Volume 23, Issue 1 (January 1978)
Quantitative Gas Chromatographic Determination of Acetaminophen Using Trimethylanilinium Hydroxide as the Derivatizing Agent
Pharmaceutical preparations of acetaminophen, an analgesic, are marketed and extensively used in the single drug form such as Tylenol® and Datril® and in combination with other analgesics such as aspirin and salicylamide in Excedrin® Excedrin P.M.® and others. Acetaminophen overdosage can result in centrilobular hepatic necrosis or hepatic failure  with severe overdosage resulting in a high fatality rate . Workers have investigated and related severity of liver damage to drug serum concentration [1,3, 4]. Initial concentrations relative to time of ingestion and drug half-life are two criteria in the early diagnosis of possible liver damage or necrosis . Administration of cysteamine soon after ingestion has been advocated  after successful use in severe overdosages, but its use is a risk to the patient and warranted only in cases of probable severe or fatal hepatic necrosis. Consequently, for intelligent therapy of suspected overdose cases and legal protection of physicians, rapid and accurate serum acetaminophen levels must be available throughout the first few critical hours after ingestion of acetaminophen.