Pin It

Pain Reliever Worries 

Pill Box

I recently heard that the painkiller acetaminophen (one of the trade names is Tylenol) is not really safe. I take it from time to time for headaches and other minor pains. Should I take something else instead?

click to enlarge John R. White chairs WSU-Spokane's Department of Pharmacotherapy.
  • John R. White chairs WSU-Spokane's Department of Pharmacotherapy.

No, acetaminophen is, under most circumstances, a very safe medication. A recent study (which evaluated data from previous studies) in the UK reported a higher incidence of stroke, stomach ulcers or bleeding in patients who took large doses of acetaminophen for long periods of time. It is very likely that the people included in this study who took high doses for long periods of time had multiple medical conditions that could have led to the observed problems (rather than acetaminophen being the culprit).

Overall, acetaminophen is probably the safest pain-relieving and fever-reducing medication available. Still, it should be taken occasionally and for short periods of time, unless your physician or pharmacist has instructed you otherwise. Also, you need to be very careful with the dose and never take more than is recommended on the label or by your health care provider. Lastly, this medication should be avoided if you have liver disease, and it is best to not consume alcohol when taking acetaminophen.


  • Pin It

Latest in Check In

  • Green Light for WSU
  • Green Light for WSU

    Milestone: A key step for a new medical school in Spokane
    • Nov 29, 2016
  • Tis the Season...
  • Tis the Season...

    Life Coach: Small acts of kindness go a long way
    • Nov 29, 2016
  • Helping Kids Feel Secure
  • Helping Kids Feel Secure

    Ask. Dr. Matt: Parents' emotional regulation and control more important than ever
    • Nov 29, 2016
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu
Harold Balazs: One More Time

Harold Balazs: One More Time @ Art Spirit Gallery

Tuesdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Continues through Feb. 4

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by John R. White

Readers also liked…

© 2017 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation