- Written by Marcel Gemme C.C.D.C
What is Acetaminophen?
The American Heritage College dictionary defines acetaminophen as a crystallized compound used in chemical synthesis to relieve pain and reduce fever. It is a common over the counter drug used in Tylenol and other pain relievers. As with any drug, it can be harmful if one overdoses on it, leading to liver damage, injury and even death.
Some people mistakenly believe that acetaminophen takes pain away but what it does according to a study is elevate the pain needed in a body before the person can feel it. Either way, the fact is that acetaminophen is a great pain reliever for most minor aches and pains a person deals with in every day life. Acetaminophen is found in forms as well as in the popular brand name Tylenol. It works just as well in its generic form and is popular for headaches, back problems and other mild pain related ailments. Still, a surprising number of people have been known to use it excessively and this can show up in blood tests that send a radar alert for even the slightest hint of liver damage.
Because acetaminophen is over the counter, some people are not aware that it is not wise to mix its use with cough and cold remedies without first seeking a doctor's approval. Even over the counter mixtures do not always compliment each other and can lead to harm. Another very important factor aside from overdosing is if the patient has been prone to alcohol use, he should also check with a doctor in case of liver damage.
Overall, acetaminophen is a wonderful solution to minor pain, fever and headaches. Just be sure to use it maturely and with a little common sense because as with anything else, too much is not a good thing.