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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 ?
"This research conducted in UK was a combined or collated report based on a cohort of 5 studies conducted on people who were in a habit of taking paracetamols to pre-empt pain," he added.
The use of oral and IV paracetamol in post-operative pain management as a single drug or in combination with another drugs has been demonstrated in numerous studies.
Pfaffenrath and the Badr Al Samaa Polyclinic at Ruwi, says every third patient he sees takes painkillers, mostly paracetamol, almost on a daily basis.
There will be a few paracetamols taken on the way back."
"She started eating paracetamols like they were sweets.
Mr King said in a statement that Mr Gourlay became depressed and convinced that the police and other law agencies were monitoring him, and in April of last year he took an overdose of paracetamols.
Gardner said after Miss Longe had died he had taken about 50 paracetamols and he had intended to take his own life 'because of what happened to Nina'.
Arron has to take five different tablets - steroids, anti-inflammatory, folic acid, paracetamols and a cancer drug found to help some children with arthritis.
Parents usually give paracetamols and even if the school nurse was to check it on her thermometer the fever will not show.
At least they knew it worked!" The machine left Sean's ribs black and blue and he needed eight paracetamols a day to ease the pain.
O, a dwi angen prynu 'baby wipes' hefyd mae'n debyg ( nid ar gyfer y wers efo'r athrawon), a beryg y byddai stoc o paracetamols yn handi ( i mi).
In a statement he said tests had been carried out on the "bright blue tablets which are the size of paracetamols" which had revealed they were PMA.