NAC: antidote to acetaminophen overdose

In this season when people are taking over-the-counter drugs for all sorts of colds, flus, aches and pains of winter (at least up here in the North where we live!) we thought we’d re-post this item about using a simple inexpensive supplement as an antidote to acetaminophen overdose (Tylenol’s the best-known tradename)–a surprisingly common and debilitating, even deadly, occurrence in the US.

Here’s the earlier post:

Twenty-eight billion doses of acetaminophen are sold in the US per year. Liver damage caused by acetaminophen overdose leads to 400 deaths and 42,000 hospitalizations per year. Why not recommend the recognized antidote, NAC (N-acetylcysteine)?
Posted in NAC (N-acetylcysteine) tagged acetaminophen overdose, acetaminophen poisoning
We read with interest in the New York Times on July 1 that the FDA had convened a panel to advise on how to deal with the medical problems arising from the extraordinary popularity of acetaminophen (most common tradename: Tylenol) in the US. Since acetaminophen is often part of a combination medication, the potential for people to accidentally overdose is ever present. Overdoses of acetaminophen now represent the leading cause of liver damage in the US. In hopes of reducing some of these accidents, the FDA advisory panel voted to recommend lowering the highest allowable dose of acetaminophen in over-the-counter pills like Tylenol; the panel also voted to recommend a ban on some narcotics that typically are paired with acetaminophen. Our thought: why not encourage drug manufacturers to pair acetaminophen with NAC (N-acetylcysteine), a known antidote to acetaminophen poisoning, widely used for that purpose in Europe? Certainly we recommend to NYBC members that, if they must use acetaminophen, they should also take NAC for protection as well.

NYBC stocks NAC (Montiff) in tablet form; ThiolNAC (a combination of alpha lipoic acid and NAC); and the easy-to-take PharmaNAC, an effervescent tablet formulation. See


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