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Taking Just a Little Too Much Tylenol Can Be

Posted By Dr. Mercola | December 15 2011 | 29,147 views

By Dr. Mercola

If you use acetaminophen-containing products (such

as Tylenol) for minor aches and pains, or prescription
drugs like Vicodin (which also contain it), please be
very careful about the dose.

As new research confirms, even a very slight

overdose over the course of several days could be

In fact, a new study, led by Dr. Kenneth Simpson of

the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, found that Story at-a-glance
you're more likely to die from a "staggered
Taking just a bit too much acetaminophen
overdose" (taking just a little bit too much for several containing products (such as Tylenol) for minor
days or weeks) of Tylenol than from a single large aches and pains, or prescription drugs
overdose. (which also contain it), over several days or we
can lead to a deadly overdose

Among the people who took a staggered overdose of You’re actually more likely to die from taking jus
Tylenol, 37 percent died, compared to 28 percent of little bit too much acetaminophen for several da
or weeks than you are from taking a single larg
those who took one large overdose. overdose

Given the fact that Tylenol is one of the most Acetaminophen is toxic to your liver, and is actu
common drugs in the world, with billions of doses the number one cause of liver failure in the Unit
purchased in the United States each year, you might
be surprised to learn that taking just a bit too much, It’s surprisingly easy to take too much
on a regular basis, could be deadly -- but it's a very acetaminophen because it’s widely used in cold
and flu and other over-the-counter
real, and very significant, risk. well as in prescription painkillers like Vicodin an

Acetaminophen is the Number One Cause of If you take acetaminophen-containing products

taking the supplement N-acetyl cysteine (NAC)
Acute Liver Failure in the United States along with it may help prevent liver
are also natural alternatives for pain relief availa
Yes … you read that correctly, the number one

But because Tylenol and related products are familiar household items, many people are
completely unaware that these drugs can be toxic to your liver, even at recommended doses
as eight extra-strength Tylenol tablets daily for a couple of weeks. 23/12/2011
Beware: Taking Too Much Tylenol Can Be Deadly Page 2 of 4

It's surprisingly easy to take too much acetaminophen, especially for those who are struggling w
chronic pain or multiple conditions, such as headache, toothache and/or backache. Many peop
would not think twice about upping their dose "just a little bit" to help take the edge off the pain
but this can turn into an unintentional "staggered overdose," which can lead to liver failure, live
transplant and even death.

What makes the danger so insidious is that many users will not equate the initial overdose
symptoms of nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain with the Tylenol they took hours or days
before. Many will not even mention it to their physician or in the emergency room, and even if a
physician were to suspect acetaminophen as a culprit, tests would not likely reveal high enoug
levels in the patient's system to indicate a problem.

This frequently delays treatment, which is available in the form of N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) (mo
on this shortly) – a move that can be deadly because the sooner NAC is given, the more effect
it is at preventing liver damage.

The previously mentioned study, in fact, found that getting medical help more than 24 hours aft
an overdose increased the risk of death or the need for a liver transplant, compared to those w
got help sooner.

Medications You Might Not Expect Contain Acetaminophen

Adding to the problem is the fact that acetaminophen is not only in products labeled as "Tyleno
flu and other over-the-counter medications.

Of course, when many people have a cold, headache or other ache or pain, they don't just take
Many people double or triple-up, taking multiple OTC medications, all of which may contain

Prescription painkillers like Vicodin and Percocet also contain acetaminophen, so it's actually v
and thereby cause serious liver damage, liver failure or even death.

This was precisely the reason why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asked manuf
acetaminophen combination products in early 2011 to limit the maximum amount of
per dose, as well as required manufacturers to update labels of all such products to warn of the

There are over-the-counter Tylenol products, however, that currently contain well over 325 mill
not be included in this new limit, even though they're easier to obtain, and so you will have to w

There are other serious health risks associated with acetaminophen use, and they're significan
liver damage, that I do not recommend taking this drug for minor aches and pains. Some of the

• Blood cancer

• Asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and reduced lung function

• Brain damage

• Increased blood pressure

• Hearing loss

• Autism Spectrum Disorder 23/12/2011
Beware: Taking Too Much Tylenol Can Be Deadly Page 3 of 4

If You Take Tylenol, Be Sure toTake NAC With It

While I do not believe acetaminophen-containing drugs are appropriate for minor aches and pa
are sometimes necessary to suppress severe pain, such as while you are recovering from an in
seeking to address the underlying cause of your pain.

For those instances, make sure you are also taking N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), which is the rate
the intracellular antioxidant glutathione.

It's thought that Tylenol causes its damage by depleting glutathione, an antioxidant that
radicals. If you keep your glutathione levels up, the damage from the acetaminophen may be la
anyone who overdoses on Tylenol receives large doses of NAC in the emergency room.

So whether you are taking Tylenol in prescription or over-the-counter form, I strongly suggest t

Safe Tips for Relieving Pain Naturally

It's completely understandable to want to eliminate pain, and doing so can make an immense d
However, please understand that there are many safe and effective alternatives to prescription
though they may require some patience.

Among the best are:

• Start taking a high-quality, animal-based omega-3 fat like krill oil. Omega-
inflammation called prostaglandins. (In fact, that is how anti-inflammatory painkillers work
prostaglandins.) The omega-3 fats EPA and DHA contained in krill oil have also been fou
studies to have anti-inflammatory properties.

• Eliminate or radically reduce most grains and sugars (including fructose) from you
will lower your insulin and leptin levels. Elevated insulin and leptin levels are one of the m
inflammatory prostaglandin production.. That is why eliminating sugar and grains is so im
other types of chronic illnesses.

• Optimize your production of vitamin D by getting regular, appropriate sun exposure, w

different mechanisms to reduce your pain.

In the meantime, you don't need to suffer unnecessarily. The following options provide excellen
hazards that acetaminophen and other pain relievers carry:

• Astaxanthin: One of the most effective oil-soluble antioxidants known. It has very potent
many cases works far more effectively than many NSAIDs. Higher doses are typically req
more per day to achieve this benefit.

• Ginger: This herb is anti-inflammatory and offers pain relief and stomach-settling propert
in boiling water as a tea or grated into vegetable juice.

• Curcumin: Curcumin is the primary therapeutic compound identified in the spice

those who added 200 mg of curcumin a day to their treatment plan had reduced pain and
curcumin has been shown in over 50 clinical studies to have potent anti-inflammatory acti
ability in four studies to reduce Tylenol-associated adverse health effects.

• Boswellia: Also known as boswellin or "Indian frankincense," this herb contains powerful
have been prized for thousands of years. This is one of my personal favorites as I have s
rheumatoid arthritis patients. 23/12/2011
Beware: Taking Too Much Tylenol Can Be Deadly Page 4 of 4

• Bromelain: This protein-digesting enzyme, found in pineapples, is a natural anti

form, but eating fresh pineapple may also be helpful.

• Cetyl Myristoleate (CMO): This oil, found in fish and dairy butter, acts as a "joint
used this for myself to relieve ganglion cysts and a mild annoying carpal tunnel syndrome
on non-ergonomic keyboards. I used a topical preparation for this.

• Evening Primrose, Black Currant and Borage Oils: These contain the fatty acid gamm
useful for treating arthritic pain.

• Cayenne Cream: Also called capsaicin cream, this spice comes from dried hot peppers.
body's supply of substance P, a chemical component of nerve cells that transmits pain sig

• Therapeutic modalities such as yoga, acupuncture, meditation, hot and cold

result in astonishing pain relief without any drugs.

Like 89

Source: Time Magazine November 23, 2011

Source: British Journal of Pharmacology November 22, 2011
Related Links:
Should You Ever Take Tylenol?

Studies Prove that These Drugs Make Your Brain Stop Working…

This Common OTC Painkiller Found Linked to Cancer 23/12/2011