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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Aceta-Gesic, Anacin P.M. Aspirin Free, Coricidin Night Time Cold Relief, Excedrin PM, Excedrin PM Caplet, Excedrin PM Express Gels, Headache Relief PM, Legatrin PM, Mapap PM, Midol PM, Night Time Pain, Pain Relief PM Extra Strength, Percogesic Extra Strength, Percogesic Original Strength, Tylenol Cold Relief Caplet, Tylenol Cold Relief Nighttime, Tylenol Cold Relief Nighttime Caplet, Tylenol Extra Strength PM, Tylenol Extra Strength PM Rapid Release Gelcaps, Tylenol Extra Strength PM Vanilla Caplet, Tylenol PM, Tylenol Sore Throat Nighttime, Unisom with Pain Relief

Generic Name: acetaminophen and diphenhydramine (Pronunciation: a SEET a MIN oh fen and DYE fen HYE dra meen)

What is acetaminophen and diphenhydramine (Aceta-Gesic, Anacin P.M. Aspirin Free, Coricidin Night Time Cold Relief, Excedrin PM, Excedrin PM Caplet, Excedrin PM Express Gels, Headache Relief PM, Legatrin PM, Mapap PM, Midol PM, Night Time Pain, Pain Relief PM Extra Strength, Percogesic Extra Strength, Percogesic Original Strength, Tylenol Cold Relief Caplet, Tylenol Cold Relief Nighttime, Tylenol Cold Relief Nighttime Caplet, Tylenol Extra Strength PM, Tylenol Extra Strength PM Rapid Release Gelcaps, Tylenol Extra Strength PM Vanilla Caplet, Tylenol PM, Tylenol Sore Throat Nighttime, Unisom with Pain Relief)?

Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and a fever reducer.

Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine that reduces the natural chemical histamine in the body. Histamine can produce symptoms of sneezing, itching, watery eyes, and runny nose.

Acetaminophen and diphenhydramine is a combination medicine used to treat headache, runny nose, sneezing, watery eyes, and pain or fever caused by allergies, the common cold, or the flu.

Acetaminophen and diphenhydramine may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of acetaminophen and diphenhydramine?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using the medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeats;
  • severe dizziness or drowsiness, slow or shallow breathing;
  • tremor, restless muscle movements;
  • little or no urinating;
  • flu symptoms, easy bruising, unusual bleeding, pale skin, feeling light-headed; or
  • nausea, pain in your upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Common side effects may include:

  • constipation;
  • dry eyes, blurred vision, dry mouth or nose;
  • mild dizziness or drowsiness, trouble concentrating;
  • feeling restless or excited (especially in children); or
  • mild skin rash.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about acetaminophen and diphenhydramine?

Ask a doctor before taking medicine that contains acetaminophen if you have ever had liver disease, or if you drink more than 3 alcoholic beverages per day.

Do not take more of this medication than is recommended. An overdose of acetaminophen can damage your liver or cause death.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any other cold, allergy, pain, or sleep medication. Acetaminophen (sometimes abbreviated as APAP) is contained in many combination medicines. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much acetaminophen which can lead to a fatal overdose. Check the label to see if a medicine contains acetaminophen or APAP.

Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of liver damage while taking acetaminophen.



Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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