Acetaminophen or APAP, is a medicine used to treat pain and fever. It is typically used for mild to moderate pain relief. Evidence for its use to relieve fever in children is mixed. It is often sold in combination with other medications, such as in many cold medications. In combination with opioid pain medication, paracetamol is also used for severe pain such as cancer pain and pain after surgery. It is typically used either by mouth or rectally, but is also available intravenously. Effects last between 2 and 4 hours.
Acetaminophen belongs to a group of medicines called analgesics (pain relievers) and antipyretics (fever reducers). It works quickly to relieve pain caused by conditions such as headache and osteoarthritis, and to reduce fever caused by infection. Unlike acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), which is also an analgesic and antipyretic, acetaminophen does not reduce inflammation.