Rationale for Use of Intravenous Acetaminophen in Special Operations Medicine

J Spec Oper Med. 2015 Summer;15(2):71-73. doi: 10.55460/XC14-M36Z.


Use of intravenous acetaminophen has increased recently as an opioid-sparing strategy for patients undergoing major surgery. Its characteristics and efficacy suggest that it would a useful adjunct in combat trauma medicine. This article reviews those characteristics, which include rapid onset, high peak plasma concentration, and favorable side-effect profile. Also discussed is the hepatotoxicity risk of acetaminophen in a combat trauma patient. It concludes that intravenous acetaminophen should be considered as an addition to the US Special Operations Command Tactical Trauma Protocols and supplied to medics for use in field care.

MeSH terms

  • Acetaminophen / administration & dosage*
  • Acetaminophen / adverse effects
  • Acetaminophen / pharmacokinetics
  • Acetaminophen / therapeutic use
  • Administration, Intravenous / statistics & numerical data*
  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic / administration & dosage*
  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic / adverse effects
  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic / pharmacokinetics
  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic / therapeutic use
  • First Aid
  • Humans
  • Military Medicine / methods*
  • Military Personnel
  • Pain / drug therapy
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic


  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic
  • Acetaminophen