PCP and higher: treatment of mild to moderate pain
ACP: reduction of fever
ACP only: follow analgesia dosing for antipyresis
Acetaminophen inhibits prostaglandin synthetase in the central nervous system, reducing pain and fever.
Toxicity may occur after a single dose of more than 7.5 g (adults) or 150 mg/kg (pediatrics).
Acetaminophen is the leading cause of serious liver injury in Canada. Patients with pre-existing liver disease (regardless of underlying cause), chronic users of acetaminophen, and pediatrics are at most risk. Acetaminophen is a component of many over-the-counter medications and patients may inadvertently be consuming much higher doses than expected. Paramedics must ensure that a complete medication history is obtained prior to the administration of acetaminophen, including over-the-counter preparations.
Alcohol may potentiate acetaminophen’s hepatoxic effects.