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Acetaminophen warning
Old 10-07-2013, 08:35 PM   #1
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Acetaminophen warning

Perhaps this has been in the news, but I missed it. It's a warning from the National Institute for Health about potential dangerous side effects from Acetaminophen (Tylenol). With all of the warnings on the TV advertised drugs, it's not surprising, but... Tylenol has always seemed to me to be the pain reliever that was safest, because it didn't have the same downside risks of NSAIDS.
Acetaminophen: MedlinePlus Drug Information

The warning was posted in August this year...mainly concerning skin reactions and liver problems.

At the bottom of the page, note the number of products and combination of products that contain Acetaminophen.
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Old 10-07-2013, 08:56 PM   #2
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Major issue with most OTC drugs is people not following the direction, but in this case the drug has a very narrow margin of error for dosage, Here's another article on it.

Use Only as Directed - ProPublica
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Old 10-07-2013, 09:30 PM   #3
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Liver disease from over-use has always been an issue and it is very serious or fatal in some cases. Mix with alcohol and it's worse. I have watched it slowly bring on cirrhosis and death to more than a few patients over the years, esp with alcoholism present or massive doses from a suicide attempt. Not pretty.

I believe in part it is related to marketing decisions which playfully skirt the risk. It is safe and effective for most if taken in recommended doses.
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As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
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Old 10-07-2013, 09:41 PM   #4
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I think the association with serious skin rashes is new, but liver disease has been known about for decades. I saw a child die of liver failure following an acetaminophen overdose in 1981, despite being treated with the antidote.
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Old 10-07-2013, 09:42 PM   #5
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NPR had a segment on how "infant" Tylenol was more concentrated than "children's" Tylenol. Makes it easier to O.D. an infant if you screw up which one you're using and which one the dosing is for. I hadn't realized the dosing was so sensitive.
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:12 PM   #6
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Combining my personal imbibing habits and my OCD, I noticed this immediately when the stories about liver damage started, and now avoid acetaminophen absolutely. It is amazing how many products contain it. Almost any cold or flu combination symptom product has it. Read the labels!
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Old 10-07-2013, 11:20 PM   #7
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Lots of acetaminophen in drugs not directly marketed as containing it, including cough and cold over the counter drugs and even some prescription drugs contain it in combination with other drugs. You have to check all the labels to make sure you aren't piling on dosage from multiple seemingly independent sources.
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Old 10-07-2013, 11:21 PM   #8
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I think the association with serious skin rashes is new, but liver disease has been known about for decades. I saw a child die of liver failure following an acetaminophen overdose in 1981, despite being treated with the antidote.
Taking Tylenol after drinking possibly ruining your liver has been common knowledge since the 80's! Even when totally smashed with a blazing headache coming on I knew that rule in my youth.
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Old 10-08-2013, 07:00 AM   #9
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And everybody got scared away from aspirin from lesser side effects.
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Old 10-08-2013, 07:29 AM   #10
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And everybody got scared away from aspirin from lesser side effects.
The Tylenol and alcohol combo is especially dangerous for many college kids whose livers are already taxed by bingeing. Aspirin effectively treated many a hangover back in the day before that new Tylenol became available.
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Old 10-08-2013, 07:44 AM   #11
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Combining my personal imbibing habits and my OCD, I noticed this immediately when the stories about liver damage started, and now avoid acetaminophen absolutely. It is amazing how many products contain it. Almost any cold or flu combination symptom product has it. Read the labels!
+1 on both counts.
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Quote:
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And everybody got scared away from aspirin from lesser side effects.
For the next 4 months I am stuck needing one pain killer or another. I put every Tylenol dose into a spreadsheet. I take 1 gm midmorning before I start exercising, and another gm before bed so I don't wake myself up roiling over on that hip.

Headaches etc do not bother me, so I will not accidentally take acetaminophen (or aspirin) from another source. My brother died from cirrhosis, and a lover many years ago died from acute liver failure brought about my medical treatment, so I am definitely a respecter of liver disease

What would be an equivalent pain relieving dose of aspirin, also trying to keep below any likely side effects?

I hate medicines, but I cannot be reasonably active without something until my surgery is completed.

Ha
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:09 AM   #13
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I think acetominophen is known as paracetamol in Europe. The liver toxicity must be well known over there, as I read a mystery where it was remarked that it is a common enough suicide or suicide attempt drug, used particularly by young women.

Not a pleasant way to go.

Ha
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:49 AM   #14
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Ha, I know this sounds totally obvious, but have you asked your Dr. this rather important question? For all we (and the Internet) know, it could vary from patient to patient.

Best wishes to feel better as soon as humanly possible.

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What would be an equivalent pain relieving dose of aspirin, also trying to keep below any likely side effects?
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Old 10-08-2013, 12:04 PM   #15
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I think acetominophen is known as paracetamol in Europe. The liver toxicity must be well known over there, as I read a mystery where it was remarked that it is a common enough suicide or suicide attempt drug, used particularly by young women.

Not a pleasant way to go.

Ha
When I lived in England I recall a news story where a suspected rapist-murderer committed suicide by taking a bottle of paracetamol. He died of liver failure which is a very painful way to die.

I avoid OTC remedies that mix ingredients, especially acetaminophen.
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Old 10-08-2013, 12:17 PM   #16
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I use Tylenol as recommended by my doc because of previous GI tract issues. I take as little as possible in order to achieve the desired effect, staying usually well below the recommended dosage.
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