Paracetamol (INN) (IPA: [pærəˈsitəmɒl, -moʊl, -ˈsɛtə-]) or acetaminophen (USAN) (brand names Tylenol® in US and Panadol® in UK), is a common analgesic and antipyretic drug that is used for the relief of fever, headaches, and other minor aches and pains. Paracetamol is also useful in managing more severe pain, allowing lower dosages of additional NSAID or opioid analgesics to be used, so minimising overall side-effects. It is a major ingredient in numerous cold and flu medications and many prescription analgesics. It is remarkably safe in recommended doses, but because of its wide availability, deliberate or accidental overdoses are fairly common.
The words acetaminophen and paracetamol both come from the chemical names for the compound: N-acetyl-para-aminophenol and para-acetyl-amino-phenol. In some contexts, it is shortened to apap, for N-acetyl-para-amino-phenol. (More...)