Have you ever gone out for a night on the town and ended up drinking a lot more alcoholic beverages than you anticipated? Maybe you and a bunch of friends went from one club to another and danced the night away. And, in between dances, you refreshed yourself with one of your favorite beverages.
Or perhaps you went to a dinner party where a different wine was served with every course of the meal. And although the wine perfectly complemented the food, before you knew it you had a lot more glasses than you usually consume.
Or maybe you went out celebrating a special occasion. If you’ve ever gone to a bachelor party you know that drinking beer or hard liquor seems to almost go with the territory.
Whatever was at the root of your drinking too much, there’s a good chance that you didn’t feel very well the next day. And that is you awakened with your mouth feeling like cotton, a throbbing headache, and an almost unquenchable thirst. In other words, you had a hangover.
If this has ever happened to you, like so many other people, you may have looked for a cure for your hangover in your medicine cabinet.
Did you get up, go to the bathroom, open the door to your medicine cabinet, and see a bottle of Tylenol® next to your bottle of Bayer® aspirins.
If you ever considered taking acetaminophen to try to cure a hangover do not do it. A little known fact is if you mix acetaminophen – which is the primary ingredient in Tylenol® – with alcohol, you can do horrible damage to your liver. And this liver damage could cause your demise. That’s because an overdose of acetaminophen can cause complete liver failure.
When you take acetaminophen approximately 95% of it is metabolized and does not produce any harmful byproducts. However , the remaining 5% is oxidized by the liver’s oxidassse enzymes and produces a compound known as NAPQI.
Usually NAPQI is harmlessly circulated out of the liver. However , if there is alcohol present in your system then harmful amounts can build up. And the result is a damaged liver. And this risk can last for as long as five days after alcohol is consumed.
Although people who drink “hard” alcoholic beverages daily are the ones who are most susceptible to liver poisoning, even people who have wine or beer with their dinner are at risk if they take acetaminophen.
And, of course , even if you don’t drink too much but you take too much acetaminophen you will damage your liver and risk dying.