"It is true, and thus the question of whether it is sad or happy has no meaning whatever."
Bernhard Schlink

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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Liver. Not with Onions. 

Tylenol has been more or less synonymous with 'safe medicine' in the American commercial pharmacopoeia since forever. The thing is, of course, that like every other drug, acetaminophen has side effects. It is really, really bad for your liver; that's why I tell my friends not to take it for their hangovers.

How many times a week do you take it? What about something that shares its active ingredient, acetaminophen? Probably more than you think: the popular pain reliever/fever reducer is in all kinds of stuff, from pain killers to cough supressants to PMS treatments. But why should you care?

In small doses, or even larger ones often given by doctors, acetaminophen is about as safe a medication as you can hope for. The problem is that, since it's in so many things, more and more people are quietly giving themselves acetaminophen poisoning and needing new livers. It's still a small number, in reality, but something to watch out for - especially if you like to exercise your liver regularly.

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