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Acetaminophen

What works?

Learn more about the effects of these drugs. The most reliable research is summed up for you in our featured article.

By mouth

Treats minor aches and pain and reduces fever… Read more

Brand names include: 8 Hour Pain Relief, 8HR Muscle Aches & Pain

By injection

Acetaminophen injection is used together with other medicines (eg, narcotic pain relievers) to relieve moderate to severe pain. Acetaminophen is used… Read more

Brand names include: Ofirmev

Into the rectum

Treats minor pain and reduces fever in children or in people who cannot take acetaminophen by mouth… Read more

Brand names include: Acephen, Children's Fever Reducer

Drug classes About this
Analgesic, Antipyretic
Combinations including this drug

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Paracetamol (acetaminophen) alone, or in combination with codeine or dihydrocodeine, for neuropathic pain in adults

There is no good evidence to support or refute the suggestion that paracetamol alone, or in combination with codeine or dihydrocodeine, works in any neuropathic pain condition.

Acetaminophen (also called paracetamol) for the common cold in adults

The common cold is the most frequent viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. Adults in the US experience two to four colds per year. The symptoms of the common cold usually include nasal obstruction, headache, sore throat, sneezing, cough, malaise and nasal discharge. There is no effective therapy for the common cold and most medications are symptomatic. Acetaminophen (also called paracetamol) is widely used as the major ingredient in combination medications for the common cold. However, there is little information about the effectiveness and safety of this treatment. We reviewed studies to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of acetaminophen in the treatment of the common cold in adults. The evidence is current to February 2013.

Single dose oxycodone and oxycodone plus paracetamol (also known as acetaminophen) for analgesia in adults with acute postoperative pain

This review update assessed evidence from 2641 participants in 20 randomised, double blind, placebo‐controlled clinical trials of oxycodone, with or without paracetamol, in adults with moderate to severe acute postoperative pain. Oral oxycodone 10 mg plus paracetamol 650 mg provided effective analgesia. About half of those treated experienced at least half pain relief over 4 to 6 hours, and the effects lasting up to 10 hours. Higher doses gave more effect. Associated adverse events (predominantly nausea, vomiting, dizziness and somnolence) were more frequent with oxycodone or oxycodone plus paracetamol than with placebo, but studies of this type are of limited use for studying adverse effects. Limited information about oxycodone on its own suggests that it provided analgesia at doses greater than 5 mg, and that addition of paracetamol made it more effective.

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Summaries for consumers

Paracetamol (acetaminophen) alone, or in combination with codeine or dihydrocodeine, for neuropathic pain in adults

There is no good evidence to support or refute the suggestion that paracetamol alone, or in combination with codeine or dihydrocodeine, works in any neuropathic pain condition.

Acetaminophen (also called paracetamol) for the common cold in adults

The common cold is the most frequent viral infection of the upper respiratory tract. Adults in the US experience two to four colds per year. The symptoms of the common cold usually include nasal obstruction, headache, sore throat, sneezing, cough, malaise and nasal discharge. There is no effective therapy for the common cold and most medications are symptomatic. Acetaminophen (also called paracetamol) is widely used as the major ingredient in combination medications for the common cold. However, there is little information about the effectiveness and safety of this treatment. We reviewed studies to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of acetaminophen in the treatment of the common cold in adults. The evidence is current to February 2013.

Single dose oxycodone and oxycodone plus paracetamol (also known as acetaminophen) for analgesia in adults with acute postoperative pain

This review update assessed evidence from 2641 participants in 20 randomised, double blind, placebo‐controlled clinical trials of oxycodone, with or without paracetamol, in adults with moderate to severe acute postoperative pain. Oral oxycodone 10 mg plus paracetamol 650 mg provided effective analgesia. About half of those treated experienced at least half pain relief over 4 to 6 hours, and the effects lasting up to 10 hours. Higher doses gave more effect. Associated adverse events (predominantly nausea, vomiting, dizziness and somnolence) were more frequent with oxycodone or oxycodone plus paracetamol than with placebo, but studies of this type are of limited use for studying adverse effects. Limited information about oxycodone on its own suggests that it provided analgesia at doses greater than 5 mg, and that addition of paracetamol made it more effective.

See all (173)

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