Alcohol And Acetaminophen

Combining alcohol and acetaminophen can result in long-term problems with one’s vital organs.

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Alcohol And Acetaminophen Risks

Generally, side effects of acetaminophen are low or non-threatening, such as skin reactions and headaches; however, adding alcohol to the mix increases the risk of side effects like stomach bleeding, abdominal swelling, and liver damage. The liver has to metabolize the ingredients in acetaminophen and when combined with alcohol, may be too toxic for the liver to process. WebMD states that when combining alcohol with acetaminophen, this combination, “produces a 123% increased risk of kidney disease.”

In addition to kidney-related challenges, those frequently taking alcohol with acetaminophen increase their risks of having liver-related problems. Much research is still being done on the connection between alcohol use and acetaminophen that will provide more evidence on how the kidney can be affected. Nevertheless, out of 2.6% of participants in the National Health And Nutritional Examination Survey, 1.2% reported kidney dysfunction.

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Alcohol And Acetaminophen Symptoms

Since the liver is responsible for metabolizing drugs and alcohol, combining these may be too much for the liver, especially after repeated use. Kidney and liver failure are not the only risks associated with alcohol and acetaminophen cocktails. Aside from kidney damage, someone could also experience:

  • Stomach pain
  • Ulcers
  • Rapid heartbeat

In addition to the above symptoms, someone can experience signs of liver damage such as:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Jaundice
  • Abdominal pain on the right side of the body
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Confusion

Furthermore, since it is unusual for people to consume acetaminophen with alcohol, the individual may have underlying challenges surrounding alcohol. It may be wise to consider how often they consume alcohol outside of the context of taking acetaminophen and examine if they run the risk of having an alcohol use disorder or other factors encouraging drinking. Questions for reflection can include:

  • Is the individual taking alcohol to soothe stress?
  • Does he or she binge drink? Does she or he use other chemicals that could be more harmful than acetaminophen and mixes it with alcohol?
  • Does she or he have a history of drinking?
  • Have you witnessed them talking about using other drugs?
  • Is the individual battling depression or anxiety?

These are important considerations, as he or she could reveal if there is an alcohol-related use disorder than can become more difficult over time. Alcohol is a highly addictive substance that is highly abused and can change the chemistry of the brain. If someone is abusing alcohol and cannot control how they use it, this indicates professional help is needed to combat this addiction.

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How Acetaminophen Affects People With Alcoholism

People who drink can erode their vital organs. Long-term alcohol use can contribute to kidney toxicity, cirrhosis of the liver, hepatitis, heart failure, and a dependence. Someone who is an alcoholic already may have a compromised liver and combining acetaminophen with more alcohol can only make that worse. They are at an increased risk of having kidney or liver failure and should not combine the 2. Reducing risks can range from drinking water or other non-alcoholic beverages with acetaminophen; consuming less than 3,000 mg of acetaminophen daily; taking acetaminophen for 10 days or less; having less amounts of alcohol each day; having 3 drinks or less servings of alcohol a day; being mindful of other drugs consumed.

Talking to a medical professional while taking acetaminophen is suggested to ensure responsible pain management. Also, it is essential to be aware of sensations in the body that can signal liver damage such as abdominal swelling, lethargy, excessive sweating, bruising, or unusual bleeding. If taking acetaminophen becomes a problem, consider alternative pain relievers that may be more natural and do not combine them with alcohol. If alcohol use is a challenge, consider seeking professional treatment for assistance. This may uncover motives for alcoholism along with providing counseling and drugs to reduce withdrawal.

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What Is Acetaminophen?

Acetaminophen or Paracetamol is an active ingredient used to help headaches, period cramps, mild aches and pains, backaches, flu-like symptoms, and tooth pain from a toothache or dental work. Acetaminophen is generally safe and not habit forming and can be found on shelves in stores as brands like Tylenol. Individuals taking acetaminophen take the pill via mouth and can find relief in less than half an hour after consumption. They are safe for children but should be taken with caution. Some brands offer a children’s version that has an appropriate dose.

Despite its effectiveness in providing pain relief, it is not always best for those seeking relief for inflammation. Breastfeeding mothers taking acetaminophen should consult a doctor beforehand just to be safe. Acetaminophen is taken orally, with the dosage written on the back of the bottles.

Ready To Get Help?

Taking alcohol with acetaminophen can have health risks that can be dangerous and uncomfortable. You don’t have to worry about healing alone as help is out there. If you or a loved one needs help, reach out to a qualified, compassionate treatment provider. Professionals can connect you with staff and facilities that can help. Contact someone today to explore your options, risk-free.

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