What You Need to Know about Acetaminophen Like Tylenol

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What You Need to Know about Acetaminophen

Today we are going to talk about what you need to know about acetaminophen like Tylenol. You guys know that since essential oils walked into my life I have been taking steps to really research what I put in my body. This whole journey of learning about natural remedies etc. has really opened up my eyes. It's got me second guessing the trust I have in the powers to be, you know, the ones that are supposed to be watching out for us, the consumers. I really try to research as much as I can but my life is so crazy, and that got me to thinking, I'm sure there are other people in the same boat. So I thought what I am about to tell you, really warranted a post.

We all see things on Facebook about this or that and out of fear we like to jump on things without actually looking for the facts. Well today I want to talk about something that is probably in everyone's medicine cabinet, Tylenol. I turned on the TV Saturday night and a show called “Adam Ruins Everything” was on. I've never watched the show before but I heard something while passing into the other room about Tylenol and liver failure and thanks to my COX DVR, I was able to rewind to hear what they were saying. As you all know, my husband has Ankylosing Spondylitis and his doctor has always told him to stay away from Tylenol because it has acetaminophen in it. I never really thought about not taking Tylenol or giving it to the rest of the family because I just assumed it was because of his disease. Some of what I am about to tell you was quoted directly from the show and is backed up by doctor testimony.

Acetaminophen ( the #1 active ingredient in Tylenol ) is the #1 cause of acute liver failure. In one year alone, it sent as many as 78,000 people to the hospital. In fact, 150 people die every year from it. According to data from the Acute Liver Failure Study Group registry, acetaminophen poisoning is responsible for nearly HALF of ALL acute liver failure cases in the US. The medical journal of The Lancet said  “If Acetaminophen would have been discovered today, it would never be freely available without a prescription.” That quote was from 1975 and the FDA didn't require Tylenol to put a warning label on the bottle till 2009 and Dr Sidney M. Wolf says that even that was not enough. Dr Sidney M. Wolf was on a FDA committee that voted overwhelmingly to lower the maximum non prescription dose of acetaminophen. Unfortunately, for the past 6 years the FDA leadership has effectively ignored their important recommendation, He says the FDA has failed to protect people from preventative liver toxicity. Reporter Sean Cole noted in an interview with ThisAmericanLife.org11:

“The drug approval process is usually slow but not usually this slow. The FDA began with acetaminophen over 40 years ago in 1972. In that time, science has mapped the human genome, eradicated smallpox, we've cloned a sheep. And yet we still have not come up with final rules for safe usage and labeling of one of the most popular drugs in the country, of which more than 20 billion doses are sold each year.”

Tylenol says that 6 pills is a safe daily dose when the FDA says that 10 is a dangerous daily dose which is only 4 more. If not used as directed it could really harm you. The line between a therapeutic dose and a dangerous dose is slim which means that the dose at which it helps is very close to the dose at which it harms. I know many of you have taken more than the daily dose thinking it would be ok but I don't think many of you have thought about the long term affects. Sometimes we overreact to a small problem ignoring the bigger one such as this. Thats a problem they call “security theater”. Acetaminophen is an active ingredient in more than 600 over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medicines. You should never take more than one medicine containing acetaminophen at the same time. I've been doing some research on the safe uses of Acetaminophen and of course all the doctor testimonies that say it IS safe all refer to the drug labels on the bottle and reference the FDA. To me that is just not enough, I have seen way to many products out on the market that the FDA says is safe and are NOT. If you still choose to use this product, you must take as directed on the bottle and I would even say consult your doctor. You should also not take it more than ten days.

If this was a dietary supplement you know the FDA would immediately shut it down, we've seen them go after so many natural products out on the market that are harmless, safe and pure. They have even acted more quickly on these natural products than they have on any highly profitable drug. This is why it is so important to be our own advocates and to research everything. In fact, don't even take my blog post only as facts, do your own research! If anything, I hope that this post gives everyone a wakeup call to really pay attention to what they are putting in their bodies and not to always rely on those safety instructions on the label. If you are interested in learning more about natural and organic products join our CQ Natural and Organics group. I am in no way a doctor and you should always do your own research.

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