Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are frequently used antipyretic agents that most probably exert their antifever effect by inhibiting cyclooxygenase (COX)–2. Thus, COX-2–selective drugs or null mutation of the COX-2 gene reduce or prevent fever. Acetaminophen is antipyretic and analgesic, as are NSAIDs, but it lacks the anti-inflammatory and anticoagulatory properties of these drugs. This has led to the speculation that a COX variant exists that is inhibitable by acetaminophen. An acetaminophen-inhibitable enzyme is inducible in the mouse J774.2 monocyte cell line. Induction of acetaminophen-inhibitable prostaglandin E2 synthesis parallels induction of COX-2. Thus, inhibition of pharmacologically distinct COX-2 enzyme activity by acetaminophen may be the mechanism of action of this important antipyretic drug.