Generic Name: acetaminophen (rectal) (a SEET a MIN oh fen)
Brand Name: Acephen, Feverall, Mapap, Uniserts

What is acetaminophen?

Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and a fever reducer.

Acetaminophen rectal is given as a suppository to treat many conditions such as headache, muscle aches, arthritis, backache, toothaches, colds, and fevers.

Acetaminophen may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about acetaminophen?

Do not use more of this medication than is recommended. An overdose of acetaminophen can damage your liver or cause death. Call your doctor at once if you have nausea, pain in your upper stomach, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, or jaundice (yellowing of your skin or eyes).

Slideshow: 2014 Update: First Time Brand-to-Generic Switches

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any other cold, allergy, pain, or sleep medication. Acetaminophen (sometimes abbreviated as APAP) is contained in many combination medicines. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much acetaminophen which can lead to a fatal overdose. Check the label to see if a medicine contains acetaminophen or APAP.

In rare cases, acetaminophen may cause a severe skin reaction. Stop using this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have skin redness or a rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using acetaminophen?

You should not use acetaminophen if you are allergic to it.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use acetaminophen if you have:

  • liver disease; or

  • a history of alcoholism.

Do not use this medication without a doctor's advice if you have ever had alcoholic liver disease (cirrhosis) or if you drink more than 3 alcoholic beverages per day. You may not be able to use acetaminophen.

FDA pregnancy category C. Your doctor will determine whether acetaminophen is safe for you to use during pregnancy. Do not use this medicine without the advice of your doctor if you are pregnant.

Acetaminophen can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I use acetaminophen?

Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Do not use more of this medication than is recommended. An overdose of acetaminophen can damage your liver or cause death.

If you are treating a child, use a pediatric form of acetaminophen. Carefully follow the dosing directions on the medicine label. Do not give the medication to a child younger than 2 years old without the advice of a doctor.

Do not take an acetaminophen rectal suppository by mouth. It is for use only in your rectum.

Wash your hands before and after inserting the suppository.

Try to empty your bowel and bladder just before using the acetaminophen suppository.

Remove the outer wrapper from the suppository before inserting it. Avoid handling the suppository too long or it will melt in your hands.

For best results from the suppository, lie down and insert the suppository pointed tip first into the rectum. Hold in the suppository for a few minutes. It will melt quickly once inserted and you should feel little or no discomfort while holding it in. Avoid using the bathroom just after inserting the suppository.

Stop using acetaminophen and call your doctor if:

  • you still have a fever after 3 days of use;

  • you still have pain after 10 days of use (or 5 days if treating a child);

  • you have a sore throat, high fever, or nausea and vomiting;

  • you have a skin rash, ongoing headache, or any redness or swelling; or

  • if your symptoms get worse, or if you have any new symptoms.

Acetaminophen can cause false results with certain lab tests for glucose (sugar) in the urine. Talk to your doctor if you are diabetic and you notice changes in your glucose levels during treatment.

The rectal suppositories may also be stored in the refrigerator. Do not allow the medicine to freeze.

Store at room temperature away from heat and moisture.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Since acetaminophen is used as needed, you may not be on a dosing schedule. If you are using the medication regularly, use the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not use extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222. An overdose of acetaminophen can be fatal.

The first signs of an acetaminophen overdose include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, sweating, and confusion or weakness. Later symptoms may include pain in your upper stomach, dark urine, and yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.

What should I avoid while using acetaminophen?

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using any other cold, allergy, pain, or sleep medication. Acetaminophen (sometimes abbreviated as APAP) is contained in many combination medicines. Using certain products together can cause you to get too much acetaminophen which can lead to a fatal overdose. Check the label to see if a medicine contains acetaminophen or APAP.

Avoid drinking alcohol. It may increase your risk of liver damage while using acetaminophen.

Acetaminophen side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

In rare cases, acetaminophen may cause a severe skin reaction that can be fatal. This could occur even if you have taken acetaminophen in the past and had no reaction. Stop using this medicine and call your doctor right away if you have skin redness or a rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling. If you have this type of reaction, you should never again take any medicine that contains acetaminophen.

Stop using acetaminophen and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • nausea, upper stomach pain, loss of appetite;

  • itching, dark urine, clay-colored stools; or

  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect acetaminophen?

Other drugs may interact with acetaminophen, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about acetaminophen.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 2.01. Revision Date: 2013-08-07, 11:29:42 AM.

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