Thursday, August 29, 2013

My Personal Favorite Molecule: Acetaminophen

My Personal Favorite Molecule: Acetaminophen C8H9NO2

This is my favorite molecule of all time, especially during the winter months. Acetaminophen is a helpful medication that is used to reduce flu fever, the common cold, aches, and pain within an hour. In North America, it is known as acetaminophen; however, in other countries, it is labeled as paracetamol. It reduces fever through a heat regulating center of the brain. Specifically, it tells the center to lower the body's temperature when the temperature is elevated.  In the United States, you can find acetaminophen in Tylenol and other generic brands. I traveled to foreign countries and found an equivalent to Tylenol, which they called it Panadol or paracetamol.

Historically, it was discovered by James Roth, a gastroenterologist. Roth noticed that aspirin works the same way as acetaminophen with all the benefits, but it causes stomach irritations if taken without foods. Acetaminophen or paracetamol would have all the benefits similar to aspirin, but it is known to be stomach-friendly to young children and people who have stomach ulcers. This is why I prefer acetaminophen more than ibuprofen because I know many people have sensitive stomach especially young children and senior adults. With the FDA approved acetaminophen in 1951, it has been widely available to the public aimed primarily toward children in 1955 as liquid form. Today, it is widely produced to be as tablets or liquid for all ages. I like it because it can be used for any age, and it produced great results for me when I need them. In college, it is important to have acetaminophen because over- studying for an upcoming exam and lack of sleep can cause stress and headache; therefore, it is the best method to relieve these symptoms.

The structure of acetaminophen/paracetamol has one ring of benzene, and a double bond of carbon with oxygen.


  1. Acetaminophen is great! Great for headaches and for aches and pains from the sniffles. Lots of good information I never knew. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Yes, it definitely is great to have when working and studying a lot. I like how you shared a little history about the molecule as well.