November 18, 2009

Taking Tylenol and Ibuprofen Also Has A Potential Risk of DEATH!

The New York Times in July 6, 2009 published an interesting article regarding the potentially fatal risk of taking tylenol and ibuprofen. The story titled "Reasons Not to Panic Over a Painkiller" states that tylenol (due to liver damage) kills about 400 people and hospitalizes about 42,000 every year in the United States. Ibuprofen is even worse. More than 100,000 Americans are hospitalized each year with complications associated with ibuprofen and an additional 15,000 to 20,000 die from ulcers and internal bleeding linked to their use.

Tylenol and ibuprofen is also linked to hearing loss with regular use. [more info]

The reason I am mentioning these facts with such a ubiquitous medication like tylenol and ibuprofen is because many patients have a distorted sense of what is risky and what is not. I had one parent who refused to give her child zyrtec or benadryl for severe allergies as she did not want to "add poison to her child's body." Though such sentiment is usually laudable (and in some cases, even encouraged by me), in these particular cases, it's odd to say the least, mainly because she was giving her child repeated doses of motrin and tylenol for symptom relief. As far as I know, zyrtec and benadryl has not killed anyone. Tylenol and motrin have... many times.

Or get this... the average woman puts on herself 515 chemicals on her body everyday through self-inflicted use of body and facial moisturizers, perfumes, deodorants and various other make-up products. Click here to read more on this.

There are many other such examples, but it is always nice to have in perspective that even supposedly "safe" medications really aren't safe if taken improperly.

Read the NYT story here to read more about the risks of tylenol and ibuprofen.

Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

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