Essential Medications-Acetaminophen

This Essential Medications entry is Acetaminophen more commonly known in the US by the trade name Tylenol.  Acetaminophen is one of the most commonly prescribed and recommended medications and is in all likelihood the most common drug for overdose both intentional and accidental.  Many have said that if Acetaminophen was introduced to the market today it would be a prescription medication due to the risks.  With that said it is one of the most important medications to keep stashed for a home kit or travel kit.  It acts as a very good analgesic or pain reliever and also an antipyretic or fever reducer.  When taken in excess however you can cause liver damage so be mindful of dosing guidelines.

Dosing:  Standard dosing for adults is generally 500-1000mg every 4-6 hours NOT TO EXCEED 4000mg in a 24 hour period.  Consult packaging for pediatric dosing.

Precautions:  Because Acetaminophen is primarily metabolized by the liver you should not take it with alcohol.  Check active ingredients of all medications when taking multiples.  Many medications contain Acetaminophen and can lead to consuming a harmful dose inadvertently.

Packaging, storage, etc:  Acetaminophen is one of the most common medications worldwide.  Because of this it is very affordable, commonly costing between 1-5 cents per tablet and commonly supplied in a very simple uncoated tablet although coated tablets do exist.  For travel individual dosage packaging can be convenient or a small bottle if extended travel is expected.  For home a 500-1000 tablet bottle will cover a family for a year or more generally.  Limit exposure to light, heat, and vibration when possible.

Until next time, stay sharp,

-Mike G

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3 Responses to Essential Medications-Acetaminophen

  1. Dan Flowers says:

    I’d like to see more on medications based on need, effectiveness, storage life etc. with the emphasis being on long-term supply disruption.

  2. apcmikeg says:

    Sure Dan. A couple of quick notes on Acetaminophen: It is the most commonly prescribed medication for fever in both adults and children. Effective either by itself for mild fevers or in alternating doses with Ibuprofen to ‘break’ a high or persistent fever. As an analgesic it is a solid stand alone solution for mild to moderate pain ranging from headache to orthopedic to post surgical pain. In conjunction with an anti-inflammatory or a narcotic, the medications exhibit a synergistic effect, this is why many OTC and prescriptions medications contain Acetaminophen in addition to other active ingredients.

    All of the essential medications are recommended items for stocking up on for long-term supply disruption both as a personal stockpile or for barter both as a product or as a component of offering impromptu medical care as a service. When stored in a stable environment Acetaminophen as well as most other OTC and even prescription medications currently produced will be effective years after posted expiration dates and simply lose potency as opposed to breaking down into poisonous or dangerous substances. This has not always been true but most medications have been reformulated to prevent adverse reactions to older medications. Point being, don’t throw out expired medications if they have been stored in a cool, dry, dark place with no exposure to vibration.

  3. Chan Turben says:

    acetaminophen is a good pain releiver, i use it a lot. ,

    Hottest content article on our very own homepage

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