Harvard Health Letter

Overdoing acetaminophen

Many overdoses are accidental, so the FDA may require new warnings on the popular pain reliever and lower the daily limit.

For a long time, acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, has seemed to be the safe bet among the commonly available pain relievers.

Aspirin can be hard on the stomach and is out of the question for young children because of its link to Reye's syndrome, a rare but potentially fatal condition that affects the brain and liver. Ibuprofen, naproxen, the other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) — they're also hard on the gut. And if you take them regularly, there's a risk of an increase in blood pressure.

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