Thursday, June 10, 2010

Liver Alert!

I started taking 1 or 2 Tylenol PM each night about 15 years ago when my sleeping
troubles began and only switched to Simply Sleep (which is TyPM without the Tylenol, basically benedryl)a year ago. I vaguely recall hearing something about how taking
too much Tylenol was not good for you but never bothered to find out why or how much is too much.

After reading a story in Life Extension's Magazine, a non-profit organization that studies nutrition science and health-related topics, about acetaminophen (the pain & fever reliever drug commonly known as Tylenol)I decided it was time to learn more.

Here's the lowdown on acetaminophen:
~ it is the leading cause of acute liver damage, even in doses taken in the
recommended range
~ alcohol consumption will greatly increase the risk of liver damage due to
~ malnourishment or fasting (from anorexia, flu or other illness) decreases the
liver's ability to detoxify acetaminophen which can be life-threatening
~ combining Tylenol with other over-the-counter or prescription medications that
also contain acetaminophen can cause an accidental but lethal overdose
**Vicodin, Percocet, & some cough, cold & flu meds also contain it**

The FDA has known about the overdoses and deaths caused by acetaminophin for decades but of course has been slow and cautious to react. There is now a weak warning in the fine print of the products about using with alcohol and to only use the recommended doses but doesn't really convey the serious risks of overmedication. And there is no mention of the risk of taking while fasting while there are more and more cases of liver failure and death caused from this.

This is just another example of the FDA protecting the financial interests of pharmaceutical companies instead of the well-being and health interests of Americans.
With the information and resources available to us on the internet, at least now we
can obtain the facts from unbiased scientific studies and advocates.
No more Tylenol or Simply Sleep for me, as my liver has taken enough abuse!!

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