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ETpro's avatar

Anybody know how Rush Limbaugh avoided acetaminophen OD when he was gobbling Oxycontin like M&Ms?

Asked by ETpro (34526points) March 20th, 2010

Rush got hooked quite innocently after being prescribed the narcotic painkiller Oxycontin and other analogs for pain after medical treatment. But once he found out it felt swell to be high on the stuff and it was hard to quit, the man who preaches personal responsibility and pulling yourself up by the bootstraps for everyone else went doctor shopping to get an ever increasing supply of the opiate every day.

All the commercial variants of Oxycontin and Oxycodone have acetaminophen (AKA Tylenol) in them—not because it is a great analgesic to boost the Codine of Hydrocodone, but because in just a little over the prescribed dose, it destroys the liver. In other words, the misguided drug-war caused our government to deliberately put a hepatotoxin in these pain killers so anybody who used enough to have much fun would also kill themselves.

Rush got to the point he was gobbling the pills before he got caught and went for rehab. Has anyone heard how he avoided destroying his liver while the party lasted?

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16 Answers

lillycoyote's avatar

I’d like to know how he avoided destroying his “credibility” with his supporters, why that didn’t make any of them finally see him for the lying, hypocritical, bloated gas bag that he is.

ETpro's avatar

@lillycoyote It’s a long story. It has to do with the psychlogy of right-wing authoritarian followers and their infinite trust in their leaders. Not only are they not put off by dontradiction in behavior. THey are nearly imune to realizing things contradict one another. They only look at things one at a time. It is as if they have a mind full of filing drawers, and when challenged, they pull out what is in drawer A, look at it, and say, “Yep, I believe that. The stuff it back away and pull out what’s in drawer B, and say “Yep, I believe in that. Even though A is in total contradiction to B, they never realize it because they are nearly incapable of opening two drawers at once and checking one against the other. Rush is an Authoritarian Leader, so RWAFs believe virtually anything he says.

You can read all about Dr. Robert Altemeyer’s ground-breaking work on the psychology of the right-wing authoritarian follower at The Authoritarians. It’s a free PDF book you can download from that site. It’s fun reading and not overly scholarly, but it is based on years of sound research.

Rarebear's avatar

It depends on the total dose of the Tylenol taken daily. For people with a normal liver, 4 grams a day is safe, and you can probably even take more of it. So it’s a question of how much he took over and how quickly. People can take chronic Tylenol (I do for sinus headaches) but as long as you keep your total serum level low or space them out, you’re fine.

Here is an nomogram that illustrates what I’m talking about

lillycoyote's avatar

@ETpro Thanks for the link. It looks interesting.

ETpro's avatar

@Rarebear So sorry to hear you have to fight with sinus headaches. If you take acetaminophen on a regular basis, it is a good idea to also take N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine, often called NAC. It is used in hospitals to treat acute acetaminophen toxicity and is also a decent antioxidant boosting the body’s ability to rid itself of mercury.(NAC)-for-detoxification-what-it-is.htm. GNC Makes it but my local CVS Pharmacy carries it. I have osteoarthritis, so I share the concern with toleration of acetaminophen.

@lillycoyote I am sure you will enjoy reading it, and learn a bit about why right wingers today are so easily whipped up into near lynch-mob mentality by authoritarian leaders.

Rarebear's avatar

@ETpro Thanks, I’m fine. You probably don’t know this, but I’m a critical care physician so I’m well aware of the risks. The doses I take of Tylenol are totally safe.

ETpro's avatar

@Rarebear No, I had no idea you were a physician. Sorry to be preaching to the choir, but maybe the info will help others not so aware of proper dosages and how to best defend your liver if it’s a bit weak.

Rarebear's avatar

Well, the NAC does work, but people are best to avoid overdosing themselves in the first place. Once the liver is toast from the tylenol, you give the NAC and hope against hope that the liver will recover. If it doesn’t, then they get fast tracked for transplant listing.

rottenit's avatar

I have a had a perscrption after major surgery for oxycodone without the tylenol,they were either 5 or 10mg tabs that I could take in addition to the percocet.

Buttonstc's avatar

I have no idea about the formulations of oxycontin ( which is the time release form and comes in larger doses) but I do know that oxycodone is available with lower amounts of acetaminophine.

The brand name is Norco. The ridiculous thing is that it’s priced significantly higher than either Percocet or Vicodin even tho it contains significantly LESS Tylenol component.

Also available is Vicoprophen which contains no Tylenol. It substitutes Ibuprophen. And, you guessed it, is priced way higher than Vicodin.

So, it’s not entirely accurate to say that they all contain high amounts of Tylenol.

But a different formulation will put a hurtin’ on your wallet. Leave it to the drug companies to throw logic out the window for the sake of profit.

ETpro's avatar

If you want to avoid the Tylenol without paying more to get less, look up codine cold water extraction on Google. Make it yourself from the cheapest alternative.

Buttonstc's avatar

I just looked that up and i’m not sure how much I trust the veracity of postings by those who are (self admittedly) talking about taking 10–15 Vicodin at a time. Good grief.

That’s 3–4 days worth for me :)

And no small wonder they’re so concerned about liver toxicity.

ETpro's avatar

@Buttonstc The method is valid. I do know that acetaminophen precipitates out of water as it is cooled to 40 degrees F or so. I’m definitely not recommending anyone follow the druggie’s methods and take such massive dosages of opiates. It’s a sure road to addiction or worse, death from overdose.

I do wonder though whether Rush got to that level, because he was taking enough he should be suffering liver failure if he didn’t find a way to get the Tylenol out of the pills. Maybe he found a source of the kind that has no Tylenol in it.

Rarebear's avatar

Actually, now that I think about it, I don’t think that Oxycontin has any Tylenol in it.

ETpro's avatar

@Rarebear Just looked it up. You are right It’s the time-release form of Oxycodone without any Tylenol. That explains how Rush could gobble bunches of them without killing his liver. How he managed not to wrap his Hummer around a tree is a more interesting question.

Buttonstc's avatar

Yeah, I’m surprised that some of the guys posting on that site could even find the keyboard, much less type coherently :D

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