It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

SCI/TECH: Acetaminophen Causes Most Liver Failures

page: 1
5

log in

join
share:

posted on Dec, 8 2005 @ 10:44 PM
link   
Acetaminophen, also known as Tylenol and Paracetamol, is the leading cause of liver failure. While some people overdose intentionally, many overdose accidentally because they take two or more medications that contain the drug without knowing that acetaminophen is contained in each. The UK requires that the drug be sold in blister packs in small numbers the way that pseudoephedrine is sold in the US. Experts believe that measure should be extended to acetaminophen sold in the US.
 



www.newscientist.com
A POPULAR over-the-counter painkiller is now the leading cause of acute liver failure in the US - and almost half of those cases are accidental overdoses.

Paracetamol (or acetaminophen as it is known in the US) is used by millions of Americans each year, and is commonly thought to be safe. Until 1980, paracetamol was not even listed as a cause of acute liver failure. But between 1998 and 2003, the proportion of cases of liver failure caused by the drug nearly doubled.

William Lee at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and his colleagues followed patients with acute liver failure who were in a coma. Of the 275 people with paracetamol poisoning, 8 per cent received a liver transplant, 65 per cent survived without one and 27 per cent died.

Initially the researchers had suspected a direct relationship between how much of the drug is in the liver and for how long, and the extent of the damage. But people who intentionally overdosed, who tend to be identified and treated more quickly, had similar damage to those who overdosed accidentally. That suggests a clear threshold for what constitutes a safe dose of the drug.




Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


This is a danger that not many Americans fully understand and I don't think that Tylenol does enough to make the dangers of the drug known to its customers. I recently saw a commercial in which the actress said something to the effect that Tylenol would rather you didn't take their product than for you to take it without following the directions. That's good advice, but in America, we believe that more is always better and the general consensus is that acetaminophen is safe, but as little as 2000mg. within a 24 hour period can cause irreparable harm. That may seem like a lot, but the drug is available in 500mg doses and many cold preparations contain that much, so it is very easy for anyone to lose count when they are ill and taking multiple medications.

Related News Links:
www.liverfoundation.org
www.liverfoundation.org
www.askdrsears.com
www.straightdope.com

[edit on 2005/12/8 by GradyPhilpott]




posted on Dec, 8 2005 @ 10:50 PM
link   
Tylenol is one of the most dangerous drugs in existance. It's amazing to me that this allowed to be sold in so many preparations...in prescription painkiller drugs like vicodin, the risk of overdosing on the acetaminophen is orders of magnitude higher than the opiates also present in the drug. Of course in our crazy system the opiate ingredient is the controlled substance and the truly dangerous substance is available over the counter.



posted on Dec, 9 2005 @ 01:14 AM
link   
The other thing most people don't realize is that combined with alcohol it is a one-two deadly punch for the liver. One of my coworkers almost died over the labor-day weekend because of that deadly, but mostly unknown, combination. I also read a story about a man who drank 3 beers had a couple of Tylenol and died over the 4th of July weekend. The scary thing is, I remember people giving me advice years ago that I should take a tylenol before a night of drinking to prevent a headache.



posted on Dec, 9 2005 @ 01:22 AM
link   

Originally posted by djohnsto77
Tylenol is one of the most dangerous drugs in existance. It's amazing to me that this allowed to be sold in so many preparations...


Tylenol is no more dangerous than anything else avalible over the counter. But even Milk of Magnesia can kill if taken in excessive quantites.

Its not really the liver failure that kills them quickly rather the brain swelling assosiated with a large overdose. ETOH will potentiate the effect of the Tylenol as well.



posted on Dec, 9 2005 @ 02:22 AM
link   
Thanks for the story Grady.

I have known this for quite a few years now after living with a husband who had advanced hep C. In the course of all the medication he took paracetomol was one that used to raise his levels alarmingly to the point of severe mental illness (acute) and especially when combined with alcohol. I am glad these reports are coming out warning of the dangers of these simple over the counter remedies.



posted on Dec, 9 2005 @ 04:22 AM
link   

Originally posted by djohnsto77
Tylenol is one of the most dangerous drugs in existance. It's amazing to me that this allowed to be sold in so many preparations...in prescription painkiller drugs like vicodin, the risk of overdosing on the acetaminophen is orders of magnitude higher than the opiates also present in the drug. Of course in our crazy system the opiate ingredient is the controlled substance and the truly dangerous substance is available over the counter.


I am in agreement with you there.

As far as mild pains, I dont have many options. Asprin irritates my ulcers, Im allergic ti ibuproferin, and that leaves me only tylenol.



new topics

top topics
 
5

log in

join