Chemical Formula: C8H8NO2
Bitter white powder
Acetaminophen is a pain reliever similar to
aspirin, but without
aspirin's anti-inflammatory abilities, or its undesirable affects
on the stomach lining, and without aspirin's anticoagulatory effects.
Acetaminophen is often combined with opiates such as codeine and
dihydrocodeine to form a more potent pain killer.
Unlike aspirin and other cyclooxygenase inhibitors that work on the COX-1
and COX-2 enzymes, acetaminophen works on the COX-3 enzyme, which is present
in the spinal column and brain. This lets it avoid preventing prostaglandins
elsewhere in the body from working. This is why it has no anti-inflammatory
effects, and does not affect blood platelets or the stomach lining.
By Simon Quellen Field