Did you know that acetaminophen is found in more than 600 different prescription and over-the-counter medicines? It’s in pain relievers, fever reducers and sleep aids, as well as cough, cold and flu medicines. More than 50 million Americans use an acetaminophen-containing medicine each week.
Acetaminophen is safe and effective when used as directed, but there’s a limit to how much you can take in one day: 4,000 milligrams. Taking more than the maximum daily dose is an overdose and can lead to liver damage. Each year, acetaminophen overdose is associated with an estimated 56,000 emergency room visits and 26,000 hospitalizations.
Education is a key step to driving safe medicine use and preventing overdose. Today’s infographic from the Acetaminophen Awareness Coalition shows three common mistakes that people can make when taking acetaminophen, and provides four simple steps to make sure you use it safely: 1) always read and follow your medicine labels; 2) know if your medicines contain acetaminophen; 3) never take two medicines with acetaminophen at the same time; and 4) ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have any questions.