Melissa S. Earl
is flu season again and the bugs hold on the community has us all reaching
for our medicine cabinets. But, exactly how safe is that medication you trust
to break our fevers and ease our pains?
commonly referred to as the brand name Tylenol, is not as safe as we all might
think. The drug accounts for 100,000 calls to poison control centers, 56,000 emergency
room visits, 26,000 hospitalizations, and 450 deaths annually.
most common drug-induced injury is liver damage, which can lead to the need for
a transplant. The cause, overuse or overdose. Tylenol overdose does not necessarily
mean purposeful, as in a suicide attempt. It is something that Im sure all
of us have done. The recommended dosage for a healthy adult is a maximum of four
grams (4000 mg) in a 24 hour period. That is the equivalent of eight extra-strength
most of us dont take into consideration the cold tablets that we took or
the Nyquil we took to rid us of our cough or to help us sleep. Acetaminophen is
currently found in over 600 over-the counter cold, flu, and headache medications.
Trunk, a 23 year old man from Florida, took prescription Tylenol with codeine
for ten days for a wrist injury. He continued to take over-the-counter Tylenol
for a week. He was struck with sudden fever and vomiting. He was taken to a hospital
and given more acetaminophen before being diagnosed with liver failure. He died
a week later. The autopsy report blamed acetaminophen.
consumption is another key factor in potential liver damage from the drug. It
is not recommended that you take any NSAID (non steroid anti inflammatory drug)
if you consume more than three alcoholic drinks per day. Aspirin, ibuprofen, and
naproxen sodium (Aleve) are all counted in that category, That means no more popping
a handful of Tylenol to alleviate that hangover. There was another case in Florida
where a man received an eight million dollar settlement after needing a liver
transplant. The man took his daily Tylenol and also drank wine with dinner. It
seems his doctor didnt mention the risks.
flu seems to be leaving all of us without an appetite. Taking acetaminophen on
an empty stomach causes a condition called acetaminophen toxicity. That alone
kills 100 people every year. Toxicity occurs when your body cannot process the
drug quickly enough. Acetaminophen, in itself, is a deadly poison to the human
body. However, a healthy liver produces enzymes to counteract the poison. This
is what gives us the analgesic effect that we all know and love from the drug.
When someone is not receiving proper nutrition, the liver slows down on how quickly
it can produce those enzymes. In turn, that leaves us with the poison in our systems.
is very important that you always read the labels of over-the-counter medications.
Just because it isnt prescribed by a doctor doesnt mean that it is
safe. Make sure that you take into consideration combined doses of acetaminophen
when combining drugs. Also take into consideration that it is also contained in
many popular prescription drugs. Vicodin, Lortab, and many other popular drugs
prescribed for pain contain the drug.
of acetaminophen overdose/toxicity include nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain,
loss of appetite, jaundice (yellowing of the skin), and liver enzyme abnormalities.
Jaundice is a phase 3 symptom of acetaminophen toxicity. If you are experiencing
an abnormal yellowing color of the skin, please seek immediate emergency healthcare.
Throughout this website, statements are made pertaining to the properties
and/or functions of food and/or nutritional products. These statements
have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and
these materials and products are not intended to diagnose, treat,
cure or prevent any disease.