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FiRE_MaN's avatar

Overdose of tylenol?

Asked by FiRE_MaN (684 points ) October 29th, 2008

In my ethics class today we were having a debate, more like me and the rest of the class, over whether or not you could kill yourself by taking 12 tylenol. Is this true? if not would any amount kill you? i know you cant kill yourself with ibeprophine but you can put yourself in a really bad situation.

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10 Answers

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Yes, you can. I don’t know if 12 would do it, but you can die from taking too many.

shilolo's avatar

You most certainly can kill yourself with tylenol. Twelve extra strength tylenol (500 mg each) would be 6 grams. That would, in most cases, be tolerable, but could cause some liver damage. Most recommendations are for you not to exceed 4 grams total per day. However, if you happen to have a faulty liver (like say, a cirrhotic liver in an alcoholic), then 6 grams could potentially be very serious. There are many, many cases of suicide by tylenol overdose, but most people take more than 12 (like 50–100, i.e. a whole bottle).

That said, there is a fairly effective antidote to tylenol overdose, if caught early enough. Moreover, the major effect of the OD would be acute liver failure. Liver transplantation has been used as well to save the life of the person as well under those conditions.

Lightlyseared's avatar

12 and I would seek medical attention ASAP. I’ve seen acute liver failure from 8 with no other underlying liver disease that required transplatation.

Having said that it is important to stress that taken according to the guidelines it is the safest (and arguably most effective) pain killer you can get.

deaddolly's avatar

I take up to 9 a day at times for pain, with my doctor’s recommendation.
never had a problem. Liver’s still there and doing well. Tylenol does little for me anymore, but I’m still told to take it.

jessturtle23's avatar

You can kill yourself off less than twelve Tylenol if you have alcohol with it or even the night before. We don’t even keep it in our house because it is so bad for the liver.

Lightlyseared's avatar

@jess While an overdose of Tylenol can cause liver damage and it does not take much to over dose, 1g taken 4–6 hourly to a maximum of 4g is very safe. Patients with severe liver disease, awaiting transplant, will be routinely given this dose with out any problems.

Bicyclethief's avatar

I’ve taken 50 with some wine and besides a tummy ache I was fine. So a normal fatal amount Must at least be about a 100.

shilolo's avatar

Do NOT, under any circumstances, heed the words of @Bicyclethief. That is quite frankly impossible. 50 extra strength tylenol x 500 mg = 25 grams. The lethal dose of tylenol is approximately 68 mg per pound of body weight. So, a 180 pound person needs to ingest ~12.5 grams in one day, or 25 extra strength tablets. If someone took 50 in one day, they’d either be dead, or living with a new liver (from a liver transplant).

melrocks13's avatar

I myself in feb. 2008 intentiontally on Tylenol By the time I received medical attention I alredy needed the antidote, mucomyste and numerous doses over four and a half days . I took approx. 135 pills. I was expecting to need a transplant! My liver was a trooper all my tests came back fine. thank the heavens!!! I dont suggest anyone take an overdose, however Tylenol is safe in small quantities.

angelbaby78's avatar

@shilolo

Bicyclethief isn’t lying about that amount not doing anything but causing a stomach ache in some people. I myself have taken 42 at one time plus another 30 throughout the day and that’s while still drinking alcohol. All that happened was I was a little sleepy for a day and my stomach hurt a little the next morning.

I’ve gone through a bottle of 250 extra strength tylenol in 3 days and haven’t had any issues. I drink about 2–5 glasses of wine or rum and cokes a day. Again no liver damage, no elevated liver levels no nada.

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