By Dr Mercola
1. Prescriptions for opioid painkillers have risen by 300 percent over the past 10 years, now killing 17,000 Americans annually.
2. Excessive use of over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers like acetaminophen is equally troublesome. Acetaminophen causes more than 80,000 emergency room visits each year due to accidental overdosing.
3. A major problem is that while acetaminophen is considered safe when taken as recommended, the margin between a safe dose and a potentially lethal one is very small.
4. Taking just 25 percent more than the daily recommended dose—the equivalent of just two extra strength pills per day—can cause liver damage after just a couple of weeks of daily use.
5. When taken all at once, just under four times the maximum daily dose of acetaminophen can be lethal.