Acetaminophen is a common pain relief medication that is available over the counter in drugs such as Tylenol. Acetaminophen is also found in prescription strength medication, as well. Generally speaking, this type of medication is very safe when taken in the correct doses. It is has very little side effects and is quite effective at alleviating pain due to headaches, muscle aches and other general pains.
Acetaminophen belongs to the analgesic drug family. This is a group of medications used specifically for pain relief and fever reducers (antipyretics). This medication works by elevating the threshold of pain and reduces fever by working with the heat-regulating center of the brain. This form of medication has been used since the Federal Drug Administration approved it in 1951.
Prescriptions for acetaminophen are not necessary because you can purchase the drug at any store that carries over the counter medications. It is available in all forms including dosages for infants, children and adults. The medication can be taken as a liquid suspension, chewable tablets, gelcaps, geltabs, suppositories, and as chewable or dissolvable tablets. If you choose to take this medication in the liquid form, you need to make certain that you use the measuring cup or spoon that comes with the medication. This will ensure that you are getting the correct dosage. This is especially important when administering the medication to children.
The good thing about acetaminophen is that it is relatively safe and has very few side effects. In fact, this medication can be taken with other medications in most cases and is even safe for pregnant or nursing mothers. In large doses, this medication can cause liver damage. It is always wise to consult your doctor if you have questions about the correct dosage you should take. With children, you should always give the dosage according to his or her weight, not the age. For example, you may have a three year old child that weighs less than what the weight says for a three year old on the box. Giving that child more than his or her weight can handle can be dangerous. Your pediatrician can give you the correct dosage if you are uncertain.
Disclaimer: Cliff Schaffer does not personally endorse or support any of the comments made within the writings of this article.