Can You Still Take Tylenol?

Suzanne Murray
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tylenol acetaminophen

Photo from Tylenol

Last week, a federal advisory committee raised concerns about acetaminophen and liver damage, and recommended that the FDA ban Vicodin and Percocet. So does this mean you've got to stop taking Tylenol or other painkillers that contain acetaminophen?

No. You can still take Tylenol and not worry about liver damage, according to some experts.

1. When used as directed, the drug is not hazardous. Acetaminophen is in so many products it's easy to take more than the recommended daily allowance. Thus, experts recommend that patients be vigilant about reading labels to keep track of how much they are ingesting.

2. There's no need to worry about long-term liver damage if you use the drugs as directed. If you’ve been taking Tylenol or other drugs with acetaminophen for years, there is no reason to worry about long-term liver damage as long as you are using them as directed. The risks associated with an acetaminophen overdose is acute or immediate liver failure.

3. There's no need to switch to other over-the-counter pain relievers. Every drug has risks, but overall the risk of acetaminophen is low. (More people are harmed by aspirin and ibuprofen.)

How often do you take acetaminophen? How much do you take? Do you think you'll change the way you use it based on the FDA advisory board's recommendations?

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