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All about: Anacin P.M. Aspirin Free

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Generic Name: acetaminophen and diphenhydramine (a see ta MIH no fen and dye fen HYE dra meen)
Brand Names: Anacin P.M. Aspirin Free, Excedrin PM, Legatrin PM, Midol PM, Sominex Pain Relief Formula, Tylenol PM, Unisom with Pain Relief

What is Anacin P.M. Aspirin Free (acetaminophen and diphenhydramine)?

Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and a fever reducer.

Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine. It blocks the effects of the naturally occurring chemical histamine in the body. Diphenhydramine prevents sneezing; itchy, watery eyes and nose; and other symptoms of allergies and hay fever.

Acetaminophen and diphenhydramine is used to treat watering of the eyes, congestion, sneezing, and itchy throat caused by allergies and hay fever.

Acetaminophen and diphenhydramine may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about Anacin P.M. Aspirin Free (acetaminophen and diphenhydramine)?

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Acetaminophen and diphenhydramine may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities. Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness while you are taking acetaminophen and diphenhydramine. Alcohol may also cause damage to your liver when taken with acetaminophen.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking Anacin P.M. Aspirin Free (acetaminophen and diphenhydramine)?

Do not take acetaminophen and diphenhydramine without first talking to your doctor if you drink more than three alcoholic beverages per day or if you have had alcoholic liver disease. You may not be able to take acetaminophen. Do not take acetaminophen and diphenhydramine if you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. A very serious drug interaction could occur, leading to serious side effects.

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have

  • kidney disease;
  • liver disease;
  • diabetes;

  • glaucoma;

  • difficulty urinating because of an enlarged prostate, a constricted bladder neck, or any other reason;

  • a stenosing peptic (stomach) ulcer;

  • high blood pressure or any type of heart disease; or

  • an overactive thyroid.

You may not be able to take acetaminophen and diphenhydramine, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above.

It is not known whether acetaminophen and diphenhydramine will harm an unborn baby. Do not take acetaminophen and diphenhydramine without first talking to your doctor if you are pregnant. Acetaminophen and diphenhydramine passes into breast milk and can seriously harm a nursing infant. Do not take this medication without first talking to your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby. If you are over 60 years of age, you may be more likely to experience side effects from acetaminophen and diphenhydramine. Read the package label for directions or consult your doctor or pharmacist before treating a child with this medication. Children are more susceptible than adults to the effects of medicines and may have unusual reactions.

How should I take Anacin P.M. Aspirin Free (acetaminophen and diphenhydramine)?

Take acetaminophen an diphenhydramine exactly as directed by your doctor or follow the instructions on the package label. If you do not understand these directions, ask your pharmacist, nurse, or doctor to explain them to you.

Take each dose with a full glass of water.

Never take more acetaminophen and diphenhydramine than is directed. The maximum amount of acetaminophen for adults is 1 gram (1000 mg) per dose and 4 grams (4000 mg) per day. Taking more acetaminophen could cause damage to your liver. If you drink more than three alcoholic beverages per day, talk to your doctor before taking acetaminophen and diphenhydramine and never take more than 2 grams (2000 mg) per day.

Consult your doctor if your symptoms do not improve within 10 days (or 5 days for children under 12 years of age) or if they get worse. Do not use this product to treat a fever for more than 3 days.

Store acetaminophen and diphenhydramine at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take only your next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose of this medication.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention.

Symptoms of an acetaminophen and diphenhydramine overdose may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, sweating, seizures, confusion, sedation, insomnia, tremor, hallucinations, and an irregular heartbeat.

What should I avoid while taking Anacin P.M. Aspirin Free (acetaminophen and diphenhydramine)?

Use caution when driving, operating machinery, or performing other hazardous activities. Acetaminophen and diphenhydramine may cause dizziness or drowsiness. If you experience dizziness or drowsiness, avoid these activities. Use alcohol cautiously. Alcohol may increase drowsiness and dizziness while you are taking acetaminophen and diphenhydramine. Also, alcohol is very damaging to your liver when it is taken with acetaminophen.

Acetaminophen and diphenhydramine may increase the effects of other drugs that cause drowsiness, including antidepressants, alcohol, other antihistamines, pain relievers, anxiety medicines, seizure medicines, and muscle relaxants. Dangerous sedation, dizziness, or drowsiness may occur if acetaminophen and diphenhydramine is taken with any of these medications.

Anacin P.M. Aspirin Free (acetaminophen and diphenhydramine) side effects

If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking acetaminophen and diphenhydramine and seek emergency medical attention:
  • an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of your throat; swelling of your lips, tongue, or face; or hives);

  • liver damage (yellowing of the skin or eyes, nausea, abdominal pain or discomfort, unusual bleeding or bruising, or severe fatigue);

  • blood problems (easy or unusual bleeding or bruising); or

  • low blood sugar (fatigue, increased hunger or thirst, dizziness, or fainting).

Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur including:

  • dry eyes, nose, and mouth;

  • drowsiness or dizziness;

  • blurred vision;

  • difficulty urinating; or

  • excitation in children.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect Anacin P.M. Aspirin Free (acetaminophen and diphenhydramine)?

Do not take acetaminophen and diphenhydramine if you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), or tranylcypromine (Parnate) in the last 14 days. A very serious drug interaction could occur, leading to serious side effects.

Urine glucose tests for diabetics may produce false results while you are taking acetaminophen. Talk to your doctor if you are diabetic and you notice changes in your glucose levels during therapy with acetaminophen and diphenhydramine.

Do not take other over-the-counter cough, cold, allergy, diet, pain, or sleep medicines while taking acetaminophen and diphenhydramine without first talking to your doctor or pharmacist. Other medications may also contain acetaminophen, diphenhydramine, or other similar drugs, and you may accidentally take too much of these medicines.

Acetaminophen and diphenhydramine may increase the effects of other drugs that cause drowsiness, including antidepressants, alcohol, other antihistamines, pain relievers, anxiety medicines, seizure medicines, and muscle relaxants. Dangerous sedation, dizziness, or drowsiness may occur if acetaminophen and diphenhydramine is taken with any of these medications.

Drugs other than those listed here may also interact with acetaminophen and diphenhydramine. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has additional information about acetaminophen and diphenhydramine written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Acetaminophen and diphenhydramine is available over-the-counter under many brand names. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 7.02. Revision Date: 9/6/05 4:52:25 PM.

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