Friday, January 06, 2006

Tylenol Most Common Cause of Liver Failure

From Mercola's blog:
TylenolAcetaminophen poisoning is now the most common cause of acute liver failure in the United States. Attempted suicides account for many cases, but almost half are the result of unintentional overdose.

Some 36 percent of Americans take acetaminophen at least once a month, making it the most widely used pain reliever in the United States. Taking more than the recommended dose, however, can lead to fatal liver injury.

And those who had unintentionally taken overdoses usually have even worse outcomes than those who has done so intentionally, since unintentional overdoses are usually not recognized as such immediately.

Researchers examined the case histories of almost 700 liver-failure patients over a six-year period. They found that:

* Cases of acute liver failure blamed on acetaminophen use rose sharply from 28 percent in 1998 to 51 percent five years later.
* More patients overdosed unintentionally on acetaminophen (48 percent) than did so intentionally (44 percent)
* Sixty-three percent who accidentally overdosed used a prescription acetaminophen compound while 38 percent had been taking two acetaminophen meds at the same time.
* Some patients had been taking less than 4 grams of acetaminophen daily before their livers failed.

The data suggests that consistent use of as little as 7.5 grams of acetaminophen a day may be hazardous. Rather than resulting in chronic illness, acetaminophen injury has a threshold of safety that, when exceeded, can have immediate and devastating results.

What Tylenol Does To Our Environment

Even an over-the-counter drug like acetaminophen -- the most widely used pain reliever in America -- can become toxic when combined with chlorine, according to a study by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

When acetaminophen is combined with chlorine during the disinfection process, it forms a minimum of 11 new products, two of which are toxic. Makes sense, considering acetaminophen is one of the more widely detected man-made chemicals in the environment, according to a study of 139 streams by the U.S. Geological Survey.

All the more reason to ensure the water you're drinking is clean and pass up acetaminophen for safer, healthier options.

1 comment:

R Ryan said...

Whew, it's a good thing I use Advil!