Avoid Long Term Tylenol and Aspirin or Advil Use

A questionnaire of over 35,615 male health professionals showed that after adjustment for age, physical activity, and energy-adjusted dietary fiber and total fat intake, regular and consistent use of NSAIDs such as aspirin, advil and the host of prescription anti-inflammatory drugs and acetaminophen was associated with diverticular disease.

Arch Fam Med. May 1998;7:255-260

COMMENT: The association between these drugs and diverticular disease of the colon is new for me. However, what is not new, and what seems to be a frequent observation in the people I care for, is kidney damage due to using these two medications together. It is a relatively common cause of permanent damage to the kidney resulting in the kidneys to fail and the person to remain on dialysis or have a transplant. In fact, 15% of all people on diaylsis are there due to the use of Tylenol alone or in combination with aspirin like drugs. So the caution is that you can use these drugs together for the short term, but you must be very cautious about using them together on a regular basis. A 1994 article in NEJM showed that taking more than one table a day of Tylenol or 1,000 tablets over an extended period doubles the risk of kidney damage.

Americans spend over 6.6 billion dollars on these types of medications every year. The most common reason they are taken is for arthritis. As mentioned previously nearly 30,000 people a year die from using these medications. The bulk of these deaths are due to bleeding ulcers. There are alternatives to these medications. Glucosamine 500 mg three times a day works quite nicely for most degenerative arthritis and an herb from India called Boswellia serratia works for inflammatory arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis.

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