The Effects of Too Much Acetaminophen

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Billions of people deal with pain every day, and many of those are probably dealing with it right at this moment. It seems most people with frequent pain have gotten to the point in which they take something to ease their suffering without really thinking about it. One of the most popular pain killers is Acetaminophen, which also goes by the name of Tylenol. Acetaminophen belongs in two classes of drugs, analgesics which relieve pain and antipyretics which are used to reduce fever. The structure of Acetaminophen is found in Fig 1.1. When taken as recommended, there are rarely side effects from Acetaminophen, but when used in large doses, long-term use, or with alcohol, serious side effects may occur. According to, “… it is estimated that acetaminophen poisoning results in 56,000 injuries, 25,000 hospitalizations, and 450 deaths every year.” One of the reasons Acetaminophen over doses are an issue is because the drug is considered “safe”, so people don’t pay too much attention to the amount they intake in one day. Then there’s the problem for people who do keep track of their daily intake of the pain reliever because what many of them don’t know is that Acetaminophen is used in other drugs besides Tylenol. “Acetaminophen… is contained in almost 100 different products and combination products,” writes Carol and Richard Eustice. Because there are so many drugs containing Acetaminophen, people don’t always realize when they are ingesting it. Also, most patients aren’t aware that Acetaminophen is contained in over the counter and prescription drugs. Accidentally ingesting more than the recommended dosage can lead to overdoses and serious health problems. Another risk many people aren’t aware of is the risk of ingesting alcohol regularly (three or more times a day) and Acetaminophen together. The combination of the two can have serious

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