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Acetaminophen

Author: Tina Lien, Pharmacist , MedSchoolForParents.com Editor
What is it used for ? 
 
Treatment of mild to moderate pain, including headaches, backaches, muscle aches and fever.
 
 
How does it work ?
 
It is not fully known how acetaminophen works, but is believed to reduce the production of prostaglandins (a chemical released by cells when the cells are damaged or injured, which can cause the sensation of pain). Thus, acetaminophen alters how the body senses pain.
 
 
Side Effects
 
All medications can cause some side effects. Usually these side effects are mild in nature, but for some people, they may be serious.
 
Acetaminophen is generally safe. In rare cases, there can be a rash or liver failure at high doses. If your child is experiencing any allergic reactions to the medication, particularly an extensive rash or difficulty breathing, please stop using the medication and check with your doctor.
 
 
Drug Interactions
 
There are no major drug interactions with Acetaminophen.
 
 
What every parent should know
 
  1. Acetaminophen is safe for children of all ages.
  2. Please consult your doctor or pharmacist regarding the best dose for your child. General recommendation is for 15 milligram for every kilogram body weight.
  3. Give the medication as directed by your doctor or read carefully on the package label. Please use the provided dropper, spoon or measuring cup to measure out the correct amount of acetaminophen.
  4. Acetaminophen comes in many different dosage forms, including tablets, chewable tablets, suspensions, and infant suspension drops, which all come in different flavors.
  5. Because there are many concentrations, read the instructions and calculate the dose of acetaminophen every time you give the drug.
  6. When using the suspension, make sure to shake the suspension well before each use to mix the medications evenly.
  7. Don't give acetaminophen more than 5 days in a row.
  8. Don't give acetaminophen if your child has any type of liver disorder, as the body metabolizes the drug through the liver.
  9. Allergic reactions are very uncommon. If allergic reactions to the medication develop, such as rash, swelling, or difficulty breathing, stop using the medication and consult your doctor. 
 
Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have further questions on the use of acetaminophen for your child
 
Updated: 03/08/2017

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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