Consumers’ Knowledge of Acetaminophen Safe Use Remains High

New research shows consumers understand safe use and are aware of risks

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 5, 2019) – A nationwide benchmark survey conducted by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) Educational Foundation released today shows that consumer awareness of how to use products containing acetaminophen safely and effectively, while avoiding the risks of accidental overdose and liver damage, remains high. 

The survey examined key measures of consumer behavior related to acetaminophen use, such as awareness of risk and reading the medicine label. First conducted in 2010, the 2019 research marks the fourth time the CHPA Educational Foundation has surveyed consumers about acetaminophen safe use and risk awareness. Findings include:
  • More consumers agree it is “important not to exceed the dosing directions on the label” of pain relievers (increased to 94 percent in 2019 from 92 percent in 2010).
  • More consumers understand that “exceeding the recommended daily dose of acetaminophen may lead to liver damage” (increased to 88 percent in 2019 from 81 percent in 2010).
“Educational initiatives have played a critical role in consumers’ continued high awareness about safe use of acetaminophen,” said Anita Brikman, executive director, CHPA Educational Foundation. “These efforts are bolstered by our long-standing participation in the Acetaminophen Awareness Coalition, which established the Know Your Dose campaign in 2011 to educate consumers on how to safely use medicines that contain acetaminophen. We are thrilled to see that education is working.”

The Acetaminophen Awareness Coalition is made up of leading health, healthcare provider and consumer organizations, of which the CHPA Educational Foundation is a founding member. Over the past eight years, the Know Your Dose campaign has reached millions of consumers with safe use messages. Other acetaminophen safe use and medicine safety programs include FDA’s Safe Use Initiative, Johnson & Johnson’s Get Relief Responsibly, National Consumers League’s Life Smarts, and BeMedWise Program’s MUST for Seniors
“Acetaminophen is one of the most commonly used drug ingredients in the United States,” said Brikman. “It is found in more than 600 different prescription and over-the-counter medicines, including pain relievers, fever reducers, and sleep aids as well as cough, cold, and allergy medicines. These medicines are safe and effective when used as directed, but it’s critical that consumers read the label and take only one medicine containing acetaminophen at a time. This is why the CHPA Educational Foundation and our partners remain committed to continued public education about safe use.”

See related infographic here.



The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) Educational Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers consumers to make smart self-care decisions by providing information and guidance on how to safely use, store, and dispose of OTC medicines and dietary supplements. Its mission is to serve as the trusted source of information on the responsible use of consumer healthcare products. Visit or for more information.

Contact: Lauren Bloomberg (