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Acetaminophen warning: painkiller pills contain health risks

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Top news coming in today to a warm San Francisco is about acetaminophen.

An acetaminophen warning has recently been made public and it includes popular painkillers, like Tylenol.

The warning is that those painkillers, if not taken properly, can pose potential health risks.

Liver damage, warns the health study, can be caused if over 325 milligrams of the medicine is taken at one time, says CNN, in a story of five vital facts that users of acetaminophen should know.

That health warning comes directly from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration itself, and the public service announcement was given out to doctors and to patients.

Note that the acetaminophen is safe in small doses, but larger doses, over 325 milligrams, can cause liver failure.

"Very scary but it's good to know," says San Francisco resident, Katie Adler.

Unknown to many people is that acetaminophen is not very useful for muscle pain, although it's often thought to be helpful. Not true.

The medication works by moving through the central nervous system and it IS good for fever, minor aches and pain and sore heads.

It won't help much, however, with inflammation or any kind of muscle pain, for instance from a pulled muscle or a strain.

While well known as an ingredient in Tylenol, the medicine is actually found in other drugs too, including Exedrin, Robitussin and Sudafed. Check the boxes and be sure to take only the recommended dose.

Taking too much can lead to liver failure and in some cases, death. People have taken to much and been poisoned, both here in the USA and overseas.

And don't make the mistake of thinking you should use acetaminophen for a hangover. You shouldn't.

The Food and Drug Administration says:

"The drug is primarily metabolized in the liver, where it is turned into nontoxic compounds that are eliminated through urination. But the liver needs something called glutathione to do that. If your glutathione levels are low -- which can be caused by chronic drinking, an unhealthy diet or fasting -- the drug may be metabolized into a more toxic substance.”

Parents, in particular, should be sure not to give their children too much.

The FDA warns:

“From drug labels to online research, parents should always use the measuring tool that comes with the medication, the FDA says -- never a kitchen spoon.”

See the video for more on this topic.




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