Tylenol (Acetaminophen) Linked to Liver Failure

Friday night, I treated myself to my favorite Girl Scout cookie – Samoas.  Then I felt it. The most unbearable pain slowly forming on the left side of my mouth.  It was the worst teeth ache I had ever felt.  Yes, teeth, 5 on top and 3 on the bottom, all hurt.  Not throbbing-just pain.

ImageI take my “go to” pain medication – Excedrin Extra Strength (acetaminophen/aspirin/caffeine).  Forty-five minutes later, the pain is still there.

I look frantically around my house and found Tylenol (acetaminophen) PM.  I take one – waited a half hour – still no relief.  A half hour later, my teeth continued to hurt.

I called my dentist office – CLOSED – of course he would be – it is Friday night.

ImageI called the emergency number on the answering machine – it goes straight to voice mail.

No call back.  I’m regretting all the times that I threw away all my prescription pain medications because I don’t have a need for them.

ImageLuckily, I have a friend who is a physician and an advocate and asked if there is anything else I could take for this pain.

I told her what I took – Excedrin Extra strength, 2 caplets (500 mg. of acetaminophen/500 mg. of aspirin) and Tylenol PM 1 caplet (500 mg. of acetaminophen/25 mg. of diphenhydramine).  I did not realize that I had taken 1000 mg. of acetaminophen!  She informed me that there have been cases of liver failure with high doses of acetaminophen.


The FDA on January 14, 2014, sent out a notice that physicians should not prescribe more than 325 mg. of acetaminophen in combination with any medications.  I took 1000 mg.

The website further states that there is no additional clinical advantage to taking more than 325 mg. of acetaminophen.

For most of us, we assume that different labeled over-the-counter pain medications mean a different type of pain reliever – we also assume that it is safe – NOT SO!

Luckily, I did not have any problems. I was also lucky to know someone who is a physician and professional advocate.

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