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Home > Education Resources > Know Your Dose

The American Liver Foundation is pleased to announce a partnership with the Acetaminophen Awareness Coalition, a Coalition of organizations that are committed to educating consumers on how to use medicines that contain acetaminophen safely to avoid an unintentional overdose.

KnowYourDose


Know Your Dose campaign led by Acetaminophen Awareness Coalition seeks to raise awareness and promotes four simple steps for safe acetaminophen use:
1) Always read and follow the medicine label;
2) Know if your medicines contain acetaminophen;
3) Never take two medicines with acetaminophen at the same time; and
4) Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have questions about dosing instructions or medicines that contain acetaminophen.

Why is the safe use of acetaminophen important?

Acetaminophen is found in more than 600 different prescription and over-the-counter medicines. These include pain relievers, fever reducers, cough, cold, and allergy medicines, as well as sleep aids. It is the most common drug ingredient in the United States.

When used as directed, acetaminophen is safe and effective. But there is a limit to how much you can take in one day. Taking more acetaminophen than directed is an overdose and can lead to liver damage. Acetaminophen overdose is the most common cause of acute liver failure in the United States.

Knowing how to read the labels on prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines is an important step in making sure that you use medicines safely. Always keep your medicine in the original packaging so that you have proper dosing information on hand.

Learn how to read medicine labels by clicking here.

Follow these four steps to help you take acetaminophen safely:

1. Always read and follow the label

Always read the label before taking any medicine. Never take more acetaminophen than the label says. Taking too much can lead to liver damage.

2. Know if your medicines contain acetaminophen

You need to know if acetaminophen is in the medicines you take so you can avoid taking too much. Here’s how to find out:

*If you are taking an over-the-counter medicine, check the front of the package and the “active ingredient” section of the Drug Facts label for the word “acetaminophen.”

*For prescription medicine, look for the word “acetaminophen” or a shorter version such as “APAP” or “acetam” on the label.

3. Never take two medicines that contain acetaminophen at the same time

Don’t take two or more medicines that contain acetaminophen at the same time. Taking too much acetaminophen can cause liver damage.

4. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have questions about dosing instructions or medicines that contain acetaminophen.

Click on the following file to download a list of medicines that contain acetaminophen:

Common Medicines with Acetaminophen - KYD

173.1KB

Acetaminophen Safety Report Available!

Each week, more than 50 million Americans use a medicine that contains acetaminophen. A report and educational resource from the Acetaminophen Awareness Coalition reviews the dosing behaviors that can lead to unintentional acetaminophen overdose and explores the successful impact of ongoing education campaigns to drive safe use and prevent overdose-related liver damage. Order copies, download an infographic, and learn more here: KnowYourDose.org/report.


The following Know Your Dose items are also available for download:

KYD ALF English Brochure

1.9MB

KYD ALF Spanish Brochure

1.3MB

KYD ALF English Poster

5.6MB

KYD ALF Spanish Poster

3.9MB

Page updated: September 22nd, 2014