Brand names

Tylenol®, Anacin-3®, Datril®, Liquiprin®, Panadol®, Tempra®, Lortab®. Acetaminophen is an ingredient in many prescription and over-the-counter medications.

How Do I Take This Medication?

Acetaminophen comes as a tablet, chewable tablet, dissolving tablet, capsule, liquid, drops, and granules (to be dissolved in water) to take by mouth. It is also available as a rectal suppository.

Why Am I Taking Acetaminophen?

Acetaminophen relieves mild to moderate pain and reduces fever.

Important Notice: Taking more than 4000 milligrams (mg)* of acetaminophen in 24 hours may damage your liver or even cause death.

Acetaminophen is an ingredient in more than 600 over-the-counter and prescription medications. In addition to products that contain only acetaminophen, it may be an ingredient in products that treat pain; cold, flu, or allergy symptoms; and sleeplessness. This means that you could take more than the recommended maximum daily dose without realizing it.

Each tablet, capsule, granule packet, etc. may contain up to 650 mg of acetaminophen. You should know the amount of acetaminophen in every product you are taking.

Check the Drug Facts label on over-the-counter medications, or the drug information given to you with your prescription medication. APAP, acetaminophen, and Tylenol® are all the same active ingredient.

*Johnson & Johnson, makers of Tylenol®, has changed the labels on their products that contain acetaminophen. The new labels:

  • include a warning about liver toxicity (liver damage)
  • lower the maximum daily dose from 4000 mg to 3000 mg

This lower maximum daily dose is a voluntary action by Johnson & Johnson. It is the company’s attempt to help prevent liver damage caused by taking too much acetaminophen. Always use extra caution when taking any medication. Be sure to read the medication label and any informational handouts that are in the package.

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