The discovery of Acetaminophen


This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Acetaminophen was discovered accidently and it is used for reducing pain and fever. it does not restrain platelet aggregation (Ayoub et al, 2004; Josephy, 2005). However, the mechanism of action of acetaminophen is yet to be understood properly(Josephy, 2005). Prostaglandin (PGs) causes a lot of the symptoms of inflammation, which are produced by the inducible cyclooxygenase (COX)-2. PGs that are created by constitutive enzyme (COX-1), helps in protecting the stomach mucosal lining and instigate platelet aggregation when necessary. Inhibition of PGs production by acetaminophen fluctuates in different tissues, thus reducing the activity of brain COX to a greater degree than the activity of COX in the stomach mucosa (Ayoub et al, 2004). Research study has showed that the production of PGs activity in dog brain inhibited more compared to that of rabbit spleen. The finding suggests that the presence of elevated peroxide levels such as the ones in inflamed tissues eliminates acetaminophen inhibitory activity on COX-1 or COX-2. Thus, acetaminophen inhibitory activity of COX-1 or COX-2 can only transpire in cells and tissues with low concentrations of peroxides such as brain cells (Ayoub et al, 2004; Josephy, 2005).

Acetaminophen became popular in 1960 as a lesser toxic, analgesic antipyretic agent than aspirin (Ayoub et al, 2004; Gyamlani and Parikh, 2002). Paradoxically, it is now the second leading source of toxic drug intake in the United States (Gyamlani and Parikh, 2002). According to the father of modern toxicology Paracelsus who stated that "The dose makes the poison" (Richards, 2008, p.7) In other words, the amount of acetaminophen an individual consumes is as important as how toxic the acetaminophen effect would be.

Acetaminophen overdose problem is due to the fact that it is a common medication, which is frequently consumed nonchalantly, and it can only take few days to exceed the maximum dose for it to damage the liver. Thus, liver damage due to overdose of acetaminophen tend to be the most serious side effect which varies from mild to severe ( Mayhew, 2007). Some extremes of acute liver failure includes "coagulopathy and encephalopathy" ( Mayhew, 2007). As a public health professional, I would create an awareness program, educate the public of the significance of taking this common medication, and enlighten about the potential problems related to acetaminophen overdose.


  • Ayoub, S.S., Botting, R.M., Goorha, S., Colville-Nash, P.R., Willoughby, D. A., and Ballou, L.R. (2004). Acetaminophen-induced hypothermia in mice is mediated by a prostaglandin endoperoxide synthase 1 gene-derived protein. vol. 101 no. 30 11165-11169. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0404185101 PNAS. Retrieved January 24, 2010, from,
  • Gyamlani, G.G., and Parikh, C.R. (2002). Acetaminophen toxicity: suicidal vs accidental. Critical Care 6:155-159;doi:10.1186/cc1475. Retrieved January 24, 2010, from
  • Josephy, P. (2005). The molecular toxicology of acetaminophen. Drug Metabolism Reviews, 37, 581-594. DOI: 10.1080/03602530500205200; Retrieved January 27, 2010 from
  • Richards, I. S. (2008). Principles and Practice of Toxicology in Public Health
  • Maren Mayhew, M.(2007). Acetaminophen Toxicity. Journal for Nurse Practitioners.3(3):186-188.Retrieved January 23, 2010 from

Writing Services

Essay Writing

Find out how the very best essay writing service can help you accomplish more and achieve higher marks today.

Assignment Writing Service

From complicated assignments to tricky tasks, our experts can tackle virtually any question thrown at them.

Dissertation Writing Service

A dissertation (also known as a thesis or research project) is probably the most important piece of work for any student! From full dissertations to individual chapters, we’re on hand to support you.

Coursework Writing Service

Our expert qualified writers can help you get your coursework right first time, every time.

Dissertation Proposal Service

The first step to completing a dissertation is to create a proposal that talks about what you wish to do. Our experts can design suitable methodologies - perfect to help you get started with a dissertation.

Report Writing

Reports for any audience. Perfectly structured, professionally written, and tailored to suit your exact requirements.

Essay Skeleton Answer Service

If you’re just looking for some help to get started on an essay, our outline service provides you with a perfect essay plan.

Marking & Proofreading Service

Not sure if your work is hitting the mark? Struggling to get feedback from your lecturer? Our premium marking service was created just for you - get the feedback you deserve now.

Exam Revision

Exams can be one of the most stressful experiences you’ll ever have! Revision is key, and we’re here to help. With custom created revision notes and exam answers, you’ll never feel underprepared again.