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7/06/2006

Tylenol Ads about dosage - The scary unspoken facts

You may have noticed a Tylenol ad reminding
consumers to only take the recommended dose.

If so, you probably didn't pay much attention. Even if
you are a regular user of the product.

According to this post by Rob :
New Tylenol Ads - Will the Strategy Work? -

some people may see these ads as a marketing strategy.

Those of us that are familiar with acetaminophen know the rest of the story.

Acetaminophen is the main active ingredient in Tylenol. You can read this information on the product label and at http://www.tylenol.com/page.jhtml?id=tylenol/hdache/subpreging.inc

The unspoken fact is just how dangerous is acetaminophen?
Click this link to see the warnings on Tylenol's website: http://www.tylenol.com/page.jhtml?id=tylenol/hdache/subpregwarn.inc

According to an article from University of Michigan health system:
"It might surprise many people, then, that overdoses of Tylenol and other products containing acetaminophen account for a staggering 40 percent to 50 percent of all acute liver failure cases each year in the United States."

Also from the same article:
"Here’s how the problem occurs: Whenever you take a medication, your liver typically is involved with metabolizing, or eliminating, the drug from your system. When you take too much acetaminophen, you overwhelm your body’s ability to eliminate the medication safely. High levels of the medication can build up in the blood, and that can damage liver cells that are trying to metabolize the drug, which can lead to liver injury, Fontana says"

Consider this PDF file from HVC Advocate Fact Sheets written by experts in the field of liver disease

from that PDF:
"But some people are more susceptible to acetaminophen toxicity and can experience liver damage even at the recommended dose. A study by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) showed that about 20% of people with acetaminophen-related liver toxity had taken less than the recommended daily amount.
For other people, a dangerous dose is not much higher than the recommended dose - that is, the "window" between a therapeutic does and a toxic dose is smaller for acetaminophen than it is for many other drugs. Some experts also believe that taking acetaminophen for several days in a row may cause a dangerous build-up of the drug in the body. "

Please read the ingredient labels of your medications: Acetaminophen can be found in many products. Examples: cough and cold medications, pain relivers, sleeping aids, and more.

Avoid using acetaminophen if you use alcohol regularly, take many prescription or over the counter medications, or if you have any reason to believe that your liver may be more sensitive to damage
.

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