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Acetaminophen in Combination with Alcohol Can Harm the Kidneys

Acetaminophen is still perceived as a very safe pain reliever even though there are warnings about liver and kidney damage. Scientists have known for some time that acetaminophen in combination with alcohol can harm the liver. Now, research has shown that even light to moderate alcohol consumption in combination with acetaminophen contributes to kidney problems. The bottom line seems to be that this pain reliever should not be taken by people who drink alcoholic beverages.

[American Public Health Association’s 141st Annual Meeting]

This is not the first study to indicate that acetaminophen may not be quite as safe as people think. ProPublica recently published an investigative report on the hazards of this common pain reliever. Most of the emphasis, however, has been on liver problems. This research on kidney damage is new in that even light or moderate drinking seems to pose risks.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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