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Caregiver Corner > Using Acetaminophen Safely: Where You Can Find What You Need to Know

As a caregiver, you want to make sure that medicine safety is your number one priority. If the person in your care is taking over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medicines, it’s likely that he or she is taking medicine that contains acetaminophen, an active ingredient found in more than 600 OTC and prescription medicines.

There are four facts to remember before you go to the medicine cabinet or visit the drug store to purchase medicines that contain acetaminophen:

  1. ALWAYS READ THE DRUG FACTS LABEL! Learn to recognize acetaminophen in your OTC medicines. If its a prescription medicine that contains acetaminophen, it may be listed as APAP, acet, or acetamin.
  2. USE AS DIRECTED. Acetaminophen is safe and effective when used as directed. Taking more could cause an overdose and can lead to liver damage.
  3. NEVER DOUBLE-DOSE. Never take two medicines that contain acetaminophen at the same time.
  4. DONT BE AFRAID TO ASK. Talk to your healthcare professional if you have acetaminophen questions.

Here are some additional resources to learn more about acetaminophen safe use:

  • Know Your Dose Campaign (Acetaminophen Awareness Coalition)
  • How to Read a Drug Facts Label
  • Drug Facts Label
  • Acetaminophen Information from the FDA
  • National Council on Patient Information and Education - Educational Resources