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Generic Name:

acetaminophen, Injectable solution

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SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for acetaminophen

Injectable solution
1

Acetaminophen injection is used to reduce pain and fever.

2

A healthcare provider in a hospital or doctor’s office will give you this injection. You won’t take it yourself at home. 

3

Common side effects include nausea, headache, and trouble sleeping.

4

This drug may cause serious damage to your liver and lead to liver failure or death. Your risk increases if you take more than 4,000 mg of acetaminophen per day.

5

This drug may cause serious, potentially fatal skin reactions like Steven-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis. Symptoms may include rash, blistering, or peeling skin. 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

FDA warning

This drug has a Black Box Warning. This is the most serious warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A black box warning alerts doctors and patients to potentially dangerous effects.

May cause liver failure, resulting in liver transplant and death. Liver injury happened most often when someone took more than 4,000 mg of acetaminophen per day, usually with more than one acetaminophen-containing product. Don’t take other products containing acetaminophen while taking this drug. Liver failure is more common in people who already have liver disease and people who drink alcohol while taking acetaminophen.

Allergy warning

May cause a potentially severe or life-threatening allergic reaction. This reaction can occur very quickly and cause trouble breathing, hives, rash, itching, or swelling of your face, throat, and mouth.

Serious skin reactions

These include Steven-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis, which can be fatal. Look for symptoms like rash, blistering, or peeling skin.

What is acetaminophen injection?

This drug is given by a healthcare provider only. You won’t take it on your own.

Why it's used

This drug is used to reduce pain and fever.

How it works

It isn’t fully known how this drug works.

More Details

How it works

It isn’t fully known how this drug works. It may work to reduce pain by reducing levels of prostaglandins and blocking pain signals in the body. It may work to reduce fever by blocking the heat-generating center of the brain.

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SECTION 2 of 5

acetaminophen Side Effects

Injectable solution

Most Common Side Effects

The most common side effects that occur with acetaminophen injection include:

  • nausea

  • vomiting 

  • upset stomach

  • headache

  • feeling restless or agitated

  • trouble sleeping

  • itching

Serious Side Effects

If you experience any of these serious side effects, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms are potentially life threatening or if you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.

  • potentially severe or life-threatening allergic reaction. Symptoms may include:

    • trouble breathing
    • swelling of your face, throat, and mouth
    • hives
    • rash
    • itching
  • liver damage. Symptoms may include:

    • yellowing of your skin or whites of your eyes
    • dark colored urine
    • pain in your stomach
    • lack of appetite
    • vomiting
    • feeling tired
  • serious skin reactions, such as Steven-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis. Symptoms may include:

    • rash
    • blistering
    • peeling skin
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

This drug doesn’t cause drowsiness.

Mild side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if they’re more severe or don’t go away.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 5

acetaminophen May Interact with Other Medications

Injectable solution

Acetaminophen injection can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. Your healthcare provider will look out for interactions with your current medications. Always be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, herbs or vitamins you’re taking.

Alcohol Interaction

Drinking alcohol while you’re on this medication can affect how acetaminophen is processed in your body. This makes it more likely for acetaminophen to cause damage to your liver. Your doctor will decide if this drug is safe for you based on your alcohol use.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Drug warnings
liver problems
People with liver problems

This drug may lead to severe liver damage. This could lead to a liver transplant or even be fatal. Your doctor will decide if this drug is safe for you depending on how severe your liver damage is.

kidney problems
People with kidney problems

If you have severe kidney problems, your body may not be able to clear this drug as well. This increases your risk of side effects. Your doctor will decide if this drug is safe for you. They may give you a decreased dose and watch you more closely.

pregnant woman
Pregnant women

This drug is a category C pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals has shown adverse effects to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There haven’t been enough studies done in humans to be certain how the drug might affect the fetus.

It isn’t known if this drug causes harm to a fetus. Tell your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. This drug should be used during pregnancy only if needed.

breastfeeding
Women who are breast-feeding

This drug can pass into breast milk and could cause side effects in a breastfeeding child.

Talk to your doctor if you’re breastfeeding. You may need to decide if this medication is right for you.

children
For children

This drug is shown to be safe and effective for children aged 2 years and older. It isn’t known if it’s effective in children younger than 2 years of age.

allergies
Allergies

This drug can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms may include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue
  • hives

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it before. Taking it again could be fatal.

SECTION 4 of 5

How to Take acetaminophen (Dosage)

Injectable solution

Your doctor will determine a dose that is right for you based on your individual needs. Your general health may affect your dose. Tell your doctor about all health conditions you have before your doctor or nurse administers the drug to you.

Acetaminophen injection maybe given as a one-time dose or a repeated dose to treat short-term (acute) pain or fever. 

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

This is a short-term medication.

Important considerations for taking this drug

How long does it take?

This injection takes about 15 minutes.

Insurance

Your insurance company may require a prior authorization before it approves the prescription and pays for this drug.

SECTION 5 of 5

How Much Does acetaminophen Cost?

Injectable solution

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Lowest price for acetaminophen

CVS Pharmacy $1.04
Walmart $2.43
Sams Club $2.43
These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for acetaminophen on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for acetaminophen on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

Show Sources

Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on May 19, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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