Long painkiller use, Tylenol – acetaminophen, may harm kidneys

Long-term, habitual use of the painkiller acetaminophen, sold under the brand name Tylenol, may cause a decline in kidney function in some people, a study of middle-aged women said.

Overall, one in 10 of the 1,700 women studied over 11 years experienced a 30 percent decline in their kidney’s filtration function.

Acetaminophen, which is sold as Tylenol by a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson and also marketed generically, was alone among commonly used painkillers to show an association with kidney impairment.

“Our findings should not prompt people to discontinue using acetaminophen,” said study author Gary Curhan of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

“Instead, this study suggests a need for the medical community to consider alternative pain therapies that may help patients avoid long-term dependence on these drugs until we clearly understand the potential side effects.

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