Many of us remember the Johnson & Johnson recall of Tylenol many years ago.
But the actual safety of Tylenol is entirely in question now.
And not just Tylenol, it’s the medicine in the Tylenol — acetaminophen.
Acetaminophen is also sold as the generic form.
And outside of the US, it’s called paracetamol.
Whatever you call it, it is doubtful that acetaminophen is a safe drug.
Do you know how is Tylenol affecting you?
Are you aware of the Tylenol common side effects and the acetaminophen facts?
Today, I want to look at a couple of review studies that look at the safety history of acetaminophen.
By the end of this newsletter, you’ll understand why I suggest that you probably should not be taking it.
As usual, the FDA and Big Pharma has been very slow to respond.
Acetaminophen is responsible for at least half of all cases of acute liver failure.
And all they’ve done so far is restrict the size of the tablets to 325 mg.
Everybody knows that acetaminophen, or Tylenol, is not as effective as aspirin or ibuprofen at relieving inflammation.
In fact, acetaminophen does very little to relieve inflammation.
It does kill pain similar to aspirin, and in a similar way.
But acetaminophen does not share any of the benefits of aspirin.
And it doesn’t do anything at all to reduce the inflammatory issues in the body.
But when it’s compared to ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin), it isn’t as effective even for pain.
It doesn’t do as well as aspirin either.
The basic problem is that the liver must process acetaminophen to get rid of it.
And the pathways for processing acetaminophen are easily saturated and rendered ineffective.
This is what makes acetaminophen so potentially toxic.
Let’s consider a person who is simply drinking alcohol and taking acetaminophen for shoulder pain.
That combination of alcohol and acetaminophen may overload the liver.
The overloaded liver can’t metabolize all of the acetaminophen.
This creates a very dangerous liver situation.
Another problem with acetaminophen is that it depletes a major antioxidant.
The process of getting rid of acetaminophen uses glutathione.
Glutathione is one of the master antioxidants in the human body.
Since acetaminophen depletes glutathione, it hinders the body’s fight against free radicals.
Glutathione depletion is extremely dangerous.
And it’s the biggest reason that acetaminophen can be dangerous.
In lab experiments, researchers looked rats with depleted glutathione levels.
Blood pressure for these rats rose rapidly to dangerous levels.
The treatment seems to be high amounts of vitamin E and vitamin C.
This combination appears to help reverse some of the immediate damage of acetaminophen.
As the review article concludes:
Even with therapeutic doses, acetaminophen can cause adverse drug events in certain conditions such as chronic alcohol use, malnutrition, and polypharmacy.
So despite the fact that doctors tell you to take acetaminophen for pain when you’re on other medications, it’s dangerous!
I prefer just to take aspirin.
Aspirin has so many marvelous benefits besides pain relief.
It’s proven to help fight cancer and inflammation.
And aspirin is a history of over 150 years of use.
Acetaminophen: Old Drug, New Issues
Induction of Oxidative Stress by Glutathione Depletion Causes Severe Hypertension in Normal Rats