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A Journal on Anesthesiology, Resuscitation, Analgesia and Intensive Care
Minerva Anestesiologica 2009 November;75(11):644-53
What anesthesiologists should know about paracetamol (acetaminophen)
Mattia C., Coluzzi F. ✉
ICOT, Polo Pontino, Department of Anesthesiology, Intensive Care Medicine and Pain Therapy, La Sapienza University, Rome, Italy
Paracetamol is widely used in the management of acute and chronic pain. The purpose of this review is to give anesthesiologists answers to some of the most common questions about paracetamol, specifically the following questions. What is the mechanism of action of paracetamol? Is paracetamol a NSAID? Which endogenous analgesic systems are influenced by paracetamol? Are the perceived concerns about paracetamol use real? What new research is there into paracetamol-induced liver failure? Is paracetamol safe for use by patients with liver disease or those taking anticoagulants? How effective is paracetamol for the management of postoperative pain? Does paracetamol have any opioid-sparing effects? Which formula has the best analgesic efficacy? Which route of administration has the better pharmacokinetic profile? Is the concentration of paracetamol in blood or cerebrospinal fluid relevant to the analgesic effect? Which starting dose should be administrated in intravenous infusion?