Tylenol coffee: acetaminophen and caffeine | Cigna
Caffeine and acetaminophen don’t mix well
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Sep 27 2007
Consuming large amounts of caffeine while taking acetaminophen, one of the most widely used painkillers in the United States, could potentially cause liver damage, according to a preliminary laboratory study reported in the Oct. 15 print issue of ACS’ Chemical Research in Toxicology, a monthly journal.
The toxic interaction could occur not only from drinking caffeinated beverages while taking the painkiller but also from using large amounts of medications that intentionally combine caffeine and acetaminophen for the treatment of migraine headaches, menstrual discomfort and other conditions, the researchers say.
Health experts have warned for years that consuming excess alcohol while taking acetaminophen can trigger toxic interactions and cause liver damage and even death. However, this is the first time scientists have reported a potentially harmful interaction while taking the painkiller with caffeine, the researchers say.
While the studies are preliminary findings conducted in bacteria and laboratory animals, they suggest that consumers may want to limit caffeine intake — including energy drinks and strong coffee — while taking acetaminophen.
Chemist Sid Nelson, Ph.D., and colleagues, of the University of Washington in Seattle, tested the effects of acetaminophen and caffeine on E. coli bacteria genetically engineered to express a key human enzyme in the liver that detoxifies many prescription and nonprescription drugs. The researchers found that caffeine triples the amount of a toxic byproduct, N-acetyl-p-benzoquinone imine (NAPQI), that the enzyme produces while breaking down acetaminophen. This same toxin is responsible for liver damage and failure in toxic alcohol-acetaminophen interactions, they say.
In previous studies, the same researchers showed that high doses of caffeine can increase the severity of liver damage in rats with acetaminophen-induced liver damage, thus supporting the current finding.
“People should be informed about this potentially harmful interaction,” Nelson says. “The bottom line is that you don’t have to stop taking acetaminophen or stop taking caffeine products, but you do need to monitor your intake more carefully when taking them together, especially if you drink alcohol.”
Nelson points out that the bacteria used in the study were exposed to ‘megadoses’ of both acetaminophen and caffeine, much higher than most individuals would normally consume on a daily basis. Most people would similarly need to consume unusually high levels of these compounds together to have a dangerous effect, but the toxic threshold has not yet been determined, he says.
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Certain groups may be more vulnerable to the potentially toxic interaction than others, Nelson says. This includes people who take certain anti-epileptic medications, including carbamazepine and phenobarbital, and those who take St. John’s Wort, a popular herbal supplement. These products have been shown to boost levels of the enzyme that produces the toxic liver metabolite NAPQI, an effect that will likely be heightened when taking both acetaminophen and caffeine together, he says.
Likewise, people who drink a lot of alcohol may be at increased risk for the toxic interaction, Nelson says. That’s because alcohol can trigger the production of yet another liver enzyme that produces the liver toxin NAPQI. The risks are also higher for those who take large amounts of medications that combine both acetaminophen and caffeine, which are often used together as a remedy for migraine headaches, arthritis and other conditions.
The researchers are currently studying the mechanism by which this toxic interaction occurs and are considering human studies in the future, they say. The National Institutes of Health funded the initial animal and bacterial studies.
Posted in: Drug Trial News
Tags: Acetaminophen, Alcohol, Anti-Epileptic Drug, Arthritis, Bacteria, Caffeine, Coffee, Drugs, E. coli, Enzyme, Laboratory, Liver, Metabolite, Migraine, OCT, Painkiller, Research, Toxicology, Toxin
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Is It Safe To Drink Coffee While Taking Tylenol?
By Joanna Marie/
Whether you’re a die-hard coffee connoisseur or you simply enjoy a cup in the morning, there’s no denying that this warm, comforting liquid is an integral part of many people’s lives. According to 2023 survey data published by the National Coffee Association (NCA), over 65% of adults drink coffee daily, with the average person consuming around three cups per day. While coffee may seem like a simple and harmless drink, it’s important to note that it may interact with certain medications, like Tylenol.
Tylenol is a brand name for a popular over-the-counter pain reliever and fever reducer medication, also known by its generic name, acetaminophen, according to Healthline. It is widely used to treat mild to moderate pain, such as headaches, backaches, menstrual cramps, and fever, and is available in various forms, including tablets, capsules, chewable tablets, liquid, and granules. Tylenol works by blocking the production of prostaglandins, chemicals in the body that cause pain, per Tufts University. However, unlike nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and aspirin, Tylenol does not have anti-inflammatory properties.
The safety of drinking coffee while taking Tylenol (acetaminophen) has been a topic of debate in the medical community for many years. While there is no clear consensus, some studies have examined the potential risks of combining these two substances.
Mixing coffee with Tylenol
Coffee has many health benefits — the British Liver Trust even says that moderate amounts may help reduce the risk of liver disease. However, when combined with Tylenol, these beneficial effects are lost. According to a 2017 study published in the Journal of Drug Delivery and Therapeutics, one serious side effect of Tylenol is liver damage. This can occur if you take Tylenol for an extended period or if you take more than the recommended dose. The study adds that excessive coffee intake while using Tylenol correlates with an increase in damage to the liver, kidneys, and gastrointestinal system.
While there may be some potential risks associated with combining caffeine and Tylenol, a 2007 randomized controlled trial published in the journal Current Medical Research and Opinion found that safe amounts of both substances did not significantly impact the body. The researchers concluded that moderate coffee consumption is unlikely to affect the safety or efficacy of Tylenol. However, they did mention that caffeine enhances the efficacy of Tylenol.
In general, it may be best to follow proper dosage guidelines for caffeine and Tylenol and avoid excessive use of either substance — this is especially important if you have liver disease or other underlying health conditions. The recommended daily caffeine intake limit is about 400 mg daily for most adults, equivalent to about 4 cups of coffee, says the Mayo Clinic. For Tylenol, the maximum recommended daily dose is 4,000 milligrams (mg) for adults, and it is important not to exceed this amount (per Harvard Health Publishing).
Side effects of Tylenol
Overall, Tylenol is a widely used and effective pain reliever and fever reducer that is available without a prescription. However, it is important to use it responsibly and to talk to a doctor if you have any concerns about taking Tylenol, whether with coffee or alone. They can help you determine the appropriate dosage and timing for both substances based on your health needs and medical history.
While Tylenol is generally considered safe when taken as directed, it can be harmful when taken in excessive amounts. Taking more than the recommended dose can lead to stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting, per MedlinePlus. Ironically, Tylenol can sometimes cause headaches as a side effect. According to the Mayo Clinic, this is known as medication overuse or rebound headaches — you can experience this if you take certain medications like Tylenol for an extended period. Other potential side effects of Tylenol include dizziness and tiredness, and in rare cases, it can also cause low blood sugar, as explained by DrugWatch. Some people may also experience allergic reactions to Tylenol, including rash, hives, difficulty breathing, itching, or facial or mouth swelling. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
In addition, Tylenol can interact with certain medications, including blood thinners, according to Harvard Health Publishing. For this reason, it’s always best to speak to your doctor before combining medications.
The most scandalous cases when firms recalled their products
In the pursuit of revenue, corporations lose millions of dollars, and customers lose their lives.
April 23, 20202
Just this year, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission asked customers to stop buying Panasonic laptops because their batteries caught fire; IKEA lamps, because their metal frames shock people; lights for bicycles that ignited while under the driver’s seat …
Companies often try to protect their customers. But not always.
In the summer of 1982, there were seven cases of poisoning in Chicago with Tylenol, then the most popular pain reliever in the United States at the time. The first victim was a 12-year-old girl. After drinking the pill, she dropped dead after a few seconds. It turned out that the tablet contained 65 mg of cyanide (lethal dose – 5 mg!). Similar incidents occurred over the next two days in different parts of the city.
As you might guess, panic seized the city: people threw away their supplies of Tylenol, and sales in stores fell to zero. The management of Johnson & Johnson took unprecedented measures: they recalled the entire drug from pharmacies and stores, and this, so you understand, is about $ 100 million. As it turned out, the manufacturers were not to blame for anything: an anonymous poisoner was operating in Chicago, who poured poison into medicine packages, and then returned them to store shelves.
Johnson & Johnson developed a new way of packaging Tylenol: now under the cap of the vial, the neck was hermetically sealed with foil. Today it is the standard for pharmaceuticals. Tylenol has managed to regain its place in the drug market.
Firestone and Ford Explorer tires, 2000
In 2000, a scandal erupted in the United States when it became public knowledge that Ford Explorer SUVs rolled over on the roads much more often than other cars. In this case, we are talking only about cars equipped with original Firestone tires. The situation was aggravated by the fact that, as it turned out, both companies – Ford and Firestone – were aware of what was happening since 1996 years old, but made every effort not to correct technical errors, but to hush up the matter.
The number of victims in the USA alone exceeded one thousand people. When the secret became clear, every more or less self-respecting newspaper in the United States hastened to write a devastating, revealing article, their total number exceeded 5 thousand. Ford’s sales decreased by 80%, the company lost about $3 billion. Firestone has withdrawn about 3 million tires from sale.
Both companies, instead of paying compensation to the victims and their families, hastened to blame each other and got bogged down in lawsuits and litigations, some of which have not been completed to this day.
Chinese milk formulas and milk, 2008
In June 2008, a “melamine scandal” broke out in the world: a high content of melamine was found in the dairy products of a number of Chinese manufacturers – a substance that is essentially non-toxic (at least not more than than table salt), but at ultra-high concentration leading to kidney stones. It is commonly used in mineral fertilizers and plastics. Manufacturers added it so that when measured, the protein level in milk seemed higher (the milk itself was diluted with water). Two companies — Mengniu Dairy Group and Yili Industrial Group — added melamine to their milk (regular and powdered), infant formula, chocolate bars, instant coffee and cookies. Among other things, milk was supplied to schools and kindergartens. By the time the decision was made to recall the products, six children had died.
As a result, the Chinese authorities decided to seize all spoiled products (most of them were exported to the countries of the Pacific region). Even chicken eggs had to be seized, as melamine was added to chicken feed. 19 people – entrepreneurs and civil servants – were punished (up to life imprisonment). Two entrepreneurs, Jang Yuzhong and Geng Jinping, were shot dead in 2009.
Text author:Semyon Shraik
Hangover – Alkoinfo.ee
One of the causes of a hangover, that is, alcohol withdrawal syndrome, is the substance acetaldehyde, which is formed in the body as a result of the conversion of ethanol.
A hangover signals that the body is fighting poison – it is, in fact, a mild form of alcohol poisoning.
Hangover symptoms appear when the blood alcohol level begins to drop to the body’s natural level, close to zero.
Why does a hangover occur?
- Drinking alcohol increases urine output and causes fluid loss. Drinking alcohol is often associated with sweating, vomiting, and diarrhea, which in turn remove water and electrolytes from the body. Fluid loss leads to thirst, weakness and dizziness.
- Alcohol irritates the stomach and intestines. The resulting inflammatory process can lead to abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting.
- Alcohol also depletes the body of vitamins and minerals and lowers blood sugar, which in turn causes fatigue, weakness and mood swings.
- Acetaldehyde, formed as an intermediate in the breakdown of alcohol, can speed up the pulse and cause palpitations, as well as sweating, nausea, and vomiting.
- Alcohol, of course, can induce deep sleep, although in fact, with excessive use, the first phases of sleep that should precede deep sleep fall out. In addition, the phase of REM sleep is reduced. In the phase of REM sleep, among other things, there is a consolidation of what has been learned, the ordering of thoughts and memories, and when it is present, a person feels fresh and rested after waking up. Therefore, a person with a hangover feels tired, not getting enough sleep.
- Although no clear explanation for hangover headaches has been found, it is associated with brain chemistry and hormone imbalances, as well as vasodilation.
How to prevent a hangover?
The less you drink, the less chance of a hangover. The best way to completely avoid a hangover is to not drink at all. Other methods do not give any guarantee that there will be no torment the next day.
Never cross the low-risk limits when drinking. The Alcocalculator will help you keep track of your drinks. See also tips on how to stay within the limits of moderation when drinking alcohol at home or outside.
Be sure to eat your fill before drinking. Then alcohol will be absorbed more slowly, and you will get less drunk.
In order to feel better the next day, it is important to drink enough water in addition to alcohol. When you drink water, you drink less alcohol, and water helps reduce fluid loss. Drink a few large glasses of water before going to bed.
Drinks containing more impurities, usually dark in color – such as red wine, brandy and port – cause more severe hangovers.
Do not mix drinks of different types. This irritates the stomach and guarantees future torment.
How to relieve a hangover?
- Drinking plenty of fluids, preferably non-carbonated drinks, is required to compensate for lost fluids. Fresh juice will help replace lost vitamins.
- If you really need it, you can take painkillers, and in case of digestive problems, drugs that reduce the acidity of the stomach. There is an over-the-counter powder in pharmacies that is taken dissolved in water to restore electrolytes and fluids in the body.
- Eat something: for example, with the loss of potassium that accompanies fluid loss, bananas and kiwis help fight.
- Don’t get drunk – it will only delay problems. Take a break from alcohol. Wanting to drink in the morning to relieve a hangover means you’re having withdrawal symptoms, which could indicate excessive drinking or an alcohol use disorder (abuse or addiction).
- Take a multivitamin to replace the body’s essentials lost through alcohol.
Ten myths about hangovers
1. Hangovers are caused by dehydration
Dehydration is one of the causes of a hangover, but not the only one. In fact, with each unit of alcohol from the body, in addition to the amount drunk, an additional 100 ml of liquid is excreted. For example, if you drink five servings of beer, the body will lose another liter of fluid.
However, will two liters of water save you from a hangover? Obviously not. Coincident symptoms of dehydration and hangovers are thirst, weakness, and headache. Have you ever had such a hangover that you could not eat and spent the whole day on your knees in front of the toilet? Daylight is deadly harsh, and it is almost impossible to express at least one thought coherently? These symptoms are not related to dehydration, but to the toxic effects of alcohol.
2. Coffee or a cold shower helps with a hangover.
You had a little too much last night. In the morning, you put coffee on and jump into a cold shower to cheer yourself up. Both of these can give you the slightest boost, but they won’t cure a hangover. In fact, coffee can increase it, as it also removes fluid from the body. So replace your coffee with water – and especially if you’ve been throwing up, causing you to lose even more fluid.
3. Hangover helps
It is believed that the morning hangover relieves the hangover. But this is not true. Hangovers begin to form as the blood alcohol level drops, and symptoms peak when the blood alcohol level approaches zero. Getting drunk is just delaying the hangover. At some point, you willy-nilly have to sober up, and the hangover will still come. Instead of alcohol, drink water or a sports drink instead to restore fluid levels, electrolytes, and vitamins.
Morning hangovers are often a signal that you are at serious risk of having problems with excessive drinking. It is also one of the symptoms of alcohol addiction.
4. Eating at the end of a party eases hangovers
If only it were so! It would be great if after a rampant drinking you could eat a couple of large hamburgers and a bowl of french fries – and wake up the next morning in perfect order. Actually it is not.
Food can certainly help prevent hangovers, but you should eat before drinking. The best choice would be fatty foods that are slowly digested. If you drink alcohol on a full stomach, it will be absorbed into the blood more slowly, and the hangover the next day will be a little easier.
5. A hangover occurs only if you drink a lot. At the same time, in order to earn a hangover, it is not necessary to get drunk every time, for some, just one serving is enough for this. The occurrence of a hangover, among other things, is affected by your weight and gender. In addition, hangovers are more likely to occur in people, for example, those who suffer from migraines or take medications that affect liver enzymes.
6. Beer and wine are better than strong alcohol
Some people literally swear that beer and wine don’t cause such a bad hangover as hard liquor. In fact, you will get drunk and hangover from any alcoholic drink, since they all contain ethanol. And it doesn’t matter in what order you drink them.
In addition, it is useful to remember that:
- red wine contains tannins that cause headaches in some people;
- mixing different drinks irritates the stomach and may increase hangovers;
- Highly contaminated drinks, usually dark in color – such as red wine, brandy and port – cause more severe hangovers;
- If you start the evening with strong alcohol, you often quickly lose your moderation and end up drinking more than you intended.
7. Workout Helps
While exercising the next morning may relieve conscience, no research has so far confirmed that it helps alleviate the physical effects of drinking alcohol. You can only burn calories from alcohol. In addition, after drinking alcohol, your body is ruled by a lack of fluids and nutrients. When you exercise, you again lose fluid and essential substances, so the end result can be further deterioration of well-being, and in severe cases, even a health-threatening condition. With a lack of fluid, the thermoregulation of the body is disturbed, so that when playing sports in hot weather, you can easily overheat.
During a hangover, both reaction speed, eye-hand coordination, and balance are impaired, which will affect your athletic performance, which requires fast and accurate action.
8. Bedtime painkillers
When taken with alcohol, acetaminophen (known as the cold medicine Tylenol/Tylenol) can destroy the liver. Other pain relievers, such as aspirin, paracetamol, and ibuprofen, can irritate the stomach and cause bleeding when combined with alcohol.
Also, taking a painkiller in the evening won’t do you any good: it will only give you pain relief for a few hours, but you don’t feel any pain while you sleep. Take a pain reliever in the morning if necessary.
9. Women and men get hangovers the same way
In fact, women get hangovers more easily. Even if a woman is exactly the same weight as a man, she needs less alcohol to get drunk. The male body contains more water, which dilutes alcohol and helps to reduce its effects. The male body also produces more of the enzyme that breaks down alcohol.
10. Hangover is not a big problem
Hangover shows that the body is poisoned by excess alcohol. Heavy drinking affects the nervous system and brain chemistry, leading to headaches, drowsiness, and nausea.