Acetaminophen often refereed to as Tylenol, when taken at the highest recommended dose may trigger an abnormal result on an otherwise healthy blood test, according to new research.
The finding means, a perfectly healthy person may think they are sick when hearing the results of a common liver blood test.
In the study, 106 participants took four grams of Tylenol, equivalent to eight extra-strength Tylenol tablets, each day for two weeks. Some took Tylenol alone, and some took it with an opioid painkiller. Placebo pills were given to 39 others.
40 recent of the people taking acetaminophen had abnormal blood test results which could signal liver damage.
Dr. Paul Watkins of the University of North Carolina says, “This was a very surprising finding. "
When treating this type of liver problem, doctors are trained to examine what drugs the patient is taking and recommended stopping drugs that may effect the liver.
Ironically - acetaminophen is not on that list of suspect drugs - but a number of common prescription drugs are
Dr Watkins says the study calls attention to the possibility that some blood tests are ineffective.
Researchers recommend not to exceed four grams a day or the equivalent to eight extra-strength Tylenol tablets.
And heavy drinkers should take no more than two grams a day
The study appears in the current Journal of the American Medical Association
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