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Acetaminophen Rectal

pronounced as (a set a mee' noe fen)

Why is this medication prescribed?

Acetaminophen rectal is used to relieve mild to moderate pain from headaches or muscle aches and to reduce a fever. Acetaminophen is in a class of medications called analgesics (pain relievers) and antipyretics (fever reducers). It works by changing the way the body senses pain and by cooling the body.

How should this medicine be used?

Acetaminophen rectal comes as a suppository to use rectally. Acetaminophen rectal is available without a prescription, but your doctor may prescribe acetaminophen to treat certain conditions. Follow the directions on the package or prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand.

If you are giving acetaminophen rectal to your child, read the package label carefully to make sure that it is the right product for the age of the child. Do not give children acetaminophen products that are made for adults. Some products for adults and older children may contain too much acetaminophen for a younger child.

Many acetaminophen products also come in combination with other medications such as those to treat cough and cold symptoms. Check product labels carefully before using two or more products at the same time. These products may contain the same active ingredient(s) and taking or using them together could cause you to receive an overdose. This is especially important if you will be giving cough and cold medications to a child.

Stop giving acetaminophen rectal to your child and call your child's doctor if your child develops new symptoms, including redness or swelling, or your child's pain lasts for longer than 5 days, or fever get worse or lasts longer than 3 days.

To insert an acetaminophen suppository into the rectum, follow these steps:

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Remove the wrapper.
  3. Lie down on your left side and raise your right knee to your chest. (A left-handed person should lie on the right side and raise the left knee.)
  4. Using your finger, insert the suppository into the rectum, about 1/2 to 1 inch (1.25 to 2.5 centimeters) in infants and children and 1 inch (2.5 centimeters) in adults. Hold it in place for a few moments.
  5. Remain lying down for 5 minutes to prevent the suppository from coming out.
  6. Wash your hands thoroughly and resume your normal activities.

Ask your pharmacist or doctor for a copy of the manufacturer's information for the patient.

Other uses for this medicine

This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before using acetaminophen rectal,

  • tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to acetaminophen, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in the product. Ask your pharmacist or check the label on the package for a list of ingredients.
  • tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, or herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven), certain medications for seizures including carbamazepine (Tegretol), phenobarbital, and phenytoin (Dilantin); or medications for pain, fever, coughs, and colds. Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
  • tell your doctor if you have ever developed a rash or skin blister after taking or using acetaminophen.
  • tell your doctor if you have or have ever had liver disease or if you if you drink three or more alcoholic drinks every day.
  • tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while using acetaminophen rectal, call your doctor.
  • you should know that using too much acetaminophen can cause liver damage. You might accidentally use too much acetaminophen if you do not follow the directions on the prescription or package label carefully, or if you use more than one product that contains acetaminophen.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

This medication is usually used as needed. If your doctor has told you to use acetaminophen rectal regularly, use the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not use a double dose to make up for a missed one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Acetaminophen rectal may cause side effects.

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, stop using acetaminophen rectal and call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical attention:

  • red, peeling, or blistering skin
  • rash

Acetaminophen may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while you are using this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).

It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org

Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.

In case of emergency/overdose

In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.

If someone takes more than the recommended dose of acetaminophen rectal, get medical help immediately, even if the person does not have any symptoms. Symptoms of overdose may include the following:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • loss of appetite
  • extreme tiredness
  • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • pain in the upper right part of the stomach
  • yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • flu-like symptoms

What other information should I know?

Keep all appointments with your doctor.

Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about acetaminophen rectal.

It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Acephen Rectal Suppository®
  • Feverall Rectal Suppository®
  • Neopap Supprettes Rectal Suppository®
  • Tylenol Rectal Suppository®

This branded product is no longer on the market. Generic alternatives may be available.

Last Revised - 04/15/2021