Paracetamol could pose a risk for LiverHealthy Living

February 26, 2024 14:19
Paracetamol could pose a risk for Liver

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A recent study conducted by the University of Edinburgh has revealed that the use of paracetamol tablets can result in liver damage, specifically in mice. The study, which focused on paracetamol (also known as acetaminophen), advised individuals to exercise caution due to the risks associated with overuse and overdose. Published in Scientific Reports, the research was a collaborative effort between the Universities of Edinburgh and Oslo, as well as the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service. Funding for the study was provided in part by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the Chief Scientist Office.

Dr. Shruti Ketkar, a hepatologist and gastroenterologist, explained that the study demonstrated how paracetamol could harm the liver by interfering with the structural connections that facilitate the proper functioning of neighboring liver cells. Dr. Guru N. Reddy, a chief of gastroenterology and liver diseases at a hospital, emphasized that while adults are permitted to take 650-1,000mg of paracetamol every 4-6 hours, up to a maximum of 3,000mg per day, this dosage is only safe for individuals without any liver or kidney disease. Taking 6,000mg or more of paracetamol can result in acute liver injury and even liver failure.

The true extent of these cases remains unknown. In India, doctors commonly rely on paracetamol as the main painkiller, even for moderate to severe pain, unlike in Western countries. This overuse of paracetamol stems from the historical lack of use of other effective painkillers and narcotic analgesics. If patients accidentally overdose on paracetamol, it is crucial for them to immediately seek medical attention for proper testing. Early recognition allows for the administration of the appropriate antidote, preventing liver failure.

Dr K. Somnath Gupta, a senior consultant physician and diabetologist, emphasizes the necessity of strict dosage regulations and clear guidelines for healthcare professionals and consumers. He believes that it is urgent to implement such regulations for medications, especially paracetamol, which is widely used as a household painkiller. Dr Gupta also stresses the importance of educating patients and actively monitoring liver function to detect early signs of damage and make timely adjustments in dosage. Additionally, he advocates for exploring and developing alternative therapies. He advises minimizing the use of multiple medications that have the potential to harm the liver.

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Tagged Under :
Paracetamol  Liver