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More Bad News About Acetaminophen (Tylenol) Overuse

Posted Jun 20 2012 6:33pm

Acetaminophen is one of the most common pain relievers in the U.S. It’s also one of the most overused.

A new study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine found that nearly 1 in 4 U.S. adults misunderstands what is a safe dose of Tylenol, the most widely used brand name version of acetaminophen.

Not knowing what is safe, of course, invites overdose. We’ve written in the past about the perils of too much acetaminophen for both children and adults.

The most serious complication is liver damage, which can prompt liver failure and the need for a liver transplant. FDA figures show that more than 50,000 emergency room visits, 25,000 hospitalizations and 450 deaths annually are the result of acetaminophen overdose.

The maximum amount adults should take is 4 grams (4,000 mg) per day.

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