Tylenol and arthritis

by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR

Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.

Click here: Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit

Tylenol or acetaminophen is a commonly used analgesic. It also has anti-pyretic (lowers fever) properties. It does not have anti-inflammatory effects.

In contrast to non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, it does not cause gastrointestinal ulceration.

It appears to block pain through central prostaglandin inhibition.

It is contra-indicated in people who are sensitive to acetaminophen. It should be used with caution in patients who drink alcohol. It may cause allergic reactions, rashes, or drops in white blood cell counts. Overdose can lead to fatal liver failure. Chronic usage may also lead to kidney damage.

Acetaminophen is rapidly absorbed by the oral route. It is

metabolized 85% in the liver. Duration of action is 3-4 hours.

Time-release preparations are available.

Acetaminophen is used for mild osteoarthritis and as an adjunctive therapy with other arthritis medicines.

It is sometimes combined with codeine or hydrocodone (Vicodin) for more analgesia.

Taken chronically, it can be extremely harmful to the kidneys and liver.

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