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Slightly Too Much Tylenol Over Time May Kill You

November 28, 2011 by  

Slightly Too Much Tylenol Over Time May Kill You

New research on Tylenol and other pain relievers containing acetaminophen finds that taking slightly too much of the drugs over a period of several days has more deadly side effects than taking too many pills all at once.

In the study, staggered overdoses of acetaminophen were more deadly than single overdoses, even though people who experienced staggered overdoses typically took smaller total amounts of the drug than those who experienced a single overdose.

Researchers at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland examined information from 663 patients with liver problems caused by acetaminophen who were admitted to an Edinburgh hospital between 1992 and 2008. The researchers found that nearly a quarter of the patients had suffered staggered overdoses. Staggered overdose patients took 24 grams of acetaminophen on average, typically over several days. Single-overdose patients typically consumed 27 grams at once, or six times the recommended dose for a whole day.

Sixty of the patients died from a staggered overdose, and 140 patients from a single overdose. This equates to a mortality rate of 37.3 percent among the staggered overdose group, and 27.8 percent in the single overdose group. Staggered overdose patients also were more likely to have liver and brain problems, require kidney dialysis and need help with breathing.

Researchers say that the evidence provides further proof of the importance of knowing what is in all of your medicine, and following dosage instructions carefully.

The study was published online in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • coal miner

    Over-the-counter drugs can kill you. … compared to 4 of the persons who accidently took too much acetaminophen. … This, too, has been known for some time. … -

  • Fly By Night

    Yep – and don’t eat much gluten (white flour bread or pastries) before you take your car out for a long drive or you might fall asleep at the wheel..

  • coal miner

    Ibuprofen and other NSAIDs are contained in many combination medicines. Taking certain products together can cause you to get too much ibuprofen. …

  • clay modeling

    But still, they are talking about 6 times the dosage for a full day! That would be hard to do, even with taking several different OTC drugs with acetaminophen in them.

  • ArkansasRebel

    FDA & Dr. recommendation used to be a maximum of 4500mg per day & the common amount in a single capsule or tablet was 500mg. FDA is now recommending a reduction to 325mg per tablet, especially when combined with the narcotic in Vicadin. Children are especially at risk for kidney damage, liver disease & death.


    The military began to issue pouches of tylenol to recon units and the reason was to cut down on muscle fatigue and soreness, this drug acetomenaphine promoted blood circulation and helped considerably.
    Many times I would use tylenol before and during projects where a lot of physical work was involved or long hikes, it was worthwhile to use this mild drug and over use of anything can do harm…you just cannot fix stupid.

  • momplayer

    If you listen to the side effects on different medicines most of the time the side effects are worse than whatever they are treating. Today it seems doctors push drugs especially pain killers. It’s no wonder there are so many drug addicts. It would be nice if the doctors would try to find the cause of the problem instead of just handing out drugs. I never could understand why it is okay to hand out oxycondone,loratab,vicadin ect but don’t get caught with any marijuna.

  • http://Boblivingston Lyle McDaniel

    A missed oppertunity. Tell all those flash mob idiots that tylenol is a highly saught after drug . then over stock the shelves.

  • Jezza

    It has been proven 100% that life will kill you. YES it is true!
    Whether you simply live long enough or partake in risky activity you are going to die.
    Just like the Author of the fitness book “Running” who died while Running !

  • jopa

    I would venture to bet the people who did the study did not take into account the amount of alcohol the individuals drank during this study.Liver problems have been around since alcohol was introduced to mankind.Why would these people overdose on APAP?They were probably drunk in the first place or trying to cure a hangover.As stated before, you can’t fix stupid.More people die per year choking on hot dogs than acetaminophen overdoses.Do a study on hot dogs.

  • jopa

    Scotland would have liver problems more than likely involving Scotch more than any other drug.


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