The Leading Cause of Acute Liver Disease in the USA?

It’s not alcohol or hepatitis, but rather acetaminophen poisoning. Acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol and many other over the counter drugs, can damage the liver when taken in excess. And it’s easy to over-dose on acetaminophen, if you don’t carefully read labels of all the products you’re taking.

But here’s the good news (and it’s a shame it’s not more widely known in the USA): there is a readily available, simple antidote to acetaminophen poisoning. It’s actually added to acetaminophen in many European formulations of the drug, as a preventive measure. It’s
called N-acetyl-cysteine, or NAC. Using NAC along with acetaminophen-containing drugs could prevent many cases of liver disease or liver damage in the USA every year.

For more on this supplement, see the NYBC entry on NAC, or the easy-to-take effervescent version, PHARMANAC.

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