Acetaminophen: Old Drug, New Issues

Anita Aminoshariae, Asma Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Introduction: The purpose of this review was to discuss new issues related to safety, labeling, dosing, and a better understanding of the analgesic effect of acetaminophen. Methods: The MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane, and PubMed databases were searched. Additionally, the bibliography of all relevant articles and textbooks were manually searched. Two reviewers independently selected the relevant articles. Results: Concerns about acetaminophen overdose and related liver failure have led the US Food and Drug Administration to mandate new labeling on acetaminophen packaging. In addition, large-scale epidemiologic studies increasingly report evidence for second-generation adverse effects of acetaminophen. Prenatal exposure to acetaminophen is associated with neurodevelopmental and behavioral disorders. Recent studies also suggest that acetaminophen is a hormone disrupter (ie, it interferes with sex and thyroid hormone function essential for normal brain development) and thus may not be considered a safe drug during pregnancy. Finally, emerging evidence suggests that although the predominant mechanism by which acetaminophen exerts its therapeutic effect is by inhibition of cyclooxygenase, multiple other mechanisms also contribute to its analgesic effect. Conclusions: Available evidence suggests that indiscriminate usage of this drug is not warranted. and its administration to a pregnant patient should be considered with great caution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)588-593
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of endodontics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Acetaminophen
  • mechanism of action
  • paracetamol
  • review
  • side effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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