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Cumulative Acetaminophen Concerns

Jack 83JJack 83 Posts: 15
edited 06/11/2012 - 9:00 AM in Chronic Pain
Good Morning,

I am concerned about years of being on meds with Acetaminophen (Percocet/Norco). Has anyone else addressed this issue without having to go to something stronger or time-released? Thank you.



  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    I have my pm Dr. prescribe a hydrocodone compound. I get 25/25 slow release. But your Dr. can prescribe any other amounts, combinations, or regular release.
    When you have a pharmacy compound something for you it is very expensive.I have a Ca. workers comp. from the 80's and it is grand fathered in. It costs me $0 so I have no idea what the charge is. But anytime you have something compounded special, it's expensive.
    But you can also go on www.rxdrugsfromatoz and type what your looking for in the search box at the top. Hope this helps. And welcome to S.H. forums.
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • I actually requested the doctor prescribe plain oxycodone for me - percocet without the acetominophen - for two reasons. 1) I had weight loss surgery years ago, and big pills interfere with my eating (oxydocone pills, without acetominophen are tiny). 2) I've got enough crud going on in my body without having a drug that will do nothing for me wear out my liver. Plus, if I need cold meds or anything else while on pain meds, I don't have to worry about OD'ing on acetominophen.

    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • Thank Linda and Jim, I will ask about it. Very much appreciated.

  • Hmmm, I had/have this concern too. My doctor assured me that the amounts I was taking were safe. I checked with him on the ibuprofen too. He said drink a lot of water.

    That being said, I did a little experiment and took myself, pretty much cold turkey off of Advil, Tylenol. I found that after the first 2-3 days of hurting, they weren't really making a difference.

    So unless I'm having a really bad day, I am 'dealing'. I guess that says I'm pretty fortunate.

    Now, if you are on prescription, I like some of the other ideas.
  • As the others have said, there are different drug combinations that use lower or no acetaminophen. But really as long as you don't go over the maximum daily dose and you don't drink alcohol with it, you should be fine. There isn't really a cumulative effect as the drug is metabolized by your liver and excreted from your body. When you have to start worrying is when you go over the max daily dose and when you drink alcohol since those things will definitely stress out your liver and can cause problems.

    I asked the doctor a long time ago to give me the norco with the lower dose of acetaminophen (10/325) just to be on the safe side.

    The max daily dose is 3 grams or 3000 mg; equivalent to 6 500mg tabs in a 24 hour period.
  • I have tried acetaminophen over the years for many different aches and pains and I have found it to do little to nothing for me. With this said and also the risk of damage to my liver I have worked with my doctor to remove all of it from my meds. Like Linda said, now when I need to take cold medicines I dont have to grab a calculator to figure out if I'm going over my max daily limit.....Mitch
  • Acetaminophen is metabolized by the liver, and I have plans for mine, thank you! I don't want it expending a lot of energy on purging unneeded drugs from my body. With the way my body has fallen apart in the first half of my life, I certainly don't want to have to worry about my liver's health as I gingerly enter the second half. If I don't need it, it has to go!
    3 level spinal fusion, L3/4, L4/5, L5/S1, November 2008. Stiff, but I can walk.
  • Yes, if taking tylenol make sure zero alcohol b/c you are just forcing your liver into over-time work.

    I guess I hit the phase like LSteller in that I decided I needed my liver. That being said, my situation is such that the pain relief I was getting was not enough to risk damage to my liver. I also limited Advil/Motrin b/c I felt my stomach also needed a break.

    I also felt my body had built up a tolerance.
    In return, I am seeing a Physiatrist and getting special PT. I've learned more about where my pain is coming from (and darn, they show me) and luckily working with them to reduce it since most of it is from muscular/facial tightness and limited lower back motion. After 4-weeks, I'm just starting to see a little relief.

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