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Research Letter
March 11, 2019

Cost Implications of Escalating Intravenous Acetaminophen Use in Children

Author Affiliations
  • 1Pediatric Therapeutics and Regulatory Science Initiative, Computational Health Informatics Program (CHIP), Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 3Center for Applied Pediatric Quality Analytics, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 4Program on Regulation, Therapeutics, and Law (PORTAL), Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 5Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care, and Pain Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 6Department of Anaesthesiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA Pediatr. 2019;173(5):489-491. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.0101

Acetaminophen, approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1951, is the most frequently used medication in children in the United States.1,2 In outpatient settings, up to 14% of children are treated with acetaminophen for pain and fever in any given week,1 while among hospitalized children, approximately 40% receive acetaminophen.2 The medication is available in multiple formulations, including a rectal suppository for patients unable to take medications by mouth and, most recently, an intravenous formulation, approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in November 2011.

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