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Acetaminophen, sold as the brand name Tylenol and known in most other countries as Paracetamol, sold as Panadol, is an OTC (over-the-counter) pain reliever and fever reducer. It is among the most commonly used analgesics, and has become more popular in recent years due to the fact that it does not irritate the stomach lining, as aspirin can. Common doses for adults are 500–1000 mg at a time, usually adding up to no more than 4000 mg (4 grams) per day.

Side effects


  • Rash
  • Rebound headache


  • Severe liver damage resulting from overdose, either accidental or intentional.

Additional notes

While acetaminophen is judged safe and effective for human use at suggested doses, as mentioned above, overdoses can cause severe liver damage. The poisoning must be treated within 8 hours for the antidote to prove useful. Cases left unattended for longer than 8 hours may require a liver transplant. Also, acetaminophen is very toxic to cats, and should never be given to them, as even small amounts can prove deadly.


See Tylenol murders.