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Acetaminophen In the late 1800's it was discovered that papa-amino-phenol, could reduce fever, but the drug was too toxic to use. A less toxic extract called phenacetin was later found to be just as effective but also had pain-relieving properties. In 1949, it was learned that phenacetin was metabolized into an active but also less toxic drug, acetaminophen. Since then, acetaminophen has been sold under many over the counter brand names, most popular being Tylenol.

Acetaminophen serves one basic purpose, to relieve pain. It is the main ingredient in pain killers that relieve headaches. It also substitutes anesthesia in circumcision surgery because anesthesia often cannot be used on infants. Dr. Michael Weitzman and 2 other doctors performed an experiment on an infant to test the effectiveness of the drug. The results were not identical, but there were increases in heart rate respiratory rate and crying. But the drug did more good as a pain reliever after the surgery than before the surgery.

Acetaminophen is ingested orally and is rapidly and completely absorbed into the gastrointestinal tract. It works in about one hour. The liver detoxifies 90% of it by mixing it with sulfuric acid, and another 3-5% is catabolized by enzyme reactions to the acid. The metabolites are excreted in the urine.

The dosage of the drug should be used according to the carton instructions. A 10 gram over dose in adults, 140 mg for kids, can cause permanent liver damage. Also if you had just taken some other drugs , The acetaminophen may become more toxic since the drugs are catabolized in the liver. To protect yourself from injury, you should take 1 gram of vitamin C and Cysteine -a bodily antioxidant.

The kidneys can be permanently damaged if you continuously take the drug over a long...