Popular pain reliever could leave your liver in shreds

My liver and I struck a bargain a long time ago. It's agreed to let me live to 100, and, in exchange, every night I supply it with two fingers of delicious single malt scotch. So far, so good. Our Creator only gave you one liver, and he doesn't exactly operate a spare parts department. So if you want to keep yours chugging along to a ripe old age and working to remove all those deadly toxins Corporate America and Uncle Sam put in our food and water supply, here's a nickel's worth of free advice. Grab that Tylenol bottle and throw it right in the trash. Because that "harmless" medicine you're popping daily for an annoying headache or a balky knee is unleashing chemical warfare on your liver! The FDA (which I'm convinced stands for Fools, Dummies, and, well, you figure out the rest), is FINALLY asking doctors to stop prescribing high-dose acetaminophen, which you'll find in Tylenol, Vicodin, Percocet, and lots of other pain and cold relief drugs. The evidence has piled up so darn high that even the feds can't deny seeing it anymore -- acetaminophen can make your liver quit working faster than a union worker at break time. It's been linked to thousands of cases of liver failure over the years, and three years after the FDA first asked Big Pharma to stop selling doses higher than 325 mg, only about half of the drug companies have complied. Huh. I guess "pretty please" didn't work.... Now the FDA is saying it may start requiring drug makers to cut their acetaminophen doses, but don't hold your breath. Get acetaminophen out of your life now, and you and your liver can be best friends again. Maybe you'll even grab a swig of Johnnie Walker to celebrate. Still giving the mainstream headaches, William Campbell Douglass II, M.D.

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