Oh, the aisles of the pharmacy. It’s like Christmas year round. If you have pain or discomfort in any part of your body, the pharmacy will have a pill that you can “pop” for pain relief.
Now, this next part may upset you, but the pain that you are first experiencing is your body’s well-designed warning system. This irritating warning system, like the security alarm in your car that has been activated, acts as your body’s defection detection when a limit of your bodies coping system has reached its threshold in regards to function. It signals to you that your body is no longer equipped to handle the activity and is unable to adapt further. Unfortunately, far too many of us run to our cupboards or the local pharmacy for those small little pills to mask the pain and falsely signal to the body that the body is in proper working order.
Cause and Effect
Pain is the effect, not the cause.
Let’s start with that man has suffered from the feelings of pain since the beginning of time. Our goal through the ages has been perfecting pain relief (effect) without necessarily goaling for correcting the cause along with it. Now let’s advance to today’s pain relief model. Instead of drinking a fifth of whiskey or more we can “pop” some quick pills for pain relief. Now the pain relief choice is not necessarily the first problem, but the side-effects that they can have on your will be.
The side-effects are often far worse than the condition itself.
Nowadays you are unable to turn on the television without a commercial appearing, for some new pharmaceutical that will cure whatever may ail you. If you pay close attention, you will realize that nearly half the ad time is consumed by a long list of the possible side-effects and adverse reactions that can accompany taking the drug. The possibilities usually include everything from minor fatigue to death.
This alarming group of pharmaceutical drugs also includes one of our most well-known pain relievers – Acetaminophen. Acetaminophen, sold under many brand names, may be among the most dangerous medicines on the market. That’s alarming as almost every household has a bottle of this and does not think twice about using it. Among the frightening statistics are that overdoses of Acetaminophen are the leading cause of calls to Poison Control Centers across the U.S., with upwards of 100,000 cases per year. This includes 56,000 emergency room visits, 2,600 hospitalizations and an estimated 458 deaths due to acute liver failure.
Long Term Effects
Acetaminophen can be much more dangerous than you previously suspected because it can be toxic to your liver even at recommended doses when taken daily for just a couple of weeks. The risk of severe liver damage or death increases significantly if you:
- Take more than one regular strength (325 mg) acetaminophen when combined with a narcotic analgesic like codeine or hydrocodone.
- Take more than the prescribed dose of an acetaminophen-containing product in a 24-hour period.
- Take more than one acetaminophen-containing product at the same time.
- Drink alcohol while taking an acetaminophen product.
In The News
These scary statistics are not just hidden in medical journals, PBS News reported that 1,500 deaths over the past ten years had been linked to taking a little bit more acetaminophen than the recommended dosage. The problem is that acetaminophen is considered relatively safe when taken as recommended but the margin between a safe dose and potentially lethal one is minimal.
In other news, an FDA advisory panel recommended adding a warning label about liver damage to acetaminophen as early as 1977, but it was not done until 2009. The FDA also finally issued a statement urging doctors and other health professionals to discontinue prescribing and dispensing prescription combination drug products that contain more than 325 milligrams (mg) of acetaminophen per dosage unit. As they state that there is no evidence that by taking more there is any benefit that outweighs the risk of severe liver damage.
A Trusted Brand In Health Success
Here at our practice, our expert team understands the pain that you are suffering and we are here to help you break the bad habits of masking the pain and begin your healing process by addressing the cause. Call today before your health suffers another self-inflicted setback!
For Your Health,
Dr. Joseph Gambardella, Dr. Todd Brown and Dr. Benjamin Erb