Tiny Overdoses Of Tylenol Can Turn Deadly - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Tiny Overdoses Of Tylenol Can Turn Deadly

MSNBC.COM - Taking even slightly too much Tylenol over a period of several days can lead to an overdose with deadly consequences, a new study says.

The study looked at what are called "staggered overdoses," in which a person repeatedly exceeds the daily recommendation through small overdoses. This is in contrast to the more familiar single overdose, when a person takes too many pills at once.

In the study, staggered overdoses of Tylenol (acetaminophen) were more deadly than single overdoses, even though people who experienced staggered overdoses typically took smaller total amounts of Tylenol than those who experienced a single overdose.

Doctors may not identify staggered overdoses right away, researchers added. People with a staggered overdose may have levels of the drug in their blood below what a standard blood test would indicate as an overdose, even when their liver is badly damaged.

People taking acetaminophen should stay within the recommended limits of the drug and take even less of it when they are on other painkillers, said study researcher Kenneth Simpson of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Packets of regular Tylenol pills (325 mg) say: "Do not take more than 5 tablets in 24 hours."

And, Simpson said, doctors should realize the criteria used to identify overdose patients do not work as well for staggered overdoses.

The study was published online today in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.

Simpson and colleagues examined information from 663 patients with liver problems caused by acetaminophen (also known as paracetamol) who were admitted to an Edinburgh hospital between 1992 and 2008.

The researchers found that nearly a quarter of them (161 patients) had taken staggered overdoses.

On average, staggered overdose patients took 24 grams of acetaminophen over several days, while single-overdose patients consumed 27 grams.

The researchers found that 37.3 percent of patients with staggered overdoses died, while 27.8 percent of single overdose patients died. Staggered overdose patients also were more likely to have liver and brain problems, require kidney dialysis and need help with breathing.

Close to 60 percent said they had taken the drug to relieve pain, including abdominal or muscular pains, headache or toothache.

During a staggered overdose, the drug likely builds up in the liver and kills the cells, Simpson said.

Staggered overdose patients may have fared less well because they did not receive the appropriate treatment soon enough, or because they had been drinking alcohol along with acetaminophen, he said.

The new study "sheds light on the fact that the maximum recommended daily dose should be strictly adhered to," said Dr. Joshua Lenchus, an associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Acetaminophen also appears in combination with other drugs in certain prescription products. In January the Food and Drug Administration asked all manufacturers of acetaminophen to lower the dose in a single tablet to 325 mg. Even at this dose, patients who took two tablets every four hours for 24 hours would be at risk for a staggered overdose, Lenchus said.

"It's pretty easy for people to take just a couple of tablets every four hours," Lenchus said.

Doctors need to consider the possibility of overdoses when patients come to the hospital after taking acetaminophen, even if the patients have not obviously taken many pills at once, Lenchus said.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Spokane woman finds baby left in freezing car

    Spokane woman finds baby left in freezing car

    Thursday, February 22 2018 8:33 PM EST2018-02-23 01:33:43 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Picture this, a baby freezing, bawling, and alone in the back seat of a car. That's what one Spokane woman stumbled upon in a South Hill parking lot. "Complete shock," Windy Delandro said. A frightening sight, Delandro says she saw what looked like a six-month old sitting in her car seat, car turned off, tears streaming down the little girls cheeks. "I looked around to see if I could find anybody, see something, I told my mom 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Picture this, a baby freezing, bawling, and alone in the back seat of a car. That's what one Spokane woman stumbled upon in a South Hill parking lot. "Complete shock," Windy Delandro said. A frightening sight, Delandro says she saw what looked like a six-month old sitting in her car seat, car turned off, tears streaming down the little girls cheeks. "I looked around to see if I could find anybody, see something, I told my mom 

    >>
  • Ohio student arrested for viral Facebook “SHS” threat

    Ohio student arrested for viral Facebook “SHS” threat

    Thursday, February 22 2018 11:32 PM EST2018-02-23 04:32:55 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Many of you have reached out to KHQ, concerned after you saw a Facebook post that went viral on Wednesday, causing concern across the nation. The post was made under the Facebook profile “Ray Andres.” The person behind the post threatened to bring a gun to school and referred to the school as “SHS.” According to WHIO News, the FBI and Clark County Deputies were able to pinpoint the location of where the social 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Many of you have reached out to KHQ, concerned after you saw a Facebook post that went viral on Wednesday, causing concern across the nation. The post was made under the Facebook profile “Ray Andres.” The person behind the post threatened to bring a gun to school and referred to the school as “SHS.” According to WHIO News, the FBI and Clark County Deputies were able to pinpoint the location of where the social 

    >>
  • Fatal apartment fire at Hartson and Perry on Spokane's lower south hill

    Fatal apartment fire at Hartson and Perry on Spokane's lower south hill

    Friday, February 23 2018 8:46 AM EST2018-02-23 13:46:40 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash.- One person is dead in a fatal fire at the Liberty Park Terrace Apartments on the lower South Hill. The fire was confined to one apartment. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. The building was evacuated but everyone has returned back inside. No roads blocked at this time. BREAKING: Fatal Apartment Fire at Hartson and Perry>>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- One person is dead in a fatal fire at the Liberty Park Terrace Apartments on the lower South Hill. The fire was confined to one apartment. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. The building was evacuated but everyone has returned back inside. No roads blocked at this time. BREAKING: Fatal Apartment Fire at Hartson and Perry>>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/