If Tylenol is your painkiller of choice, you may want to curtail your daily dose to four grams, the equivalent of eight extra-strength tablets. A recent study showed abnormal liver test results in one of five healthy adults who took four grams of Tylenol daily for two weeks. The research raises concerns that even the maximum recommended doses of Tylenol may lead to liver damage.
McNeil Consumer & Specialty Pharmaceuticals, makers of the popular painkiller, report that their longer-term studies found much lower rates of elevated liver enzyme levels. Researchers also note that acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, has a long safety record.
Study results published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggest you should not exceed eight extra-strength Tylenol tablets a day, or half that dosage if you are a heavy drinker. Overdoses of acetaminophen are the leading cause of liver failure, so be particularly cautious if you combine Tylenol with other medications that contain acetaminophen.