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Newer, Stronger Health Warnings on Tylenol and Aspirin

January 02, 2007 | 7,964 views
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According to the FDA, non-prescription pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen need stronger health warnings regarding risks of liver and stomach problems.

This will affect brands such as Motrin, Advil, Aleve and Tylenol.

Some manufacturers already note the health risks on packages, but the FDA wants the warnings to be more prominent and more specific.

The FDA has suggested that products with acetaminophen should include warnings for liver toxicity, and over-the-counter NSAIDs should include warnings for stomach bleeding as a side effect in a variety of scenarios (patients over age 60 or those who have had ulcers).

About 100 people die in the U.S. each year after unintentionally overdosing on acetaminophen.

 

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

In a sequel of sorts to the fairly recent realization by conventional medicine that over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers can be very deadly to your health, the FDA has called for even stronger warnings.

Tylenol is actually the most common cause of liver failure not hepatitis C as many people might believe.

To some, like the consumer group Public Citizen, however, those heightened warnings were decades late in coming (the FDA had considered more stringent warnings for acetaminophen almost 30 years ago). And even now, you shouldn't expect any OTC drugs to carry newer labels for at least a year.

If you're concerned about the safety of an OTC drug you've been taking for a while or remain skeptical, I urge you to review the seven common misconceptions about the true safety of such medicines.

Over-the-counter drugs can have serious side effects and can even result in death if taken incorrectly. Some 56,000 people end up in the emergency room each year from misuse of acetaminophen alone. And as with prescription drugs, OTC drugs can interact with foods, other medications, and existing medical conditions and cause some major problems.

Consider safer, healthier options which have nothing to do with taking a drug. Don't risk your health on a drug sold behind the counter or in front of it ...

If you currently take Tylenol or other types of acetaminophen regularly, it is important to understand that you can limit some of the damage by taking N-acetyl cysteine (NAC), which is the rate-limiting nutrient for the formation of the intracellular antioxidant glutathione.

Most experts believe Tylenol causes its damage by depleting glutathione. If you keep your glutathione levels up, the damage from the Tylenol may be largely preventable. Even conventional medicine recognizes this, as anyone who overdoses on Tylenol receives large doses of NAC in the emergency room.

Finally, please remember that acetaminophen only provides symptomatic relief and in no way, shape or form treats the cause of the pain.

Tylenol has rarely, if ever, cured anything.

If you suffer from one of the conditions commonly treated with acetaminophen, such as headaches, joint pain and fevers, be aware that there are almost always reasons behind your symptoms.

The goal of your physician should be to help discover the causes behind the symptoms you suffer from. Then you can learn to rid yourself of these causes, once and for all, instead of using something that amounts to little more than a Band-Aid to simply cover things up.

On Vital Votes, an anonymous reader from Sanford, Maine tells the following horror story:

"Yeah - Tylenol is 'safe', millions take it every day, and yet I won't let any of the stuff in my house.

"Why? You ask.

"I personally know 3 people who are dead from acute fulminant hepatitis from therapeutic doses of acetaminophen. All of them took it 'safely' on occasion for years and then - poof- they were dead within a couple of days.

"Call it anecdotal prejudice -- can't bring myself to trust the stuff."

Other responses to this article can be viewed at Vital Votes, and you can add your own thoughts or vote on comments by first registering at Vital Votes.


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