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ac·et·a·min·o·phen (APAP),

An antipyretic and analgesic, with potency similar to that of aspirin.
Synonym(s): paracetamol
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


(păr′ə-sē′tə-môl′, -môl′)
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.


An over-the-counter analgesic used for headaches, muscle or joint pain, and fever, which lacks anti-inflammatory activity.
Therapeutic range
10–25 mg/L
Critical value
≥ 300 mg/L

Overdose can cause fatal liver failure. Up to 10% of hospitalisations for overdose and 40% of acute hepatic failure are linked to paracetamol overdose, which is more often accidental—e.g., children, alcoholics—than suicidal. Doses of > 150 mg/kg/24 hours cause acute liver failure.

Clinical stage of paracetamol toxicity
1. 1–24 hours—Non-specific.
2. 24–48 hours—Right upper quadrant pain, tenderness with elevated liver enzymes.
3. 72–96 hours—Marked increase in liver enzymes; fulminant hepatic failure, coagulopathy, acidosis.
4. 4–14 days—Liver recuperates or patient dies.

Pathogenesis of paracetamol overdose
90% is metabolised in the liver to non-toxic glucuronide and sulphate conjugates; 5% is oxidised by cytochrome p450 to NAPQI, which covalently binds to hepatocyte macromolecules, leading to hepatocyte death; 5% is excreted unchanged in urine.

Blood, urine.
Segen's Medical Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.


A drug widely used to relieve pain and reduce fever. The drug does not irritate the stomach, as ASPIRIN does, but overdose causes liver and kidney damage and may cause death from liver failure. 15 g or more is potentially serious. The victim remains well for a day or two and liver failure develops between the third and fifth day. The drug is on the WHO official list. Brand names are Alvedon, Calpol Disprol Paediatric, Infadrops, Medinol and Salzone. Preparations that include paracetamol include Cosalgesic, Distalgesic, Domperamol, Fortagesic, Kapake, Midrid, Migraleve, Paradote, Paramax, Remedeine and Solpadol.
Collins Dictionary of Medicine © Robert M. Youngson 2004, 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
* Medical treatment of pain should employ a sequential (stepup) approach, commencing with simple, non-narcotic episodic analgesia (paracetomol or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), together with a low-fat diet.
Half a Paracetomol for a headache - might as well just drink the water." she mocks.
Now I don't have to pick up a bottle and check it's 100% Paracetomol.
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She was also found at her home surrounded by pills having taken 22 paracetomol and tramadol tablets.
Ibuprofen and paracetomol for pain relief during medical abortion: a double-blind randomised controlled study.
School nurses are no longer a band aid and paracetomol service.
I was in such agony that I would have swallowed a whole bottle of paracetomol willingly though I was a little concerned when the nurse put on a pair of rubber gloves!This was the strangest way I had ever taken an aspirin but thankfully it worked!
GPs in the area also reported a flood of patients and advise people with flu to stay in bed, take paracetomol and drink plenty of hot drinks.
His advice to flu victims is to keep warm, take paracetomol and have warm drinks.
Fentanyl 50mg iv and inj paracetomol 750mg iv was used for the intra operative analgesia.
Meanwhile, her killer bought vodka and paracetomol, sought refuge under a platform at Marton railway station - where he played as a child - and took an overdose.