Many people overdosing on acetaminophen - AmericaNowNews.com

Health

Many people overdosing on acetaminophen

  • HealthMany people overdosing on acetaminophenMore>>

  • Kids overdosing on adult meds

    Keeping adult meds away from kids

    More than 150 children are rushed to emergency rooms every day due to accidental exposure to medications and even overdoses. America Now's Leeza Gibbons shares tips on how to keep them out of reach.
    More than 150 children are rushed to emergency rooms every day due to accidental exposure to medications and even overdoses. America Now's Leeza Gibbons met with Safe Kids Worldwide to find out how to keep dangerous meds away from your kids.
  • Avoid an insulin overdose

    Avoid an insulin overdose

    An alarming trend shows that more people are accidentally overdosing on insulin. Here's what you need to know.
    An alarming trend shows that more people are accidentally overdosing on insulin. Here's what you need to know.

Many Americans are overdosing on the most common over-the-counter pain reliever. Acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, is the leading cause of acute liver failure.

A new study shows many adults are taking too much, and it's leading to big health problems.

The most widely-used painkiller could be killing your liver. "The liver is one of the main organs that cleanses our body of anything that we eat or ingest," says Gary Phillips, Phillips Pharmacy.

Acetaminophen is converted in the liver to a toxic metabolite and that metabolite attaches to the cells in the liver.

"When it becomes an overdose, the liver is not able to get rid of the Tylenol that is on board, so that is where you start having liver failure," says Phillips.

Researchers at Northwestern University found that 25% of the patients interviewed were at risk of overdosing on an acetaminophen medication by exceeding the recommended dose of 4,000 milligrams in a 24-hour period.

"Because it is over the counter and there is this thought that since you can get it without a prescription, so we think that any dose that you take is a safe dose and that is not the case," says Phillips. 

In most cases, patients get too much of the drug when they combine acetaminophen based prescription medications with over-the-counter drugs like Tylenol.

"People need to know how much they are taking, the additive amount, they need to know how much they are taking that is prescription and how much they are taking over the counter," says Phillips.

He says people need to be more responsible with their medications, because it could save their life. Acetaminophen overdoses send an estimated 56,000 people to the emergency room every year.

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Fugitive Friday: Central Virginia's Most Wanted

    Fugitive Friday: Central Virginia's Most Wanted

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:49 AM EDT2014-07-25 12:49:07 GMT
    Fugitive Fridays tracks down Central Virginia's most wanted. Take a look at the photos and see if you can help police track down these suspects.
    Fugitive Friday helps track down Central Virginia's Most Wanted.
  • Physicians warn against giving melatonin to children

    Physicians warn against giving melatonin to children

    Parents desperate to get their troubled sleepers to bed are turning to synthetic melatonin, which is a supplement sold over the counter. But expert warn it could have adverse effects on child development.
    Many adults turn to sleep aids like melatonin, but now more parents are giving them to their kids, too. We talked to physicians to see what they had to say about how it could affect your child's development.
  • Six deadly foods for dogs

    Six deadly foods for dogs

    Every pet owner knows a dog can get into just about anything around the house. One woman found that out the hard way when her dog ate a bunch of grapes! Turns out, that's one of the most dangerous foods
    Every pet owner knows a dog can get into just about anything around the house. But these common snacks could be fatal for Fido.
Powered by WorldNow