Preventing Overuse

Acetaminophen overuse is more common than one thinks.

That’s because Acetaminophen is a common ingredient in many different over-the-counter drugs.

Keep track of how much Acetaminophen one takes in one day.

This can decrease one’s risk of overuse.

One’s individual Acetaminophen limit may also be affected by one’s age or certain lifestyle habits.

Severe liver damage is more likely to occur in:

  • Adults who take more than 3 g (3,000 mg) of Acetaminophen in a 24-hour period
  • Children who take more than five doses in a 24-hour period
  • People who already have liver disease, take other medications that can damage the liver, or drink three or more alcoholic drinks per day, even when they take Acetaminophen at the recommended dosage

For Children: Before giving Acetaminophen to one’s child, check the package label for instructions. Verify the dosage. The dosage for children is usually in a chart that is based on age and weight. One’s doctor or pharmacist can help one with the dosage if the package is unclear to you. If one’s child is younger than 2 years, talk to their doctor before giving them Acetaminophen. And never give a child Acetaminophen that is clearly marked for use only in adults.