Volume 2, Issue 37
September 10, 2009
Warning: Avoid this
common household poison
There's a fairly good chance that you have, right in your home, the leading cause for all calls to the U.S. Poison Control Centers. This poison causes more than 100,000 calls per year.
But that's not all. It also causes more than 56,000 emergency room visits. It sends over 2,600 people to the hospital. And it kills 458 people due to acute liver failure each year.
What's more, of the approximately 700 cases of acute liver failure across the United States, this toxic substance causes over half of them. And, according to the authors of a recent study, these numbers are on the rise.
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Many people across the country take this poison every day. Parents frequently give it to their children and even babies for anything from teething to stomach aches. I'm talking about the drug acetaminophen, which you probably know as the brand name Tylenol.
Acetaminophen is available in many single or combination products. The manufacturers market it to treat anything from fever to colds to headaches to any source of pain. Selling acetaminophen has been great for Big Pharma. It produces more than $1 billion in annual sales from Tylenol products alone.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, the benefits of offering acetaminophen over-the-counter outweigh its risks. But are they right?
Regulators in the United Kingdom say they're not. They began aggressively working to limit acetaminophen exposure. They limited available quantities and required blister packaging.
As a result, the country saw a 10% decline in related hospital admissions, a 19% reduction in related deaths, and a 56% reduction in related liver transplants. Dr. Lee, the author of the study, which appearred in Hepatology, agrees with this strategy. According to Dr. Lee, "For a pain reliever with only mild-to-moderate efficacy, it would seem prudent to move toward limiting these needless deaths."
Of course, supporters of the drug say that the majority of the deaths from acetaminophen come from intentional overdoses. That may be. But it doesn't answer the issue of 2,600 hospitalizations.
Something that conventional medicine does not seem to get is that we are all unique beings. While many of us can detoxify acetaminophen easily, there will always be those who can't. And how are you to know? The way the FDA sees it, just take the drug and find out. If you get liver disease, then you must have been one of those people who shouldn't have taken it. This obviously is not an acceptable answer. So what should you do?
Accidental acetaminophen poisonings happen only with continuous use of the drug. It is a concern for people who take it every day for chronic conditions, such as pain and headaches. When taken according to instructions, it's not a problem for anyone taking it on an occasional basis for an occasional upset. So if you are taking this drug as a regular "solution" to your chronic condition, stop. You are hurting your liver. Even if it isn't bad enough to cause overt liver failure, it is enough to affect the vital detoxifying functions of your liver.
Then, see a doctor who will take the time to help you find out what is causing your condition. Clearly it is not a deficiency of acetaminophen! Until then, a much better choice would be Advanced Joint Formula from Advanced Bionutritionals. It contains the natural anti-inflammatory herbs ginger, boswellia, and turmeric. Or try Advanced Bionutritionals' topical cream, Algaea-X , which contains the patented extract from ecklonia cava brown algae. It can work wonders on joint pain.
Finding your Real Cures,
Frank Shallenberger, MD
REF: Lee WM. Acetaminophen and the U.S. Acute Liver Failure Study Group: Lowering the Risks of Hepatic Failure. Hepatology; July 2004; 40:1; pp. 6-9.
The debate over acetaminophen and acute liver failure. http://www.scienceblog.com/cms/node/3339, Article Date: 21 Jul 2004 - 8:00 PDT.
Copyright 2009 Soundview Publishing, LLC
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