Tylenol — generically known as acetaminophen in North America and Japan and paracetamol almost everywhere else — is a ubiquitous over-the-counter painkiller and fever reducer available around the world. Many people take Tylenol at the first sign of headache, body ache, or fever.
Acetaminophen is often combined with other medicines (even Benadryl) to create new products, and taking a number of these products together can lead to an inadvertent overdose.
How Does Acetaminophen Compare To Medical Marijuana?
Acetaminophen works in several different ways to relieve pain, and one of them involves the body’s cannabinoid receptors, so it works in much the same way as cannabis in that regard. But even though acetaminophen is an FDA-approved drug, it has a number of side effects, some of them potentially serious. According to Wikipedia, “Prolonged daily use increases the risk of upper gastrointestinal complications such as stomach bleeding, and may cause kidney or liver damage. Paracetamol is metabolized by the liver and is hepatotoxic; side effects may be more likely in chronic alcoholics or patients with liver damage.”
The New York Times reported that acetaminophen causes three times as many cases of liver failure as all other drugs combined. It should be noted that this is almost always caused by an overdose, although some people have had toxic effects due to their personal body chemistry. However, your risk at lower doses can go up from alcohol consumption, caffeine consumption, or even no consumption (fasting is a risk factor as well). It is safe to say that there are over 250,000 cases of acetaminophen poisoning each year worldwide, with over 1,000 deaths. It’s also especially toxic to cats and snakes.
In general, if you’re at risk because of allergy, liver or kidney problems, or alcohol intake, you might consider trying a safer pain relief drug…like cannabis.
We’ve taken the following information from Wikipedia and PubMed, and highlighted in bold green any side effects or uses that match those known for cannabis.
Trade Names: Tylenol, Tempra, Datril, Panadol
Street Names*: APAP, Dexamol, Dolo, Kafa, Lupocet
Generic Name: Acetaminophen, Paracetamol
Some Typical Uses:
- Pain relief
- Reduce fever
- General relief from allergy, cold, cough, and flu symptoms
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
* These are not actually “street names”, since there is no black market for this drug, but I chose to use a few actual selected acetaminophen brand names from around the world to make a point about how “drug warriors” use foreign or scary-sounding names to propagandize people against certain substances. Like “marijuana”, a word that was never even used in the United States until someone suddenly wanted to suppress cannabis.