Despite the recent reports of the dangers of acetaminophen, the medicine might be safer than most people believe. However, that does not mean that the medication is necessarily effective in treating pain.
Acetaminophen is commonly known by the brand name of Tylenol.
The pain medication is often prescribed by doctors because it is generally safe, and it has low potential for addiction. Other pain medications have been known to cause stomach bleeding, increased blood pressure and interference with kidney function.
However, while the medicine is generally considered safe when users do not take more than the recommended dosage, acetaminophen isn’t all that good at its primary function of relieving pain.
Studies have shown that acetaminophen performed poorly in treating lower back pain, as well as ailing hips and knees. One study even showed that a placebo drug performed equally as well as acetaminophen.
Additionally, the potential for liver damage is real, as regular users of acetaminophen have been known to have livers that are less healthy than non-users.
Patients taking acetaminophen are advised to not exceed the recommended maximum dosage of more than 4,000 milligrams per day. Taking more than this amount could lead to serious liver damage.
However, many users have been known to accidentally go over this amount.
Some pharmaceutical experts have been voicing opinions that the maximum recommended amount needs to be lowered. They say that doing so would prevent liver damage in users and make users more cautious about the amount of the drug that they can consume.
All of this being considered, experts do say that if a patient currently takes acetaminophen and says that it works for them then nothing needs to be changed. The drug has been known to treat many types of pain effectively and efficiently.
Still, many instances have shown that the drug can do more harm than good. Patients are advised to exercise extreme caution when taking acetaminophen and to stop taking it if the desired effect of pain relief isn’t being achieved.
Additionally, some studies have shown that light exercise in combination with acetaminophen can be extremely effective in treating pain. Users should lightly exercise their ailing areas while on the drug in order to maximize benefits.