned above currently, talk to your obstetrician about the after effects of using Acetaminophen.

Effects of Acetaminophen on Pregnancy

Acetaminophen is basically considered safe to be used during pregnancy. There is no high risk of fetal death, miscarriage or maternal death related to use of medicine as per the instructions given on the package.

Some studies say that regular use of Acetaminophen during your pregnancy in second trimester can lead to risk of developing asthma or wheezing.  The risk is quite less and doctors say the risk associated with untreated fever is higher than the risks associated with side effects that cause lung problems. Consuming Acetaminophen has not shown any effect on intelligence or brain development.

Acetaminophen is believed to be the safest OTP medicine that can be used during pregnancy provided that the pregnant women avoid taking Acetaminophen  in excessive amounts.

Acetaminophen and Breast Feeding – Is it safe?

There are no side effects mentioned for using Acetaminophen when breastfeeding feeding your baby.  The fever reducer or pain reliever progress to the foetus, but only when the approved levels for consumption are not followed in case of infants.  There are no birth defects related to use of Acetaminophen at prescribed doses. Use of Acetaminophen for breastfeeding mothers is also supported by WHO as well. For nursing mothers use of Acetaminophen is safe as the amount of Acetaminophen  passed in milk is quite less as compared to the dose given to infants.  The side effects in infants are quite rare. The dose of Acetaminophen was undetected when given to nursing mother after 2-22 months post delivery. The doe of Acetaminophen given was 650 mg.

Nursing mothers need not worry about whether the amount of Acetaminophen will pass through the milk to their baby while breastfeeding as its completely safe. Make sure you take Acetaminophen in recommended doses only.

As per the studies there is no need to worry about the adverse effects of Acetaminophen in pregnant and nursing mothers. The only thing you should remember is to speak to your doctor for the right dose. Your doctor can help you answer your queries about Acetaminophen.

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