Jan 17

Is Acetaminophen or Tylenol safe for kids, especially when you have to use it repeated for days during a cold that may last more than a week. Listen now for the latest research and my opinion on the study.

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written by Dr Jim \\ tags: , , , ,


4 Responses to “Is Tylenol Safe for Kids?”

  1. 1. enliteneer Says:

    Probably best to stick with the good old aspirin for the kiddies… and for adults!

    Like Acetaminophen, acetylsalicylic acid helps with the pain, but more interestingly, a recent meta-study showed that taking a daily aspirin (75mg) reduces cancers of all types.. not just heart disease.

    As this video states, the potential danger of stomach bleeding is probably far outweighed by the potential benefits:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8184776/Aspirin-the-wonder-drug-fights-off-cancer-as-well-as-heart-disease.html

  2. 2. Dr Jim Says:

    Aspirin is a wonder drug. Definitely on the list of 10 things I’d take to on a 3 year voyage to outer space.

    But as far as its use in kids in the setting of a febrile illness, it’s definitely off limits.

    The U.S. Surgeon General, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that aspirin and combination products containing aspirin not be given to children under 19 years of age during episodes of fever-causing illnesses. This is due to the risk of developing Reyes Syndrome, a rare but potentially fatal disease, it’s just not worth the risk.

  3. 3. enliteneer Says:

    So do all NSAID aspirin contain acetaminophen?

    For pain, and even slight fever I use NSAID / ibuprofen, which I thought only contains acetylsalicylic acid as the active ingredient, not the potentially liver damaging, acetaminophen. Is this correct?

    If so, aside from allergies, or stomach irritation, why would anyone choose an acetaminophen based product over salicylate?

    But if you must, sounds like NACs can be used if you take acetaminophen:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTm3_NhzdcU

  4. 4. Dr Jim Says:

    Remember the point – Tylenol is only dangerous when accidentally overdosed due to combining products containing the active ingredient acetaminophen. Taken as directed for short periods of time, you will not develop liver failure.

    “NSAID” stand for “Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drug”. This class of drugs includes: aspirin, ibuprofen (sold as Motrin or Advil), naproxyn (sold as Aleve and Naprosyn), meloxicam, etodolac, and many others.

    These medications do NOT contain acetaminophen (or Tylenol).

    Regarding acetaminophen and the video:
    #1 HSI – a very unreliable source in my opinion.
    #2 25% of the US Population uses acetaminophen, assuming 75 million users and 100 deaths, risk = 1 in 750,000, which is EXTREMELY safe in my book
    #3 The video neglects to point out that greater than half Tylenol deaths are intentional overdoses.
    #4 If 75 million people used NAC with their Tylenol there would be alot more side-effects than just the 105 deaths. (Not to mention that NAC smells just like rotten eggs). Are you going to start wearing a hardhat when walking through cities with tall buildings too? The risk of being struck by falling objects is probably similar to the risk of Tylenol. That’s the point of this post, but we are a fear based society who wants all the benefits but none of the risk. Even when the risk is acceptably tiny.
    #5 Taken appropriately, Tylenol’s risk of killing you or damaging your liver is close to ZERO! It is when we intentionally or accidentally overdose due to ignorance that we run into trouble. Let’s educate and move on. No need to linger over hand-wringers who want to “sound an alarm” at every turn, fanning the flames of fear.
    #6 It IS very easy to overdose if you neglect common sense, don’t read the ingredients and attempt to treat yourself over long periods of time. When using multiple medication, consult your doctor or pharmacist to be sure they are compatible. People falsely assume that over-the-counter medications are safe enough to be combined or misused and it just isn’t so.

    15,000 people a year die from the complications of NSAIDS. So they definitely don’t fare better than Tylenol. Yet they are still on the market an millions of people are helped by them. Two thirds of those 15,000 are people with severe arthritic conditions who take them for years. Most of the rest are elderly who go into congestive heart failure due to the negative affects on kidney function. The remainder suffer gastrointestinal bleeding or life threatening allergic reaction.

    Real medicine provides real benefits, but also have the potential for real complications. Buyer be ware. If you can live with the pain, don’t take the pills.

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