April 03, 2015

Acetaminophen Safety/Dangers

Acetaminophen is the active ingredient in the popular pain reliever Tylenol.  According to the FDA, formulations that contain more than 325mg of acetaminophen (some formulations have 500mg or 650mg per pill) have not been shown to relieve pain better than lower doses of the medication, and, in addition, high levels of the drug can cause damage to the liver, the organ responsible for metabolizing the drug.

Acetaminophen is in over 600 medications, most of which are over the counter, and therefore easily ingested in amounts that exceed the daily recommended dosage.  Common OTC brands that contain  the drug include Benedryl, Excedrin, Nyquil, Robitussin, Theraflu and Vicks.

For adults, the limit is 4,000mg daily, but a total of 3,000mg daily is better, and those of lower body weight should stay at the lower end of the range.  Drinking alcohol causes the liver to convert more of the acetaminophen taken into toxic byproducts.  When taking the drug, men should have no more than two standard drinks per day, women no more than a single drink of alcohol.

Robert G. Tupac, DDS, FACP, Inc., Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics
(661) 325-1275 | www.drtupac.com
5060 California Ave., #170
Bakersfield, CA 93309

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