Antihistamine/acetaminophen (By mouth)

Treats aches, pains, trouble sleeping, and allergy symptoms such as itchy, watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, and sore throat.

Brand Name(s):

Acetadryl, CareALL Non-Aspirin PM, Cefinal II, Excedrin PM, Excedrin PM Headache, Good Neighbor Pharmacy Headache PM, Good Neighbor Pharmacy Pain Relief PM, Good Sense Headache PM, Good Sense Pain Relief PM, Good Sense Pain Reliever & Sleep Aid PM, Goody's PM, Goody's PM Analgesic/Sleep Powders, Leader Acetaminophen PM, Leader Headache Relief PM, Legatrin PM

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to acetaminophen (Tylenol®), or to diphenhydramine (Benadryl®). Do not give any over-the-counter (OTC) cough and cold medicine to a baby or child under 4 years old. Using these medicines in very young children might cause serious or possibly life-threatening side effects.

How to Use This Medicine:

Capsule, Tablet, Packet, Liquid

  • Your doctor will tell you how much medicine to use. Do not use more than directed.
  • This medicine contains acetaminophen. Read the labels of all other medicines you are using to see if they also contain acetaminophen, or ask your doctor or pharmacist. Do not use more than 4 grams (4,000 milligrams) total of acetaminophen in one day.
  • Follow the instructions on the medicine label if you are using this medicine without a prescription.
  • Measure the oral liquid medicine with a marked measuring spoon, oral syringe, or medicine cup.
  • Place the oral powder on your tongue, and then take a drink of water or another liquid. You may also put the powder into a glass of water or other liquid, stir it, and then drink it.

If a dose is missed:

  • Take a dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then and take a regular dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.

How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep all medicine out of the reach of children. Never share your medicine with anyone.
  • Ask your pharmacist, doctor, or health caregiver about the best way to dispose of any outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Do not also use other medicines that contain acetaminophen or diphenhydramine, including topical (skin) medicine. You may be getting more than a safe amount of these medicines.
  • Tell your doctor if you use anything else that makes you sleepy. Some examples are allergy medicine, narcotic pain medicine, and alcohol.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using this medicine. Acetaminophen taken with alcohol can increase your risk of damage to your liver. If you regularly drink three or more alcoholic drinks every day, do not take any medicines that contain acetaminophen without asking your doctor.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breast feeding, or if you have glaucoma, kidney problems, or liver problems. Tell your doctor if you have a history of breathing problems such as asthma or COPD (emphysema or chronic bronchitis). Make sure your doctor knows if you have trouble urinating due to an enlarged prostate gland. Tell your doctor if you drink alcohol on a regular basis. Make sure your doctor knows if you have had an allergic reaction to any antihistamine, and about any other health problems you may have.
  • Do not give this medicine to anyone under 12 years of age, unless a doctor tells you to.
  • This medicine may make you drowsy. Avoid driving, using machines, or doing anything else that could be dangerous if you are not alert.
  • Do not use this medicine for more than 10 days. Do not use this medicine to treat fever for more than 3 days, unless a doctor tells you to do so. If you have trouble sleeping that lasts for longer than 2 weeks, stop using this medicine and talk to your doctor.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Redness or swelling.

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088

Last Updated: 11/6/2020

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites.

All rights reserved

A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Firefox and chrome browser.