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Taking a Prescription that Contains Acetaminophen

Think medicine safety – when taking prescription and OTC medications containing Acetaminophen.


What to know

Acetaminophen is an active ingredient in more than 500 prescription (Rx) and over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. When taken as directed, acetaminophen is safe and effective. But if you take too much – more than 4,000 mg in 24 hours – that could harm your liver.

What you can do

Check the ingredients in your medicines. Take ONLY 1 medicine that contains acetaminophen at a time.

Prescription (Rx)

Look for the word “Acetaminophen,” sometimes shortened to “APAP”.

Common examples:

  • Vicodin®
  • Norco®
  • Lortab® (Hydrocodone)
  • Percocet®
  • Endocet®
  • Roxicet® (Oxycodone)
  • Tylenol® with Codeine (Codeine)
  • Floricet® (Butalbital)
  • Ultracet® (Tramadol)

Over-the-counter (OTC)

Look for the word “Acetaminophen” where is says “Active ingredient”.

Common examples:

  • Tylenol®
  • NyQuil®/DayQuil®
  • Excedrin®
  • Alka-Seltzer Plus®
  • Mucinex®
  • Robitussin®
  • Goody’s®
  • Comtrex®
  • Sudafed®
  • Theraflu®

This is not a complete list of prescription and OTC brands with products that contain acetaminophen. Check your medicine labels. If you are unsure, ask your healthcare professional.

Write down all of the Rx and OTC medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements you take. Bring the list and your bottles to your next visit.

If you have any questions about choosing or using OTC or prescription pain relievers, talk with your healthcare professional.

By the Johnson & Johnson / UnitedHealth Group Collaborative on Pain Management

Get Relief Responsibly®. Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. Accessed March 1, 2019.

Last updated: March 1, 2019