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The Epoch TimesAcetaminophen, Key Ingredient in Tylenol, May Affect Heart Function: Study

Acetaminophen Disruption of Cardiac Signaling in Mice Suggests Potential Risks at Standard Dosages

New findings from a study presented at the American Physiology Summit reveal significant effects of acetaminophen on heart tissue in mice, even at doses previously deemed safe for humans. These results challenge the conventional safety perceptions of this widely-used analgesic, underscoring the need for further investigation into its cardiovascular impacts, particularly in long-term and medium to high dosage use.

Key Points:

  • Research Findings: A recent study involving mice suggests that acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, may induce detrimental changes in heart tissue even when taken in standard dosages.
  • Study Methodology: Researchers administered acetaminophen in water equivalent to a daily human dose of 500 milligrams to mice, observing significant alterations in heart proteins after one week.
  • Protein Pathways Affected: More than 20 different signaling pathways related to heart function, including those involved in energy production, antioxidant defense, and protein breakdown, were disrupted.
  • Dosage and Duration Concerns: The study highlights potential risks associated with long-term use of acetaminophen, particularly at medium to high doses, due to oxidative stress and possible overload of the body’s detox systems.
  • Cellular Studies: Additional studies on cardiac cells complemented the findings, further detailing the drug’s impact at the cellular level.
  • Limitations: The research was conducted only in female mice, raising questions about its applicability to male mice or humans.
  • Expert Opinions: Although current medical guidelines consider acetaminophen safe at moderate doses, these findings prompt a reevaluation of its use, especially in patients with chronic pain management needs.
  • Recommendations: Despite the study’s implications, medical professionals like Dr. Samantha Lee still recommend acetaminophen over other pain relievers due to lower risks of adverse cardiovascular effects compared to NSAIDs.

Acetaminophen is the most common drug ingredient in the United States, found in more than 600 medications.

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