Q. Acetaminophen is perceived as an extremely safe pain reliever for both children and adults. More people should realize that this drug has numerous risks, including asthma and hearing loss. Even though the FDA knows about the problems with acetaminophen, it has not done enough to alert the public to the dangers. Please warn your readers.
A. Although acetaminophen is an effective pain reliever that does not irritate the digestive tract, it does have some side effects. Too much can be toxic to the liver.
An analysis of nearly 20 studies involving more than 400,000 subjects concluded that regular use of acetaminophen does seem to be linked to a higher likelihood of asthma (Chest, Nov. 2009).
A recent study in the American Journal of Medicine (March, 2010) suggests that long-term use of acetaminophen is linked with hearing loss, especially in men under 50 years of age.

Join Over 52,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

  1. SDA
    Reply

    20 years ago I had an allergic reaction to acetaminophen. My allergist, a nationally recognized authority, told me that I was just one of many. Yet, I frequently get a
    doubting reaction from new medical providers.
    I have to insist that any medication not have acetaminophen as a component!
    Regards,
    Sha

  2. Lisa
    Reply

    Thanks for getting the word out on the dangers of acetaminophen. I never realized how lethal it could be until a friend of mine nearly died from acetaminophen-related liver failure.
    We have to take a close look at all of the prescription and over the counter medications we take. Acetaminophen is “hidden” in many drugs such as: Midol, NyQuil, DayQuil, Dristan, Anacin, Lortab, Vicodin, Percocet, Darvocet and Norco. It can be found in many other medications as well. Please check the ingredients of all OTC and prescription meds before you take them. It’s everywhere.

  3. Brent B.
    Reply

    Yes — and these (like Tylenol) tend to cause a rebound effect, so you have to keep taking them to relieve the headache. But there’s no need to rely on these liver and kidney-impacting pain relievers when there are plenty of natural pain relievers. The one I use most is ginger, and it has a variety of other benefits (good for digestion and circulation). Feverfew is another good choice — it’s been found to be effective for migraine headaches too. And don’t forget cherries or cherry extract — that’s been helping a lot of arthritis sufferers. There’s also a good combination product called Zyflamend which is recommended by Tony Pantalleresco of ‘The Remedy’ (internet program on natural health on The Micro Effect). Check ‘em out and see what works for you!

  4. Gerry Anne M.
    Reply

    It would be helpful to identify the brand names of those products containing acetaminophen. Thank you.
    PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: THERE ARE PROBABLY TOO MANY TO LIST, SO IT MAKES SENSE TO READ OTC DRUG LABELS. TYLENOL IS THE BEST-KNOWN BRAND, BUT THERE ARE MANY OTHERS!

What Do You Think?

Share your thoughts with others, but be mindful of protecting your own and others' privacy. Not all comments will be posted. Advice from web visitors is not a substitute for medical attention. Do not stop any medicine without checking with the prescriber. In posting a comment, you agree to our commenting policy and website terms and conditions.