Does anyone really believe you're a doctor?
How kind of you to insult me. Also, I've never said I was a doctor. I'm a medical student. Keyword student. As in, still learning.
What Excitable Boy was trying to explain is that people who don't know any better take Vicodin and Percocet because they're addicted to the
Opiates, and the Acetaminophen in the pills is what is doing most of the damage.
I'm sorry, I didn't understand his original post. English is not my first language (Italian is). Now that you have restated his original idea, yes,
I can understand the idea that someone who is addicted to a drug that contains opiates will eventually begin to overdose on said medication once their
tolerance to the opium leads them to increase their dosage. That makes sense and still fits within the constraints of my point that acetaminophen is
not harmful when taken in regular dosage.
You'd be amazed at how many liver failures occur each year because of accidental overdoses like someone having a constant toothache and taking
extra strength tylenol over an extended period.
Now, honestly, I think you need to admit a bit of exaggeration here. A capsule of extra strength Tylenol contains 500mg of acetaminophen. The border
for toxic levels that can cause liver damage is 10g. That means a person would have to take 20 capsules in order to even reach that border dosage.
Assuming they are up for 15 consecutive hours (wake up at 7, asleep by 10) and are taking two capsules at each administration, that would mean a dose
every 1.5 hours. That's assuming that take a dose as soon as they wake up and take one right as they fall asleep. Now, when someone has a toothache,
two to three doses in a 10 hour period should cover it. I've had a crown come off a tooth, causing immense pain, and 4 capsules of extra strength
Tylenol in about 6 hours was enough to subdue it. Now, I'm a fairly small woman, so even compensating for someone larger than me, let's say 10
capsules in 6 hours. That's still only half the dosage that is on the border of toxicity.
They take a couple more than the recommended each time they do, because hey, it's OTC and the label doesn't have any stern warnings.
"RECOMMENDED DOSAGE" isn't very strong, since eeevvveryone (the ignorant) knows they just put that there to protect their own ass. Should it say
"DO NOT EXCEED" in big red letters, people might not buy it and sales would go down.
In my hand right now, I am holding a bottle of generic 500 mg extra strength acetaminophen (Equate brand, to be exact so you can check for yourself
the next time you are at the supermarket). On the label it states, and I quote:
"WARNINGS: Overdose warning:
Taking more than the recommended dose can cause serious health problems, including liver damage. In case of
overdose, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away. Quick medical attention is critical for adults as well as for children even
if you do not notice and signs or symptoms.
If you consume 3 or more alcoholic drinks every day, ask your doctor if you should take acetaminophin or other pain
relievers/fever reducers. Acetaminophen may cause liver damage.
: Do not use more than directed (see overdose warning). Adults and children 12 years and over: take 2 caplets every 6 hours as
needed. Do not take more than 8 caplets in 24 hours. Children under 12 years: do not use this adult Extra Strength product in children 12 years of
age; this will provide more than the recommended dose (overdose) and could cause serious health problems."
Emphasis theirs. Now, how could these be any less clear? They are in fairly large bright blue letters displayed prominently on the label for all to
Comparing exceeding a dosage to exceeding the speed limit is pure crap-logic, since (A)people "need" to drive, and no one needs to take
acetaminophen since there are better alternatives, and (B) taking a double-dose of Tylenol appears safer to most than going twice the speed limit.
Besides, they're two completely different things, they're nothing alike. Damn.
First, no one "needs" to drive. When I lived in Firenze, I rarely drove. I took the bus, the metro, or walked. Fairly easy to do. Obviously, for
long distance travel, driving is often cheaper than train, bus, or flying. As far as "better alternatives" for acetaminophen, often they are more
expensive, less effective, or simply not available to some. And finally, when you say taking a double dose of Tylenol is safer than doubling the speed
limit, well obviously that is safer, because taking a double dose of Tylenol is not exceeding the "speed limit" so to speak, of Tylenol. Now, if you
compare doubling the maximum dosage of Tylenol, 10g, and doulbing the speed limit, I would think the Tylenol would be more harmful since you are not
guaranteed harm to your liver if you drive 90 in a 45. I've done that a few times and come away from it fine. I have, however, seen someone who had
taken a large dosage of acetaminophen, a case study from percocet overdose, and they most certainly were harmed. So really, my analogy works quite
well I imagine.
Many preparations intended for use in children come in liquid, tablet and capsule form, and a parent may accidentally give all of these to
their child for various symptoms, not knowing they all contain this crappy ingredient.
Now come on, can you really blame the medication for that? It's sad to think children are being harmed somewhere, but you would almost have to be
intentionally harming a child to give them liquid pain reliever, tablet pain reliver, and then choke a capsule down their throat. I have never heard
of a case like this except in abuse. If the parent is perceptive enough to realise that they themselves would not take three medications at once, why
would they do this to a child of their own? Really, I can see this example as credible whatsoever.
As far as your sources go, they only seem to backup my original point that acetaminophen in proper dosage is harmless, if not beneficial, but in
excess, like any other drug, is harmful. Here are some quotes from your sources:
In adults, dosages exceeding 10 to 15 grams can produce liver failure and dosages exceeding 25 grams can be fatal.
The toxic dose of APAP after a single acute ingestion is 150 mg/kg or approximately 7 g in adults.
Case series report that fewer than 4% of patients who suffer severe hepatotoxicity develop hepatic failure; fatalities or liver transplantation
occurs in less than one half of these patients.
Now, these would seem to support what I was saying. I never denied that acetaminophen poisoning happened. I merely explained that it only occurs in
very high doses. I would imagine the reason it is seen as the most common overdose drug is because percocet, vicodin, and other opiates are often the
most accesible drugs for addicts, and they will eventually take higher doses due to tolerance, leading to an overdose. Seems logical to me.
And Risk-Benefit is not natural selection. We got ourselves into a position where we can manipulate nature as much as we want (and we do).
Since we did this, we've discovered and created many things that don't also don't occur in nature. Natural selection no longer applies to us. We
got guns that level the playing field if # ever hits the fan and social order breaks down. Or someone who was once "superior" to someone
"inferior" can spend their life unknowingly exposing themselves to all the gene-crappifying chemicals in our water or shampoos or soft drinks.
Animals in nature know what to avoid in nature. We very obviously don't know which of our creations we should avoid.
So we can manipulate nature as much as we want now? Wow, so, can we create matter? I was under the impression this was a law of science in some form
or fashion. Also, I wasn't aware we were able to manipulate nature to the extent that all disease was eridicated and life never ended for us. Well, I
guess I'm out of a job now, huh? As for guns "leveling the playing field", is that why your country is having so much trouble in Iraq? I freely
admit that America has the biggest guns, the best technology, and the most money, that's a given. However, just like America did in the revolutionary
war, the insurgents in Iraq know the territory, know the people, and can work effectively with low-technology. Interesting. Face it, humans, as much
as they like to deny it, are part of nature. Our drugs and our guns are just glorified stickes chimps use to extract termites from their nests. They
are advanced tools created by homo sapiens. We even gauge other animals intelligence on their ability to create and utilize tools. Yes, we create
things that are harmful to our health. Here's an interesting example from a virology book read once. I don't own the book, and I can't recall the
exact title. I want to say it was "The Coming Plague" or something like that, I'm sure they have it on Amazon. Basically, it's a tome that gives
the history of many of the worst diseases ever to plague man, such as Ebola (my favorite). One outbreak of Ebola was believed to have been cause when
a small village, which customarily eats chimpanzees, found one either dieing or dead and ate it. It was dieing from the Ebola virus, thus passing it
on to the villagers and beginning an outbreak. Now, how is eating a dangerous food like this not natural selection? And how is that any different that
you me standing in the supermarket trying to decide between water (healthy) and soda (not healthy)? The fit will naturally eat healthier, their
fitness being directly caused by their healthy eating style. This is environmental to an extent, their environment being cultured from their
srroundings such as home and friends, which they can either emulate or rebel against. This is the heart of natural selection, actions reflecting
well-being and strength as seen in an individual and reflected in the individuals family or community.
.S. Please remove your avatar, or change it anyways. You're not a doctor like it leads people to believe, and it could be hazardous for some
impressionable idiots health if they think you are.
The avatar was actually a gift from someone, and although I am a year short of being a licensed physician, I am much more knowledgable about medicine
than the average person, whom you called "ignorant", and I don't feel the avatar in any way leads people to believe I'm a doctor, nor is it
hazardous. If someone takes medical advice from someone on a conspiracy theory forum, their physical health is the LEAST of their problems.
[edit on 1/5/2006 by bsl4doc]