Assess overall health status and alcohol usage before administering acetaminophen. Patients who are malnourished or chronically abuse alcohol are at higher risk of developing hepatotoxicity with chronic use of usual doses of this drug.
» Assess amount, frequency, and type of drugs taken in patients self-medicating, especially with OTC drugs. Prolonged use of acetaminophen increases the risk of adverse renal effects. For short-term use, combined doses of acetaminophen and salicylates should not exceed the recommended dose of either drug given alone.Pain
Assess type, location, and intensity prior to and 3060 min following administration.Fever
Assess fever; note presence of associated signs (diaphoresis, tachycardia, and malaise).Lab Test Considerations
Evaluate hepatic, hematologic, and renal function periodically during prolonged, high-dose therapy.
» May alter results of blood glucose monitoring. May cause falsely ↓ values when measured with glucose oxidase/peroxidase method, but probably not with hexokinase/G6PD method. May also cause falsely ↑ values with certain instruments; see manufacturer's instruction manual.
» Increased serum bilirubin, LDH, AST, ALT, and prothrombin time may indicate hepatotoxicity.Toxicity and Overdose
If overdose occurs, acetylcysteine (Acetadote) is the antidote.
acetaminophen (oral, rectal) is a sample topic found in Davis's Drug Guide.
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