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Is it safe to take acetaminophen every day?

Medically reviewed by Carmen Pope, BPharm. Last updated on Jan 6, 2022.

Official answer


It is considered safe to take acetaminophen every day as long as you follow the recommended dosage guidelines of taking it every 4 to 6 hours, only take what you need, and do not exceed the maximum dosage of 4,000 mg per day (note that some experts believe a maximum limit of 3,000 mg per day is safer for those who take acetaminophen every single day).

Acetaminophen has a much narrower window of safety compared with ibuprofen and naproxen, and taking too much acetaminophen can cause a build-up of a toxic byproduct of acetaminophen, called NAPQI, that can damage the liver, sometimes leading to a liver transplant or death. If you take too much—all at once or over days—more toxins can build up than your body can handle.

Despite billions of doses of acetaminophen being consumed safely every year, deaths still occur from accidental overdosage. Often it is because people inadvertently combine their acetaminophen tablets with one of the other 600 cold, flu, and sinus products that also contain acetaminophen. Before you know it, you have exceeded the recommended maximum dosage of acetaminophen which your liver cannot metabolize properly.

  • Acetaminophen safety: Be cautious but not afraid. April 15, 2020,day%20as%20your%20maximum%20dos.
  • Ben-Shachar R, Chen Y, Luo S, Hartman C, Reed M, Nijhout HF. The biochemistry of acetaminophen hepatotoxicity and rescue: a mathematical model. Theor Biol Med Model. 2012;9:55. Published 2012 Dec 19. doi:10.1186/1742-4682-9-55

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