The role of intravenous acetaminophen in acute pain management: a case-illustrated review

Pain Management Nursing, 06/08/2012

This case–illustrated review of IV acetaminophen begins with a discussion of the rationale for the drug's development and proceeds to analyze the clinical pharmacology, efficacy, safety, and nursing implications of its use, both as monotherapy and in combination with other agents as part of a multimodal pain therapy strategy.

  • For more than a century, acetaminophen has been recognized worldwide as a safe and effective agent for relieving pain and reducing fever in a wide range of patients.
  • However, until recently, acetaminophen was available in the United States only in oral and rectal suppository formulations.
  • In November 2010, the United States Food and Drug Administration granted approval for the use of a new intravenous (IV) formulation of acetaminophen for: 1) the management of mild to moderate pain; 2) the management of moderate to severe pain with adjunctive opioid analgesics; and 3) the reduction of fever in adults and children (age ≥2 years).

Print Article Summary