Is intravenous acetaminophen any better than oral delivery?
The effector site of action for acetaminophen is mainly located in the central nervous system (CNS); therefore, rapid and consistent penetration into the CNS should improve analgesia. Up until 2001, only oral and rectal delivery of acetaminophen was available. Since 2001, an intravenous (IV) preparation has been used in Europe. Surgery often leads to gastric stasis due to many systemic disturbances that will result in poor or erratic gastrointestinal absorption of acetaminophen. The intravenous delivery results in a rapid and consistent CNS penetration and better pain control. Intravenous acetaminophen can also be better tailored to specific needs of the patient.