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Acetaminophen

Acetaminophen is an over-the-counter nonopioid analgesic and antipyretic medication and the most commonly used analgesic worldwide. Despite the widespread use of acetaminophen, its mechanism of action is not entirely understood. However, acetaminophen is believed to exert its effects through indirect and reversible inhibition of cyclooxygenase Cyclooxygenase Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) (COX)-1 and COX-2. The effects are generally limited to the CNS. Acetaminophen is primarily metabolized by the liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy; therefore, an overdose can lead to life-threatening hepatotoxicity. In adults, limiting the total acetaminophen dose (from all sources and routes) to < 4000 mg/day is highly recommended. Contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation to acetaminophen use include hypersensitivity, severe hepatic impairment, or severe active hepatic disease.

Last updated: 22 Jul, 2021

Editorial responsibility: Stanley Oiseth, Lindsay Jones, Evelin Maza

Chemistry and Pharmacodynamics

Definition

Acetaminophen, also known as paracetamol (N-acetyl-p-aminophenol), is a nonopioid analgesic and antipyretic agent used to treat pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways and fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever.

Chemical structure

  • Derivative of p-aminophenol
  • Chemical formula: C8H9NO2
Acetaminophen (n-acetyl-p-aminophenol)

Acetaminophen (N-acetyl-p-aminophenol)

Image: “Acetaminophen (N-acetyl-p-aminophenol)” by Huang. License: CC BY 3.0

Mechanism of action

  • The exact mechanism of action is not fully understood.
  • The effects are believed to be via the indirect inhibition of cyclooxygenase Cyclooxygenase Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) (COX)-1 and COX-2 enzymes Enzymes Enzymes are complex protein biocatalysts that accelerate chemical reactions without being consumed by them. Due to the body’s constant metabolic needs, the absence of enzymes would make life unsustainable, as reactions would occur too slowly without these molecules. Basics of Enzymes in the CNS (by central COX inhibition).
  • Weak inhibitor of COX in the peripheral tissues

Physiologic effects

Pharmacokinetics

Absorption Absorption Absorption involves the uptake of nutrient molecules and their transfer from the lumen of the GI tract across the enterocytes and into the interstitial space, where they can be taken up in the venous or lymphatic circulation. Digestion and Absorption

  • Oral:
  • Rectal:
    • Bioavailability approximately 50%
    • Onset of action < 1 hour
    • Peak concentration not reached until 3 hours
  • IV:
    • Bioavailability up to 100%
    • Onset of action < 10 minutes
    • Peak concentration attained in about 60 minutes

Distribution

  • Even distribution throughout most tissues and fluids except in fat
  • Crosses the blood-brain barrier Blood-brain barrier Specialized non-fenestrated tightly-joined endothelial cells with tight junctions that form a transport barrier for certain substances between the cerebral capillaries and the brain tissue. Systemic and Special Circulations and placenta Placenta A highly vascularized mammalian fetal-maternal organ and major site of transport of oxygen, nutrients, and fetal waste products. It includes a fetal portion (chorionic villi) derived from trophoblasts and a maternal portion (decidua) derived from the uterine endometrium. The placenta produces an array of steroid, protein and peptide hormones (placental hormones). Placenta, Umbilical Cord, and Amniotic Cavity; found in breast milk
  • Low plasma Plasma The residual portion of blood that is left after removal of blood cells by centrifugation without prior blood coagulation. Transfusion Products protein binding (25%)

Metabolism

  • Metabolized primarily by the liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy and follows 1st-order kinetics:
    • Conjugation Conjugation A parasexual process in bacteria; algae; fungi; and ciliate eukaryota for achieving exchange of chromosome material during fusion of two cells. In bacteria, this is a unidirectional transfer of genetic material; in protozoa it is a bi-directional exchange. In algae and fungi, it is a form of sexual reproduction, with the union of male and female gametes. Bacteriology with glucuronide
    • Conjugation Conjugation A parasexual process in bacteria; algae; fungi; and ciliate eukaryota for achieving exchange of chromosome material during fusion of two cells. In bacteria, this is a unidirectional transfer of genetic material; in protozoa it is a bi-directional exchange. In algae and fungi, it is a form of sexual reproduction, with the union of male and female gametes. Bacteriology with sulfate
    • Oxidation via the cytochrome P450 Cytochrome P450 A superfamily of hundreds of closely related hemeproteins found throughout the phylogenetic spectrum, from animals, plants, fungi, to bacteria. They include numerous complex monooxygenases (mixed function oxygenases). In animals, these p450 enzymes serve two major functions: (1) biosynthesis of steroids, fatty acids, and bile acids; (2) metabolism of endogenous and a wide variety of exogenous substrates, such as toxins and drugs (biotransformation). They are classified, according to their sequence similarities rather than functions, into cyp gene families (>40% homology) and subfamilies (>59% homology). For example, enzymes from the cyp1, cyp2, and cyp3 gene families are responsible for most drug metabolism. Drug-induced Liver Injury (CYP) pathway (primarily CYP2E1 CYP2E1 An ethanol-inducible cytochrome p450 enzyme that metabolizes several precarcinogens, drugs, and solvents to reactive metabolites. Substrates include ethanol; inhalation anesthetics; benzene; acetaminophen and other low molecular weight compounds. Cyp2e1 has been used as an enzyme marker in the study of alcohol abuse. Ethanol Metabolism)
  • Metabolism via the CYP2E1 CYP2E1 An ethanol-inducible cytochrome p450 enzyme that metabolizes several precarcinogens, drugs, and solvents to reactive metabolites. Substrates include ethanol; inhalation anesthetics; benzene; acetaminophen and other low molecular weight compounds. Cyp2e1 has been used as an enzyme marker in the study of alcohol abuse. Ethanol Metabolism pathway results in the production of N-acetyl-p-benzoquinone imine ( NAPQI NAPQI Drug-induced Liver Injury).
  • NAPQI NAPQI Drug-induced Liver Injury is a toxic metabolite:
    • Rapidly conjugated with glutathione
    • Detoxified by glutathione → nontoxic cysteine Cysteine A thiol-containing non-essential amino acid that is oxidized to form cystine. Synthesis of Nonessential Amino Acids and mercaptate compounds → renal excretion
  • Note: Drugs administered orally are subject to 1st-pass metabolism.

Excretion

  • Metabolites are primarily excreted in the urine Urine Liquid by-product of excretion produced in the kidneys, temporarily stored in the bladder until discharge through the urethra. Bowen Disease and Erythroplasia of Queyrat:
    • Majority as glucuronide metabolites, then as sulfate metabolites
    • < 10% as metabolites of cysteine Cysteine A thiol-containing non-essential amino acid that is oxidized to form cystine. Synthesis of Nonessential Amino Acids and mercapturic acid

Indications

Acetaminophen is an equivalent of aspirin Aspirin The prototypical analgesic used in the treatment of mild to moderate pain. It has anti-inflammatory and antipyretic properties and acts as an inhibitor of cyclooxygenase which results in the inhibition of the biosynthesis of prostaglandins. Aspirin also inhibits platelet aggregation and is used in the prevention of arterial and venous thrombosis. Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) and has analgesic and antipyretic effects; however, acetaminophen does not have platelet-inhibiting effects nor does it affect Affect The feeling-tone accompaniment of an idea or mental representation. It is the most direct psychic derivative of instinct and the psychic representative of the various bodily changes by means of which instincts manifest themselves. Psychiatric Assessment uric acid Uric acid An oxidation product, via xanthine oxidase, of oxypurines such as xanthine and hypoxanthine. It is the final oxidation product of purine catabolism in humans and primates, whereas in most other mammals urate oxidase further oxidizes it to allantoin. Nephrolithiasis levels.

Fever

  • Temporary reduction of fever Fever Fever is defined as a measured body temperature of at least 38°C (100.4°F). Fever is caused by circulating endogenous and/or exogenous pyrogens that increase levels of prostaglandin E2 in the hypothalamus. Fever is commonly associated with chills, rigors, sweating, and flushing of the skin. Fever
  • Can be used in individuals of all ages

Pain

  • Oral/rectal: temporary relief from minor aches, pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways, and headaches
  • IV: 
    • Relief from mild-to-moderate pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways
    • Relief from moderate-to-severe pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways when combined with an opioid Opioid Compounds with activity like opiate alkaloids, acting at opioid receptors. Properties include induction of analgesia or narcosis. Constipation
    • Should only be used in individuals ≥ 2 years of age

Adverse Effects and Contraindications

Adverse effects of oral/rectal acetaminophen

  • Hepatic (most significant): 
    • Associated with doses > 4000 mg/day and the use of > 1 acetaminophen-containing product Product A molecule created by the enzymatic reaction. Basics of Enzymes (can lead to acetaminophen overdose Acetaminophen Overdose Acetaminophen (APAP) is an over-the-counter nonopioid analgesic and antipyretic medication. Acetaminophen is the most commonly used analgesic worldwide. Acetaminophen overdose is also one of the most common causes of medication poisoning and death. Acetaminophen Overdose)
    • Limit Limit A value (e.g., pressure or time) that should not be exceeded and which is specified by the operator to protect the lung Invasive Mechanical Ventilation total dose from all sources and routes to < 4000 mg/day (adults).
    • Manifestations:
      • Increased liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy enzymes Enzymes Enzymes are complex protein biocatalysts that accelerate chemical reactions without being consumed by them. Due to the body’s constant metabolic needs, the absence of enzymes would make life unsustainable, as reactions would occur too slowly without these molecules. Basics of Enzymes
      • Acute hepatic failure Hepatic failure Severe inability of the liver to perform its normal metabolic functions, as evidenced by severe jaundice and abnormal serum levels of ammonia; bilirubin; alkaline phosphatase; aspartate aminotransferase; lactate dehydrogenases; and albumin/globulin ratio. Autoimmune Hepatitis
      • Hepatotoxicity
  • Other effects:
    • Otic: hearing loss Hearing loss Hearing loss, also known as hearing impairment, is any degree of impairment in the ability to apprehend sound as determined by audiometry to be below normal hearing thresholds. Clinical presentation may occur at birth or as a gradual loss of hearing with age, including a short-term or sudden loss at any point. Hearing Loss
    • Dermatologic: erythema Erythema Redness of the skin produced by congestion of the capillaries. This condition may result from a variety of disease processes. Chalazion, rash Rash Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Stevens-Johnson syndrome Stevens-Johnson syndrome Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) is a cutaneous, immune-mediated hypersensitivity reaction that is commonly triggered by medications, including antiepileptics and antibiotics. The condition runs on a spectrum with toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) based on the amount of body surface area (BSA) involved. Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis Stevens-Johnson Syndrome
    • Hypersensitivity: hypersensitivity reactions, anaphylaxis Anaphylaxis An acute hypersensitivity reaction due to exposure to a previously encountered antigen. The reaction may include rapidly progressing urticaria, respiratory distress, vascular collapse, systemic shock, and death. Type I Hypersensitivity Reaction

Adverse effects of IV acetaminophen

  • Hepatic (most significant):
    • Increased ALT ALT An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of l-alanine and 2-oxoglutarate to pyruvate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests and AST AST Enzymes of the transferase class that catalyze the conversion of l-aspartate and 2-ketoglutarate to oxaloacetate and l-glutamate. Liver Function Tests levels
    • Acute hepatic failure Hepatic failure Severe inability of the liver to perform its normal metabolic functions, as evidenced by severe jaundice and abnormal serum levels of ammonia; bilirubin; alkaline phosphatase; aspartate aminotransferase; lactate dehydrogenases; and albumin/globulin ratio. Autoimmune Hepatitis
    • Hepatotoxicity
  • GI (> 10%): nausea Nausea An unpleasant sensation in the stomach usually accompanied by the urge to vomit. Common causes are early pregnancy, sea and motion sickness, emotional stress, intense pain, food poisoning, and various enteroviruses. Antiemetics, vomiting Vomiting The forcible expulsion of the contents of the stomach through the mouth. Hypokalemia, constipation Constipation Constipation is common and may be due to a variety of causes. Constipation is generally defined as bowel movement frequency < 3 times per week. Patients who are constipated often strain to pass hard stools. The condition is classified as primary (also known as idiopathic or functional constipation) or secondary, and as acute or chronic. Constipation, diarrhea Diarrhea Diarrhea is defined as ≥ 3 watery or loose stools in a 24-hour period. There are a multitude of etiologies, which can be classified based on the underlying mechanism of disease. The duration of symptoms (acute or chronic) and characteristics of the stools (e.g., watery, bloody, steatorrheic, mucoid) can help guide further diagnostic evaluation. Diarrhea
  • ≤ 10%:
    • Cardiovascular: hypertension Hypertension Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that manifests as elevated systemic arterial pressures. Hypertension is most often asymptomatic and is found incidentally as part of a routine physical examination or during triage for an unrelated medical encounter. Hypertension or hypotension Hypotension Hypotension is defined as low blood pressure, specifically < 90/60 mm Hg, and is most commonly a physiologic response. Hypotension may be mild, serious, or life threatening, depending on the cause. Hypotension, peripheral edema Peripheral edema Peripheral edema is the swelling of the lower extremities, namely, legs, feet, and ankles. Edema (adults)
    • Dermatologic: rash Rash Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Stevens-Johnson syndrome Stevens-Johnson syndrome Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) is a cutaneous, immune-mediated hypersensitivity reaction that is commonly triggered by medications, including antiepileptics and antibiotics. The condition runs on a spectrum with toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) based on the amount of body surface area (BSA) involved. Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis Stevens-Johnson Syndrome
    • Endocrine and metabolic: hypoalbuminemia Hypoalbuminemia A condition in which albumin level in blood (serum albumin) is below the normal range. Hypoalbuminemia may be due to decreased hepatic albumin synthesis, increased albumin catabolism, altered albumin distribution, or albumin loss through the urine (albuminuria). Nephrotic Syndrome in Children, hypokalemia Hypokalemia Hypokalemia is defined as plasma potassium (K+) concentration < 3.5 mEq/L. Homeostatic mechanisms maintain plasma concentration between 3.5-5.2 mEq/L despite marked variation in dietary intake. Hypokalemia can be due to renal losses, GI losses, transcellular shifts, or poor dietary intake. Hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia Hypomagnesemia A nutritional condition produced by a deficiency of magnesium in the diet, characterized by anorexia, nausea, vomiting, lethargy, and weakness. Symptoms are paresthesias, muscle cramps, irritability, decreased attention span, and mental confusion, possibly requiring months to appear. Deficiency of body magnesium can exist even when serum values are normal. In addition, magnesium deficiency may be organ-selective, since certain tissues become deficient before others. Electrolytes, hypophosphatemia Hypophosphatemia A condition of an abnormally low level of phosphates in the blood. Bartter Syndrome
    • Genitourinary: oliguria Oliguria Decreased urine output that is below the normal range. Oliguria can be defined as urine output of less than or equal to 0. 5 or 1 ml/kg/hr depending on the age. Renal Potassium Regulation
    • Hematologic: anemia Anemia Anemia is a condition in which individuals have low Hb levels, which can arise from various causes. Anemia is accompanied by a reduced number of RBCs and may manifest with fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, and weakness. Subtypes are classified by the size of RBCs, chronicity, and etiology. Anemia: Overview and Types
    • Hypersensitivity: hypersensitivity reaction, anaphylaxis Anaphylaxis An acute hypersensitivity reaction due to exposure to a previously encountered antigen. The reaction may include rapidly progressing urticaria, respiratory distress, vascular collapse, systemic shock, and death. Type I Hypersensitivity Reaction
    • Local: pain Pain An unpleasant sensation induced by noxious stimuli which are detected by nerve endings of nociceptive neurons. Pain: Types and Pathways at infusion site
    • Nervous system Nervous system The nervous system is a small and complex system that consists of an intricate network of neural cells (or neurons) and even more glial cells (for support and insulation). It is divided according to its anatomical components as well as its functional characteristics. The brain and spinal cord are referred to as the central nervous system, and the branches of nerves from these structures are referred to as the peripheral nervous system. Nervous System: Anatomy, Structure, and Classification: agitation Agitation A feeling of restlessness associated with increased motor activity. This may occur as a manifestation of nervous system drug toxicity or other conditions. St. Louis Encephalitis Virus, headache Headache The symptom of pain in the cranial region. It may be an isolated benign occurrence or manifestation of a wide variety of headache disorders. Brain Abscess, insomnia Insomnia Insomnia is a sleep disorder characterized by difficulty in the initiation, maintenance, and consolidation of sleep, leading to impairment of function. Patients may exhibit symptoms such as difficulty falling asleep, disrupted sleep, trouble going back to sleep, early awakenings, and feeling tired upon waking. Insomnia, trismus Trismus Spasmodic contraction of the masseter muscle resulting in forceful jaw closure. This may be seen with a variety of diseases, including tetanus, as a complication of radiation therapy, trauma, or in association with neoplastic conditions. Tetanus
    • Musculoskeletal: muscle spasms Spasms An involuntary contraction of a muscle or group of muscles. Spasms may involve skeletal muscle or smooth muscle. Ion Channel Myopathy
    • Respiratory: dyspnea Dyspnea Dyspnea is the subjective sensation of breathing discomfort. Dyspnea is a normal manifestation of heavy physical or psychological exertion, but also may be caused by underlying conditions (both pulmonary and extrapulmonary). Dyspnea, stridor Stridor Laryngomalacia and Tracheomalacia, wheezing Wheezing Wheezing is an abnormal breath sound characterized by a whistling noise that can be relatively high-pitched and shrill (more common) or coarse. Wheezing is produced by the movement of air through narrowed or compressed small (intrathoracic) airways. Wheezing, pleural effusion Pleural Effusion Pleural effusion refers to the accumulation of fluid between the layers of the parietal and visceral pleura. Common causes of this condition include infection, malignancy, autoimmune disorders, or volume overload. Clinical manifestations include chest pain, cough, and dyspnea. Pleural Effusion, pulmonary edema Edema Edema is a condition in which excess serous fluid accumulates in the body cavity or interstitial space of connective tissues. Edema is a symptom observed in several medical conditions. It can be categorized into 2 types, namely, peripheral (in the extremities) and internal (in an organ or body cavity). Edema

Drug-drug interactions

Table: Drug-drug interactions
Drugs Interactions/effects
Alcohol (ethyl) ↑ Hepatotoxicity
Barbiturates Barbiturates A class of chemicals derived from barbituric acid or thiobarbituric acid. Many of these are gaba modulators used as hypnotics and sedatives, as anesthetics, or as anticonvulsants. Intravenous Anesthetics
  • ↑ Metabolism of acetaminophen
  • ↓ Therapeutic effect of acetaminophen
  • ↑ Risk of hepatotoxicity
Carbamazepine Carbamazepine A dibenzazepine that acts as a sodium channel blocker. It is used as an anticonvulsant for the treatment of grand mal and psychomotor or focal seizures. It may also be used in the management of bipolar disorder, and has analgesic properties. First-Generation Anticonvulsant Drugs
  • ↑ Metabolism of acetaminophen
  • ↓ Therapeutic effect of acetaminophen
  • ↑ Risk of hepatotoxicity
Fosphenytoin Fosphenytoin First-Generation Anticonvulsant Drugs phenytoin Phenytoin An anticonvulsant that is used to treat a wide variety of seizures. The mechanism of therapeutic action is not clear, although several cellular actions have been described including effects on ion channels, active transport, and general membrane stabilization. Phenytoin has been proposed for several other therapeutic uses, but its use has been limited by its many adverse effects and interactions with other drugs. First-Generation Anticonvulsant Drugs
  • ↓ Serum concentration of acetaminophen
  • ↑ N-acetyl-p-benzoquinone imine formation
Isoniazid Isoniazid Antibacterial agent used primarily as a tuberculostatic. It remains the treatment of choice for tuberculosis. Antimycobacterial Drugs ↑ Hepatotoxicity
Lamotrigine Lamotrigine A phenyltriazine compound, sodium and calcium channel blocker that is used for the treatment of seizures and bipolar disorder. Second-Generation Anticonvulsant Drugs ↓ Serum concentration of lamotrigine
Local anesthetics Anesthetics Agents that are capable of inducing a total or partial loss of sensation, especially tactile sensation and pain. They may act to induce general anesthesia, in which an unconscious state is achieved, or may act locally to induce numbness or lack of sensation at a targeted site. Anesthesiology: History and Basic Concepts ↑ Risk of methemoglobinemia Methemoglobinemia Methemoglobinemia is a condition characterized by elevated levels of methemoglobin in the blood. Methemoglobin is the oxidized form of hemoglobin, where the heme iron has been converted from the usual ferrous (Fe2+) to the ferric (Fe3+) form. The Fe3+ form of iron cannot bind O2, and, thus, leads to tissue hypoxia. Methemoglobinemia
Prilocaine Prilocaine A local anesthetic that is similar pharmacologically to lidocaine. Currently, it is used most often for infiltration anesthesia in dentistry. Local Anesthetics ↑ Likelihood of methemoglobinemia Methemoglobinemia Methemoglobinemia is a condition characterized by elevated levels of methemoglobin in the blood. Methemoglobin is the oxidized form of hemoglobin, where the heme iron has been converted from the usual ferrous (Fe2+) to the ferric (Fe3+) form. The Fe3+ form of iron cannot bind O2, and, thus, leads to tissue hypoxia. Methemoglobinemia
Rifampin Rifampin A semisynthetic antibiotic produced from streptomyces mediterranei. It has a broad antibacterial spectrum, including activity against several forms of Mycobacterium. In susceptible organisms it inhibits dna-dependent RNA polymerase activity by forming a stable complex with the enzyme. It thus suppresses the initiation of RNA synthesis. Rifampin is bactericidal, and acts on both intracellular and extracellular organisms. Epiglottitis ↑ Hepatotoxicity of acetaminophen

Contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation

  • Hypersensitivity to acetaminophen or any components of the IV formulation
  • Severe impairment of liver Liver The liver is the largest gland in the human body. The liver is found in the superior right quadrant of the abdomen and weighs approximately 1.5 kilograms. Its main functions are detoxification, metabolism, nutrient storage (e.g., iron and vitamins), synthesis of coagulation factors, formation of bile, filtration, and storage of blood. Liver: Anatomy function or active hepatic disease

Comparison of Medications

Table: Comparison of acetaminophen and NSAIDs NSAIDS Primary vs Secondary Headaches
Drug class Acetaminophen NSAIDs NSAIDS Primary vs Secondary Headaches
Mechanism of action Indirect inhibition of COX Inhibition of COX
Physiologic effect Decreased inflammatory response Decreased inflammatory response
Indications
  • Pain
  • Fever
  • Inflammatory diseases
  • Rheumatoid disorders
  • Pain
  • Fever
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Osteoarthritis Osteoarthritis Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis, and is due to cartilage destruction and changes of the subchondral bone. The risk of developing this disorder increases with age, obesity, and repetitive joint use or trauma. Patients develop gradual joint pain, stiffness lasting < 30 minutes, and decreased range of motion. Osteoarthritis
Contraindications Contraindications A condition or factor associated with a recipient that makes the use of a drug, procedure, or physical agent improper or inadvisable. Contraindications may be absolute (life threatening) or relative (higher risk of complications in which benefits may outweigh risks). Noninvasive Ventilation
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Severe hepatic impairment
  • Severe active hepatic disease
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Aspirin- or NSAID NSAID Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are a class of medications consisting of aspirin, reversible NSAIDs, and selective NSAIDs. NSAIDs are used as antiplatelet, analgesic, antipyretic, and antiinflammatory agents. Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)-induced asthma Asthma Asthma is a chronic inflammatory respiratory condition characterized by bronchial hyperresponsiveness and airflow obstruction. The disease is believed to result from the complex interaction of host and environmental factors that increase disease predisposition, with inflammation causing symptoms and structural changes. Patients typically present with wheezing, cough, and dyspnea. Asthma or urticaria Urticaria Urticaria is raised, well-circumscribed areas (wheals) of edema (swelling) and erythema (redness) involving the dermis and epidermis with associated pruritus (itch). Urticaria is not a single disease but rather is a reaction pattern representing cutaneous mast cell degranulation. Urticaria (Hives)
  • Renal impairment (CrCl < 30)
  • Pregnancy after 20-weeks gestation
  • Use in the setting of CABG CABG Surgical therapy of ischemic coronary artery disease achieved by grafting a section of saphenous vein, internal mammary artery, or other substitute between the aorta and the obstructed coronary artery distal to the obstructive lesion. Cardiac Surgery
COX: cyclooxygenase Cyclooxygenase Nonsteroidal Antiinflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
CrCl: creatinine clearance Creatinine clearance Kidney Function Tests
CABG CABG Surgical therapy of ischemic coronary artery disease achieved by grafting a section of saphenous vein, internal mammary artery, or other substitute between the aorta and the obstructed coronary artery distal to the obstructive lesion. Cardiac Surgery: coronary artery Coronary Artery Truncus Arteriosus bypass graft Graft A piece of living tissue that is surgically transplanted Organ Transplantation

References

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  2. Candido, K.D., Perozo, O.J., Knezevic, N.N. (2017). Pharmacology of acetaminophen, Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, and steroid medications: Implications for anesthesia or unique associated risks. Anesthesiol Clin 35, e145–e162.
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  13. Solomon, D.H., Furst, D.E., Romain, P.L. (2020). NSAIDs: Therapeutic use and variability of response in adults. UpToDate. Retrieved July 14, 2021, from https://www.uptodate.com/contents/nsaids-therapeutic-use-and-variability-of-response-in-adults

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