How is acetaminophen misused?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
To relieve pain from ailments ranging from headaches to menstrual cramps, many people reach for the OTC drug acetaminophen, most widely known as Tylenol, but now found in many other cough and cold medications. People who take Tylenol may also be unwittingly taking an overdose of acetaminophen by using other OTC medications at the same time. Acetaminophen misuse is the leading cause of acute liver failure in the U.S. Symptoms of liver failure include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and jaundice.The overuse of acetaminophen can also worsen headaches, a side effect known as rebound syndrome. Women especially need to take note of this danger since they suffer from headaches more frequently than men do.

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