Acetaminophen | KERA News

Acetaminophen

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Many of us assume the over-the counter medicines we buy will work for anyone, but you have to read the label to know if they’re really safe for you. A toxicologist explains what you'll see.

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Tylenol and other products containing acetaminophen are prescribed often for pain relief. But there’s been ongoing debate about whether it does anything for lower back pain. A recent study published in the British Medical Journal says no.

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended against doctors prescribing combination drugs with more than 325 milligrams of acetaminophen. That’s the pain reliever and fever reducer also used in many over-the-counter medications. Too much acetaminophen can cause liver damage.

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Acetaminophen is a pain reliever and fever reducer found  in various brand-name products you may have at home – Tylenol, NyQuil or prescription drugs like Vicodin or Percocet. But using too much acetaminophen – and some people do – can lead to liver damage. Dr. Shannan Tujios of  UT Southwestern Medical Center talks about the dangers in this week’s edition of “Vital Signs.”