Definition

Analgesic antipyretic derivative of acetanilide. It has weak anti-inflammatory properties and is used as a common analgesic, but may cause liver, blood cell, and kidney damage. The excellent tolerability of therapeutic doses of paracetamol (acetaminophen) is a major factor in the very wide use of the drug. The major problem in the use of paracetamol is its hepatotoxicity after an overdose. Hepatotoxicity has also been reported after therapeutic doses, but critical analysis indicates that most patients with alleged toxicity from therapeutic doses have taken overdoses. Importantly, prospective studies indicate that therapeutic doses of paracetamol are an unlikely cause of hepatotoxicity in patients who ingest moderate to large amounts of alcohol. (PMID 15733027) Single doses of paracetamol are effective analgesics for acute postoperative pain and give rise to few adverse effects. (PMID 14974073) Acetaminophen (AAP) overdose and the resulting hepatotoxicity is an important clinical problem. In addition, AAP is widely used as a prototype hepatotoxin to study mechanisms of chemical-induced cell injury and to test the hepatoprotective potential of new drugs and herbal medicines. Because of its importance, the mechanisms of AAP-induced liver cell injury have been extensively investigated and controversially discussed for many years. (PMID 16863451) [HMDB]

Description

Acetaminophen, also known as paracetamol, is commonly used for its analgesic and antipyretic effects. Its therapeutic effects are similar to salicylates, but it lacks anti-inflammatory, antiplatelet, and gastric ulcerative effects. The excellent tolerability of therapeutic doses of paracetamol (acetaminophen) is a major factor in the very wide use of the drug. The major problem in the use of paracetamol is its hepatotoxicity after an overdose. Hepatotoxicity has also been reported after therapeutic doses, but critical analysis indicates that most patients with alleged toxicity from therapeutic doses have taken overdoses. Importantly, prospective studies indicate that therapeutic doses of paracetamol are an unlikely cause of hepatotoxicity in patients who ingest moderate to large amounts of alcohol. (A7820). Single doses of paracetamol are effective analgesics for acute postoperative pain and give rise to few adverse effects. (A7821). Acetaminophen (AAP) overdose and the resulting hepatotoxicity is an important clinical problem. In addition, AAP is widely used as a prototype hepatotoxin to study mechanisms of chemical-induced cell injury and to test the hepatoprotective potential of new drugs and herbal medicines. Because of its importance, the mechanisms of AAP-induced liver cell injury have been extensively investigated and controversially discussed for many years. (A7822).

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