Is acetaminophen an NSAID?


Quick Answer

Acetaminophen is not categorized as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, or NSAID, according to WebMD. NSAIDs include aspirin, Motrin, Advil and Alleve, while acetaminophen is found in Tylenol and some other nonprescription pain relievers.

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Full Answer

The biggest risk associated with NSAIDs is gastrointestinal bleeding caused by increased acid that reduces the layer of protective mucus in the stomach, according to WebMD. NSAIDs are also associated with elevated blood pressure, which is dangerous for people taking water pills or for those with hypertension, heart disease or kidney disease.

Acetaminophen is considered safe in recommended doses, but taking more than the recommended amount of 4,000 mg per day is linked with liver disease and liver failure and is the leading cause of acute liver failure in the United States, according to WebMD. Patients who take multiple medications should check to make sure acetaminophen is not present in more than one product, warns MedlinePlus, which explains that acetaminophen can be listed on labels as APAP, AC, acetaminoph, acetaminop, acetamin or acetam as well as acetaminophen.

Preliminary studies show that acetaminophen combined with alcohol more than doubles the risk of kidney disease. However, a normal dose of acetaminophen or alcohol poses no danger to the kidneys, according to researchers from Parker University in Dallas.

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