1 What is Acephen?

Brand: Acephen, Actamin Maximum Strength, Altenol, Aminofen, Anacin Aspirin Free, Apra, Arthritis Pain Relief, Cetafen, Childrens Mapap, Childrens Nortemp, Comtrex Sore Throat Relief, Dolono, Febrol, Feverall, Genapap, Genebs, Infantaire, Mapap, Mapap Arthritis Pain, Pain-Eze Rheu-Thritis, Pyrecot, Pyregesic, Q-Pap, Redutemp, Silapap, T-Painol, Tycolene, Tylenol

Generic: Acetaminophen

Acephen is a painkiller used to relieve minor to moderate body pains including headaches, joint pains, menstrual pains, tooth aches, back aches, arthritis and pain associated with flu/fever.

It is also a drug of choice to cure fever. It is an over the counter drug and can be easily obtained without a prescription.

It is available in the form of solution, tablet, disintegrating tablet, effervescent tablet, chewable tablet, extended release tablet, suppository, powder, syrup, capsule, powder for solution and liquid form for use in different ages.

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2 What to Know Before Using

Acephen is a relatively safe drug as compared to other drugs and, hence is easily available from medical or general stores. It is still important to have a detailed view of its safety, side effects and the way it acts. It is recommended that a patient have a consultation with his/her doctor before using it.

  • Detailed history of a patient is extremely important prior to any medical therapy and in this case, it is preferred that a drug be started after it. Allergies or any history of allergy to any drug, food, preservatives, dyes or animal products; history of drug usage, past medical or surgical procedure should also be kept in record to predict any drug interaction.
  • Physical examination should be done before starting this drug so that any physiological or pathological condition by which this drug may interfere may be ruled out.
  • Age specific assessment is necessary to maintain a safety profile. Different studies have ruled out any special side effect of this drug in children or old patients to rule out its use in them. It is advised to not use this drug without recommendation by a doctor in children below 2 years of age. It has also been declared a safe drug for use in pregnant as well as breastfeeding mothers by different studies.
  • Drug interactions occur as a result of many drugs being used simultaneously. These drugs can interfere in each other’s working or may enhance or diminish their removal from the body. It is usually not recommended to use Acetaminophen with Imatinib, Isoniazid, Pixantrone, and vaccines of pneumococcus and diphtheria; and the doctor will change either of these drugs or its dose to decrease the interactions.The doctor may also decrease dose of other medications like : Acenocoumarol, Carbamazepine, Fosphenytoin, Lixisenatide, Phenytoin, Warfarin and Zidovudine, to avoid potential side effects. The effect of certain foods, alcohol and tobacco should also be discussed with the consulting doctor.
  • Other medical conditions, like kidney disease, liver disease, phenylketonuria and alcohol abuse, should be told to the doctor as these may result in decrease in the removal of toxic metabolites of this drug.

3 Proper Usage

Follow doctor’s instructions about the use of Acephen and do not take more than this or more often.

Too much acetaminophen may cause liver damage and the safe amount per day is 4 grams. It can be taken with or without food.

Those who are using liquid form of the drug should make sure that they have taken the amount as instructed by the doctor in a measuring spoon or cup. Tablets are advised to be taken along with water to avoid any difficulty in swallowing.

Rectal suppositories are better to be given at a clinic to an older child, while it can be given to a younger kid at home.

4 Precautions to Take

Acephen is the one of the most commonly used drugs worldwide. It is a relatively safe drug but still some points should be kept in mind to avoid any side effect and to utilize it to its best.

  • Make sure that you do not overdose. There are many medications used for flu and other ailments which contain acetaminophen as its component. * Read the components of the drug before adding it to the daily regime as it may lead to increase in its levels in the body above 4 grams (safe limit).
  • Liver problem can be characterized by pain or tenderness in the upper stomach, pale stools, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, weakness, yellow eyes and pale skin. Once liver problem is suspected, discontinue the drug.
  • Avoid alcoholic beverages during therapy with this drug.
  • Avoid Acetaminophen for 3 to 4 days before blood tests as it may interfere with blood chemistry.
  • If too much drug is consumed, rush to the emergency department even if no symptoms of liver failure are visible.
  • Consult the doctor, if any serious problem is suspected.
  • Storage of drug should be in a dry environment with room temperature. Keep it away from the reach of children.

5 Potential Side Effects

There are some side effects related to Acephen, which increase considerably with its overdose. Liver failure is the most threatening problem associated with acetaminophen overdose.

Symptoms of overdose include diarrhea, increased sweating, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain and tenderness in the upper abdomen.

Rare side effects include black, tarry stools, blood in urine, fever, chills, pain in the lower back or side, pinpoint red spots on the skin, skin rash, hives, sore throat, ulcers, sudden decrease in the amount of urine, unusual bleeding or bruising, weakness, yellow eyes and pale skin.

It is necessary to get medical help in case of any side effect.