Health Watch — Dangerous Drugs: Avoiding Overdose
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This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about drugs that can be dangerous. Previously, we mentioned the fact that overdosing on acetaminophen, a common over-the-counter pain reliever, can lead to liver failure. What may be surprising is how easy it can be to overdose on this medication.
Dr. William Lee, a liver expert at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says you can easily overdose when taking medicines for different illnesses. Acetaminophen is found in pain relievers as well as in many multi-symptom cold, flu and allergy products. For instance, you could overdose if you’re taking a pain reliever for arthritis at the same time you’re taking a cold medicine. To avoid overdose, read the labels on any medications you’re taking and don’t take more than 4,000 milligrams of acetaminophen a day. Alcohol makes acetaminophen more toxic, so take even less if you’re drinking regularly.
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