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FDA Changes Tylenol Warnings … liver damage / low glutathione levels evident!

FDA Changes Tylenol Warnings But Doesn’t Tell You How to Take it Safely

FDA advisers have recommended lowering the maximum dose of over-the-counter acetaminophen — the key ingredient in Tylenol, Excedrin and many other pain-killing medications.

The advisers’ vote followed the release of a report last month, which found that severe liver damage and even death can result from a lack of consumer awareness that acetaminophen can cause such injury.

Many people may take more than the recommended dose of acetaminophen-based pain relievers in the mistaken belief that taking more will be more effective without posing health risks. And consumers may also not know that acetaminophen is present in many over-the-counter products, including remedies for colds, headaches and fevers, making it possible to exceed the recommended acetaminophen dose accidentally.

U.S. News & World Report June 30, 2009
Time July 3, 2009

Dr. Mercola’s Comments:

In case you weren’t aware, the NUMBER ONE cause of acute liver failure in the United States is from taking acetaminophen (Tylenol type products). So it is high time the FDA took action.

A major part of the problem has to do with just how many over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription products contain this drug. Acetaminophen is found in more than 200 over-the-counter cold and flu remedies and other medications, making it the most widely used painkiller in the United States.

And of course, when many people have a cold, headache or other ache or pain, they don’t just take two Tylenol and leave it at that. Many people double or triple-up, taking multiple OTC medications, all of which may contain acetaminophen.

So it’s actually very easy to overdose on acetaminophen, and thereby cause serious liver damage or liver failure — and this is what this new FDA warning stems from.

In fact, you can actually have liver damage just from taking recommended doses of Tylenol (such as eight extra-strength Tylenol tablets daily for a couple of weeks), so hopefully these FDA changes will help to curb some of that.

What Will Actually be Changing?
The FDA advisory panel voted to make four major changes related to acetaminophen, including:

* Lowering the maximum daily dose of nonprescription acetaminophen for adults (the max is currently 4,000 mg, and there was no word on what the lowered dose might be)
* Reducing the maximum single adult daily dose from 1,000 mg to 650 mg
* Switching the 1,000 mg OTC dose to prescription-only status
* Eliminating prescription acetaminophen combination products (such as painkillers Vicodin and Percocet, which contain acetaminophen). It’s unclear whether this recommendation suggests banning the drugs altogether or simply eliminating the acetaminophen from the drugs.

The FDA still has to decide whether to accept these recommendations from the advisory panel, and even then it could take some time for them to take effect, but these are the proposed changes currently on the table.

The FDA Missed One Major Point
It’s thought that Tylenol causes its damage by depleting glutathione, an antioxidant that protects cells from toxins such as free radicals.

So …

If you keep your glutathione levels up, the damage from the Tylenol may be largely preventable. Even conventional medicine recognizes this….

So, while I am not a fan of using acetaminophen, I do realize and appreciate that acetaminophen-containing drugs are sometimes necessary to suppress pain while you seek to address the underlying cause of the problem (or are simply recovering from an injury using time and rest).
*** There are alternative ways to up your glutathione levels and prevent a multitude of health issues. But glutathione needs to be delivered to the body with a special delivery system or the body simply cannot use it….this is so important to understand. Be sure to study and understand how glutathione works in the body…..more information coming in my next post. ***


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