This post is brought to you by Know Your Dose and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.
Are you aware of the dosage of medicines you’re taking? Especially acetaminophen? I know that sometimes I don’t pay attention and I’ve given myself too much. This winter, with the flu spreading – along with the virus that causes COVID-19, it is essential to take acetaminophen safely as you search for the right medicine to try to ease you or your family’s cold and flu symptoms, to reduce fevers. The Acetaminophen Awareness Coalition (AAC) is urging Americans to double check their medicine labels when treating cold and flu symptoms to avoid doubling up on medicines with acetaminophen. And if you’re aged 60+, there is a greater risk of taking too much acetaminophen. So, how much Acetaminophen should you be taking? You also have to watch how you dose your kids. We’ve got a printable you can download! Keep reading to learn more. How Much Acetaminophen Should You Be Taking? + Printable Dosing Chart for Kids
Every year, Americans catch millions of colds, and 7 in 10 people will use over-the-counter medicines to treat their cold and flu symptoms. However, many of the multi-symptom cold and flu medicines contain acetaminophen. .
It’s one of the most common drug ingredients in the U.S., found in more than 600 different over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medicines, including many cold and flu medicines. It’s safe and effective when used as directed, but there’s a limit to how much you can take in one day.
The FDA has set a maximum daily dose of 4,000 mg of acetaminophen in a 24-hour period for adults. And if you look at the directions, it will tell you how many tablets/capsules/gelcaps to take per day. Don’t exceed the dosage.
Here’s a list of all the cold and flu medicines that contain acetaminophen.
Saint Joseph® Aspirin-Free
TYLENOL® Brand Products
*And store brands
*Many OTC and Rx medicines have store-brand or generic versions. For example, there are many store-brand products that are similar to brands like TYLENOL®, NyQuil®, and Robitussin®. Prescription medicines that come in generic form may list the ingredients in place of a drug name. For example, the generic version of “Vicodin” has “hydrocodone and acetaminophen” written on its label. Your prescription label may list the ingredients, the brand name, or both. Always read and follow the label and ask your healthcare provider if you have questions about the ingredients in your medicine.
Keep Track of Acetaminophen Dosing
When you aren’t feeling well, its easy to not remember what dose of acetaminophen you’ve taken, so what I do is make a note in my iPhone Notes App. I mark the time and how much I took (usually 2 capsules).
You can also mark it on an index card or post-it note, which is what I used to do when my kids were small. I was afraid that I would give them too much, so this way my husband and I knew what time and dose we gave to our children.
Steps to use Acetaminophen Safely
– Always read and follow the medicine label
– Know if your medicines contain acetaminophen
– Take only one medicine at a time that contains acetaminophen
– Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have questions. Most health insurance companies will have a telehealth or nurse on demand that you can call.
Of those who exceed the maximum daily dose, most do so by taking the next dose too soon, using multiple products containing acetaminophen, or taking too much at one time. Recent data shows that older adults (ages 60+) are at risk of taking too much acetaminophen. Teens and young adults ages 12-29 are also at the greatest risk of taking too much acetaminophen. It’s important to teach your teens to check their medicine labels before taking cold or pain medicines, since accidentally taking too much acetaminophen could damage their liver. This would include kids going off to college where they won’t have your watchful eye.
By knowing how much you’re dosing, you can stop that.
How to Dose Your Children Safely with Acetaminophen
Most of us are so careful when it comes to our children and dosing acetaminophen is included with that. However, when you’re giving a dose in the middle of the night or the wee hours in the morning, it’s hard to keep track of what you’ve already given them. Here’s as handy graphic (and a printable copy) so you can make sure you’re dosing your children properly with acetaminophen Go here for infant and child dosing (or to print this chart out in Spanish).
Get a downloadable version of this chart here: http://bit.ly/KYDcoldflu (look for downloadable materials)
Make sure to double check your medicine labels so you don’t accidentally double up on acetaminophen. Check out http://bit.ly/KYDcoldflu for more information.
Pin 1 Image: by Mojpe from Pixabay
Pin 2 Image by press 👍 and ⭐ from Pixabay