Health Information and Tools > Health A-Z >  Acetaminophen: Your Care Instructions
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Your Care Instructions

Common brands: Tylenol, Tempra, Pediatrix, and Panadol

What it’s used for

Acetaminophen is used to treat mild to moderate pain (like headaches, menstrual cramps, and general aches and pains) and to brin​g down a fever.

What to tell the doctor or pharmacist before you take this medicine

Tell the doctor or pharmacist if you:

  • have liver disease
  • drink alcohol
  • take a blood “thinner”
  • are allergic to acetaminophen
  • are being treated for TB (tuberculosis)
  • have an allergy to acetaminophen

Tell your doctor or dentist what other prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal medicine you take.

What you need to know

  • Take this product as directed. Taking more than 4000 mg of acetaminophen a day can hurt the liver.
  • Acetaminophen is found in other pain and fever medicine and also in cough and cold medicine. Make sure you read the label before you take any other medicine.
  • Drinking alcohol while taking this medicine can hurt the liver.
  • For pain: It works best if you take it when the pain starts or before it gets too bad. Take it for no more than 10 days, unless the doctor says you can.
  • For fever: Take it for no more than 5 days unless the doctor says you can.

When to get help

Call 911 if you have trouble breathing or your face, tongue, or throat start to swell.

See a doctor or phone Health Link right away if:

  • your urine becomes dark
  • you begin to feel very tired
  • your eyes or skin turn yellow
  • you feel dizzy​
  • you feel sick to your stomach or are throwing up
  • you have sores in your mouth, nose, throat, or eyes
  • you have pain in your abdomen/stomach
  • you have a red, itchy rash, or swelling

See your doctor if your symptoms or health problems don’t get better or get worse.

If you have any questions or concerns about this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

​If you think you've taken too much of this medicine, call the poison control centre (PADIS) 24/7 at 1-800-332-1414 or go to an emergency department.

For 24/7 nurse advice and general health information call Health Link at 811.​​

Current as of: April 3, 2018

Author: Poison and Drug Information Services (PADIS), Alberta Health Services