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Acetaminophen Overdose Has Become the Leading Cause of Liver Failure in the US

re: ethics in medicine, follow the money

Real science is never settled, and anyone who has certainty on such things is not qualified to discuss it.

I used to joke about Vitamin I (Ibuprofin) Vitamin N (Naprosyn)with a fellow athlete. But I abandonded all painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs a decade or more ago. And neither of those is as toxic as acetaminophen.

Acetaminophen is mostly commonly known as Tylenol. But there are many other brands including generic.

Acetaminophen Overdose Has Become the Leading Cause of Liver Failure in the US: Data


In the United States, acetaminophen is widely available and included in hundreds of cold and cough medicines. Unfortunately, it can also be easily misused and has been responsible for deaths by suicide and unintentional poisoning.

Because of its potential dangers, acetaminophen is one of the most frequently banned or restricted drugs (pdf). Countries that have limited or banned drug combinations using acetaminophen include the UK, Norway, India, Algeria, and Kyrgyzstan.

Acetaminophen overdose is the leading cause of liver transplantation in the United States, according to a recently updated report by the National Institutes of Health. About 500 Americans die yearly of complications from acetaminophen toxicity. It also causes approximately 56,000 emergency department visits and 2,600 hospitalizations annually.

Why Is the Rate of Acetaminophen Toxicity So High?

“Acetaminophen is by far the No. 1 cause of acute liver failure in the United States,” Dr. Nima Majlesi, director of medical toxicology at Staten Island University Hospital in New York, told The Epoch Times.


Acetaminophen is sold under many brand names and is an ingredient in a broad range of over-the-counter and prescription medications.

“Medications such as Percocet, Tylenol PM, Robitusson, and Nyquil all can contain acetaminophen,” Majlesi said. “In fact, acetaminophen has been reported to be present in about 600 different products.”

...high doses of the medication can be dangerous and cause potentially irreversible liver damage. When acetaminophen is taken in high doses, the liver may be unable to keep up with the breakdown process, and toxic byproducts can accumulate, causing damage to liver cells.


Accidental Deaths and Suicide

Acetaminophen is often combined with opioid drugs, such as Percocet, prescribed for pain management. However, many people taking this type of medication are unaware of the presence of acetaminophen, Zacharoff said.

“I think if I said to you, ‘Make sure if I’m prescribing Percocet to you, that you don’t take any other medicine that has acetaminophen in it,’ you may or may not know that Tylenol is another word for acetaminophen,” he said.

People may also be unaware that Robitussin, a common cough medicine, often contains acetaminophen, or that common allergy, sinus, and migraine medications may also contain acetaminophen. “That sets the stage … for people to unintentionally be exposed to too much of it,” Zacharoff said.

...FDA Stance on Acetaminophen

... “If the FDA truly wanted to reduce the risk of chronic acetaminophen poisoning, it would eliminate all combination preparations and force people to take a pill for each individual medication they needed,” Majlesi said.

...Acetaminophen May Not Even Help Treat Acute Pain

Growing evidence suggests that acetaminophen may not even work very well for people with chronic pain. In a review of two large clinical trials, researchers found that 4,000 milligrams per day were no better than a placebo for relieving short or long-term acute lower back pain. The study also showed that acetaminophen was ineffective compared with a placebo in improving sleep quality.

...Acetaminophen is often mistakenly considered a conventional NSAID, like ibuprofen, naproxen, and diclofenac, but it isn’t. “The pharmacology is very different,” Majlesi said.

He explained that while NSAIDs can cause gastrointestinal irritation, bleeding, and kidney issues when used excessively, acetaminophen can lead to liver failure with chronic overuse. In addition, in contrast to NSAIDs, the symptoms of toxicity from acetaminophen aren’t easily recognizable until severe damage has already occurred.

...“There is almost no reason anyone should be chronically using a combination preparation containing acetaminophen on a daily basis for more than one week,” he said.


WIND: and they give this stuff to children. What kind of damage is done by a less than fatal-to-liver dosing?

Naturally, the FDA sticks its thumb up its ass and lets the carnage continue (see the comments on how acetaminophen is on so many products). Follow the money.

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