It used to be the answer for every ache and pain. Got a headache? Acetaminophen. Got a fever? Acetaminophen. Your muscles ache? Acetaminophen.
In the past several years, acetaminophen (a.k.a. the active medicinal ingredient in Tylenol) has taken a back seat to ibuprofen (a.k.a. the active medicinal ingredient in Advil), which is said to be less harmful to the liver.
Acetaminophen has been dealt another blow this week, as Health Canada is contemplating lowering the daily recommended dosage from its 24-hour maximum of eight 500-mg pills.
In Canada, there are four-billion doses of acetaminophen sold every year. That’s half the population of the Earth just in our country alone. Acetaminophen is responsible for more liver toxicity than it should be, with about 4,000 hospitalizations per year for overdose — intentional and unintentional — in Canada. Approximately 20 per cent of overdoses are unintentional, but even those numbers are increasing, too.
There are over 475 different products that contain acetaminophen, including a lot of over-the-counter stuff. Most of the medications you have in your medicine cabinet probably have acetaminophen without your realizing it. It’s surprisingly easy to overdose on meds when you don’t know what the heck is in them.
Visit No Your Dose to see a listing of products containing the painkiller. If you take a lot of meds, get a solid understanding of what you’re putting in your body and always consult your doctor before taking any new medication. Your liver (and your life) may depend on it.
For the full report, check out the video above.