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Intravenous Acetaminophen

What If I Receive an Overdose of Intravenous Acetaminophen?

People who receive too much acetaminophen may have overdose symptoms that could include:
 
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Appetite loss
  • Sweating
  • Irritability
  • Abdominal (stomach) pain, especially near the liver (the upper right part of the abdomen)
  • Diarrhea
  • Yellowing of the whites of the eyes or skin (jaundice)
  • Liver failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Heart problems
  • Coma
  • Seizures
  • Loss of life.
 
If you happen to overdose on acetaminophen, seek immediate medical attention.
 
(Click Ofirmev Overdose for more information.)
 

How Does This Medication Work?

Even though acetaminophen has been around for quite a while, it is not fully understood exactly how it works. It is known that acetaminophen works differently than other non-narcotic pain medications.
 
Most other non-narcotic pain relievers or fever reducers are nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Both NSAIDs and acetaminophen block the body's production of prostaglandins, which are naturally occurring chemicals that cause inflammation and fever.
 
However, while NSAIDs block prostaglandin production throughout the entire body, acetaminophen appears to do so just within the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord).
 
Acetaminophen may also work by blocking pain signals from nerves or preventing such signals from forming.
 

When and How to Receive Intravenous Acetaminophen

Some general considerations include the following:
 
  • This medication is administered by IV every four to six hours.
  • Intravenous acetaminophen may be given along with narcotic pain relievers.
  • Each dose should be given by IV drip over a period of about 15 minutes.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be administered as prescribed.
 
What Your Pharmacist Wishes You Knew About Chronic Pain Medications

IV Acetaminophen Information

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