Some elements of our website may not load if you have an ad blocker turned on.

Acetaminophen - Forrest Health
    Share This
    Skip to main content


    Topic Overview

    Acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) reduces fever and relieves pain. It does not reduce inflammation, as do nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin and ibuprofen, but it is less likely to cause stomach upset and other side effects.

    Be sure to follow the nonprescription medicine precautions.


    • Adults: The usual dose is 325 mg to 650 mg. Take every 4 to 6 hours, as needed, up to 4 times in a 24-hour period. The maximum dose may vary from 3,000 mg to 4,000 mg, but do not take more than 4,000 mg in a 24-hour period. Follow all instructions on the label.
    • Children: Check with your child's doctor or a pharmacist if your child is less than 2 years old or less than 24 pounds. Give acetaminophen every 4 hours as needed. Do not give more than 5 doses in a 24-hour period. Dosages are based on the child's weight. There are different acetaminophen products for infants and children.
      • Acetaminophen can be found in many forms and comes in different doses.
      • Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
      • Do not give your child more than the maximum dose recommended on the label.
      • Be careful when giving your child over-the-counter cold or flu medicines and acetaminophen (Tylenol) at the same time. Many of these medicines already contain acetaminophen. Too much acetaminophen can be harmful.
      • If you give medicine to your baby, follow your doctor's or pharmacist's advice about what amount to give. Do not use acetaminophen if your child is allergic to it.
      • Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are different products with different dosing recommendations. Talk to your child's doctor or a pharmacist before switching back and forth between doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. When you switch between two medicines, there is a chance your child will get too much medicine. Studies have not shown any added benefit from alternating these medicines.
      • Talk to your doctor or a pharmacist before you give medicine to reduce a fever in a baby who is 3 months of age or younger. This is to make sure a young baby's fever is not a sign of a serious illness. The exception is if your baby has just had an immunization. Fevers sometimes occur as a reaction to immunizations. After immunizations, you can give your baby medicine to reduce a fever.

    Caution: Do not use this dose table with any other concentration of this medicine. Use only with the concentration of 160 mg in 5 mL. Check the label on your medicine to find the concentration.

    Acetaminophen dose (160 mg in 5 mL) for your child's weight

    Child's weight in pounds

    Child's weight in kilograms

    Dose in milligrams

    Dose in milliliters

    less than 11.0

    less than 5.4

    Ask a doctor or a pharmacist

    Ask a doctor or a pharmacist



    80 mg

    2.5 mL



    120 mg

    3.75 mL



    160 mg

    5 mL



    240 mg

    7.5 mL



    320 mg

    10 mL



    400 mg

    12.5 mL



    480 mg

    15 mL

    Side effects of acetaminophen are rare if it is taken in correct doses.

    • Nausea and rash are the most common.
    • High doses of acetaminophen can cause liver and kidney damage.

    Reasons not to take acetaminophen

    Do not take acetaminophen if you:

    • Have liver disease.
    • Drink alcohol heavily (3 or more drinks a day for men and 2 or more drinks a day for women).


    Current as ofJune 3, 2018

    Author: Healthwise Staff
    Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
    John Pope, MD, MPH - Pediatrics
    Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
    Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
    Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
    David Messenger, BSc, MD, FRCPC, FCCP - Emergency Medicine, Critical Care Medicine

    Related Locations

    Featured News

    • Forrest General Director Co-authors Professional Article for National Publication

      Lorie Mills, RHIT, CCS, director of Coding and CDI at Forrest General Hospital, co-authored an educational article for coders and other health information professionals titled AMI Documentation: Red Flags for CDI and Coding, which was published by American Health Information Management Association’s (AHIMA) website HIM Body of Knowledge.
      July 11, 2019