Pain Medications (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Acetaminophen is just as effective as NSAIDs for noninflammatory types of pain if used in proper doses. Acetaminophen has few side effects and does not interact with other medications in any significant way. The only people who should avoid it are those with chronic liver problems. Even in this group, a day or two of use is probably safe; consult your doctor. It is available in a variety of brand names.
For adults, the dose of acetaminophen is up to a gram (two extra strength [500 mg] or three regular strength [325 mg]) every four hours. Do not take more than four doses per day. Acetaminophen is contained in many over-the-counter products (such as cold or sinus medication), and if these products are taken in addition to acetaminophen, it is possible to take overall doses that are higher than the recommended maximum dose. When taking pain medication or combinations of pain medicine, check whether they contain acetaminophen to assure that more of the recommended dose is not taken mistakenly.
For stronger pain relief, acetaminophen is combined with narcotic type drugs. These drugs can be obtained only with a prescription.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/1/2015
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