Acetaminophen Awareness

The American Liver Foundation is a proud partner in the Know Your Dose campaign, which is led by the Acetaminophen Awareness Coalition. The initiative seeks to raise awareness and promotes four simple steps for safe acetaminophen use.

Follow these four steps to help you take acetaminophen safely:

  1. Always read and follow the medicine label;
  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 questions about dosing instructions or medicines that contain acetaminophen.

Why is the safe use of acetaminophen important?

Acetaminophen is found in more than 600 different prescription and over-the-counter medicines. These include pain relievers, fever reducers, cough, cold, and allergy medicines, as well as sleep aids. It is the most common drug ingredient in the United States.

When used as directed, acetaminophen is safe and effective. But there is a limit to how much you can take in one day. Taking more acetaminophen than directed is an overdose and can lead to liver damage. Acetaminophen overdose is the most common cause of acute liver failure in the United States.

Knowing how to read the labels on prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines is an important step in making sure that you use medicines safely. Always keep your medicine in the original packaging so that you have proper dosing information on hand. You need to know if acetaminophen is in the medicines you take so you can avoid taking too much.

Here’s how to find out if your medication contains acetaminophen:

  • If you are taking an over-the-counter medicine, check the front of the package and the “active ingredient” section of the Drug Facts label for the word “acetaminophen”
  • For prescription medicine, look for the word “acetaminophen” or a shorter version such as “APAP” or “acetam” on the label

For more information:  Common Medicines with Acetaminophen – Know Your Dose 173.1KB 

Acetaminophen Safety Report

Each week, more than 50 million Americans use a medicine that contains acetaminophen. A report and educational resource from the Acetaminophen Awareness Coalition reviews the dosing behaviors that can lead to unintentional acetaminophen overdose and explores the successful impact of ongoing education campaigns to drive safe use and prevent overdose-related liver damage. Order copies, download an infographic, and learn more here:

Go to the Know Your Dose Main Page

Last updated on September 6th, 2023 at 03:38 pm

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