In School Nurse’s Room: Tylenol, Bandages and an Antidote to Heroin


A naloxone kit at Washingtonville High School in Orange County, N.Y. 

At every school in New Rochelle, just north of the Bronx, in Westchester, there is a locked medicine cabinet in the nurse’s office, stocked with things like EpiPens for allergic reactions, inhalers for asthma, Tylenol for aches and pains.

Now, those cabinets also include naloxone, an antidote for people who are overdosing on opioids like heroin. Given as an injection or a nasal spray, naloxone can quickly revive someone who is not breathing. The city keeps it in every nurse’s office, including in its elementary schools.

“We have it the same way we have defibrillators and EpiPens, the way we have oxygen in our schools,” said Dr. Adrienne Weiss-Harrison, the school district’s medical director. “Rarely do we pull a defibrillator off the wall, but it’s there if we need it, and that’s how we approach this opportunity to have naloxone.”

There is no comprehensive data on how often students overdose while at school, but it happens. Renee Rider, assistant commissioner at the New York State Education Department, said the department has heard anecdotally of two schools where a student overdosed and was saved by E.M.S. workers using naloxone

But the numbers of young people dying from overdoses around the country is striking. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2015, opioids killed 7,163 people between the ages of 15 and 29, more than 20 percent of total deaths.

And as communities across the country face this swell of death from heroin and pills, schools see the epidemic lapping at their doorsteps — killing friends, neighbors, recent graduates. Educators are increasingly deciding that they should have naloxone on hand.

New Jersey Assemblyman Vincent Mazzeo, a Democrat, in the fall sponsored a bill in the state legislature that would require all high schools to stock naloxone. In talking to parents and students in his district, Mr. Mazzeo said, “It came out that kids were coming into school on opiates, perhaps on heroin.”

Without the antidote, “If a kid comes into school and he overdoses, they don’t have the proper tools. They’d have to wait for E.M.S. first responders to come.”

Now, in Massachusetts and Kentucky, Connecticut and New Mexico, schools have the drug for emergency use. New York State has a program that provides it free to schools, with 64 districts participating so far. In Pennsylvania, nearly 250 public and charter schools have received a free supply. In Rhode Island, every middle school, junior high and high school is required to have naloxone on the premises. And scattered around the country, there are schools and districts that have bought the medication on their own.

“It is absolutely a sad sign of the times,” said Roy Reese, superintendent of Washingtonville Central School District in Orange County, N.Y. “I say this not reluctantly, but sadly: it is only a matter of time.”

Naloxone has been available for more than 40 years, and for much of that time, it was largely found in hospitals. But it has become increasingly common outside of them as the opioid epidemic has spread, and is now often found at the fingertips of law enforcement officers. In recent years, laws have changed to allow schools to keep it on hand and administer it to whoever needs it. In New York, for example, public health law was amended in 2015 to authorize school employees to administer naloxone.

Brian Connolly, principal of Washingtonville High School. The school keeps naloxone in the nurse’s office and with Mr. Connolly’s secretary. 

Through the state’s program, New York schools can now receive two doses of generic intranasal naloxone in a little nylon bag; the kits cost about $66, the State Health Department said, though schools get them for free. The drug is also available under the brand name Narcan, which is a nasal spray, and Evzio, which is an auto-injector like an EpiPen. Evzio is the most expensive, with a list price of $4,100, according to Kaléo, the company that makes it.

New York City schools are not stocking it because, officials said, they “have not seen the need.”

Many schools have chosen to stock Narcan because they can get it for free. A partnership between Narcan’s producer, Adapt Pharma, and the Clinton Foundation, offers any high school in the country two free doses of Narcan. Adapt Pharma covers the cost of the medication, and the Clinton Foundation does outreach to schools and districts. In an indication of the reach of the epidemic, President Clinton said last year that three of his friends had lost children to opioid overdoses.

An Adapt Pharma spokesman said about 1,300 units have been distributed so far to schools in 15 states, including Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Kentucky, Delaware and New Hampshire. After the free supply runs out, schools can buy more for $75 a carton, which contains two doses. The list price for that amount is $125, Adapt said.

“I don’t see this as a big land-grab for market share,” said Daniel Raymond the deputy director of policy and planning at the Harm Reduction Coalition, which provides trainings on health issues related to drug use. “Ultimately, schools are going to be a niche market compared to other purchasers of naloxone.”

Kathleen Neelon, the nursing coordinator for the Wallingford, Conn., schools, said that in recent years, there has been an alarming numbers of overdoses among young adults in the area, so the district decided to stock Narcan for its high schools. They keep it in an emergency kit, which is filled with things like quick-clotting gauze and a blood pressure cuff.

“We instituted it in December, and I hope we never have to use it” Ms. Neelon said. The school sent out a notice to parents about the decision, and there were stories on the local news, she said, but she knew of no pushback from the community. “Most people said, it’s a sad statement, but it’s better to be prepared than not.”

Some observers wonder if the reaction would be different if schools were stocking an antidote to a different drug, like crack cocaine. The crack epidemic was particularly acute among black people, while the opioid epidemic has hit white people especially hard. Much has been written about how race has impacted the nation’s reaction to the opioid epidemic.

“If there was an antidote to crack, the argument would be we should just kick these people out of school, rather than trying to deal with them in the school system,” said Mr. Raymond of the Harm Reduction Coalition. “It would be about getting tough, cracking down, kicking them off of sports teams and expelling them.”

In many school districts, educators say the severity of opioid problem has overwhelmed any concerns they might have about the optics of naloxone.

Mark Marrone, superintendent of Mainland Regional High School in southern New Jersey, said he knows of several Mainland graduates who overdosed and died in their 20s, and one who overdosed and survived after being given naloxone. If the worst happens at his school, he said, he plans to be prepared.

“Some people worry that this says, ‘Oh, there are drugs in the schools,’” Mr. Marrone said. “No, there are drugs everywhere. We want to teach kids the right way to respond.” And maybe, he continued, “you’ll save a life.”

Source:www.nytimes.com

When pregnant women take Tylenol, their children are more likely to be born with autism.


As many as 65 percent of women are said to take it during pregnancy. But Tylenol, the active ingredient of which is acetaminophen, has been linked in a new study out of Norway to causing autism in children. Expectant mothers who took the drug while pregnant to deal with headaches or mild fevers were found to be significantly more likely to bear children with behavioral problems, poor language and motor skills, and communication difficulties, compared to mothers who did not take the drug.

The study included data on 48,000 Norwegian children whose mothers participated in a survey evaluating their medication use at weeks 17 and 30 of pregnancy, as well as at six months after giving birth. The survey also included a follow-up that looked at the children’s developmental progress at three years of age, which was then compared to the mothers’ drug intake during the later stages of their pregnancies.

What was discovered was that some 4 percent of women took Tylenol for at least 28 days total during their pregnancies. And children born to this subset of mothers tended to have more functional and behavioral problems than children born to mothers who took less or no Tylenol. These same Tylenol-exposed children also tended to begin walking later than non-exposed children and had poorer communication and language skills.

“Our findings suggest that (acetaminophen) might not be as harmless as we think,” stated Ragnhild Eek Brandlistuen, lead author of the study from the University of Oslo in Norway. “Long-term use of (acetaminophen) increased the risk of behavior problems by 70 percent at age three. That is considerable.”

Johnson & Johnson, which owns the Tylenol brand, insists that the drug has an extensive track record of safety and has not been linked to premature birth and miscarriage. But the study, which was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, suggests otherwise in terms of actual childhood development. It even compared Tylenol to other common pain medications, like ibuprofen, which were not found to induce behavioral problems.

“We always recommend that consumers carefully read and follow label instructions when using any over the counter medication,” admitted J&J in a statement. “In addition, our label notes if pregnant or breast-feeding, ask a health professional before use. Consumers who have medical concerns or questions about acetaminophen should contact their health care professional.”

Developmental symptoms associated with Tylenol use categorically constitute autism

Commenting on the study, Ann Z. Bauer, a doctoral candidate at the University of Massachusetts Lowell School of Health and Environment, inferred that pregnant women may want to avoid taking Tylenol and instead switch to an alternative. Her own research also suggests that acetaminophen may trigger these and various other symptoms in children, which categorically speaking can be defined as autism.

“The developmental problems seen in this study align with symptoms of autism spectrum disorder, though the children had not been diagnosed at age three,” writes Kathryn Doyle for Reuters Health.

Other research has also found that acetaminophen depletes the body’s natural reserves of glutathione, the “master” antioxidant responsible for mitigating free radical damage, which in turn protects the body against oxidative damage, inflammation and serious injury to the brain and other vital organs. Because it is incredibly toxic to the liver, Tylenol consumption prompts the body to use large amounts of glutathione to diminish this toxicity, which leaves the body more prone to developing the symptoms commonly attributed to autism.

“Many children with ASD (autism spectrum disorders) have poor transsulfuration and methylation — they can’t make glutathione and even worse, they can’t activate many neurotransmitters in the brain,” writes Dr. Erika Krumbeck, N.D., for Montana Whole Health. “[T]his is why Tylenol could possibly trigger autism in kids who are genetically susceptible.”

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/043087_Tylenol_autism_pregnant_women.html#ixzz4TmNOIf5s

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/043087_Tylenol_autism_pregnant_women.html#ixzz4TmN7cBMS

7 Ways To Prevent and Even Reverse Heart Disease With Nutrition


7 Ways To Prevent and Even Reverse Heart Disease With Nutrition

You can reverse heart disease with nutrition, according to a growing body of scientific research.

Considering that heart disease is the #1 cause of death in the developed world, anything that can prevent cardiac mortality, or slow or even reverse the cardiovascular disease process, should be of great interest to the general public.

Sadly, millions of folks are unaware of the extensive body of biomedical literature that exists supporting the use of natural compounds for preventing and even reversing heart disease.

Instead, they spend billions buying highly toxic cholesterol-lowering pharmaceuticals with known cardiotoxicity, among 300 other proven side effects, simply because their doctor told them to do so.

So, with this in mind, let’s look at the biomedical literature itself.

Three Natural Substances that Reduce the Risk of Heart-Related Death

Omega-3 Fatty Acids: There is a robust body of research indicating that the risk of sudden cardiac death is reduced when consuming higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Going all the way back to 2002, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study titled,  “Blood levels of long-chain n-3 fatty acids and the risk of sudden death,” which found  “The n-3 fatty acids found in fish are strongly associated with a reduced risk of sudden death among men without evidence of prior cardiovascular disease.” Another 2002 study, published in the journal Circulation, found that Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation reduces total mortality and sudden death in patients who have already had a heart attack.[i] For additional research, view our dataset on the topic of Omega-3 fatty acids and the reduction of cardiac mortality.

It should be noted that the best-selling cholesterol drug class known as statins may actually reduce the effectiveness of omega-3 fats at protecting the heart. This has been offered as an explanation as to why newer research seems to show that consuming omega-3 fats does not lower the risk of cardiac mortality.

Vitamin D: Levels of this essential compound have been found to be directly associated with the risk of dying from all causes. Being in the lowest 25% percent of vitamin D levels is associated with a 26% increased rate of all-cause mortality.[ii]  It has been proposed that doubling global vitamin D levels could significantly reduce mortality.[iii] Research published in the journal Clinical Endocrinology in 2009 confirmed that lower vitamin D levels are associated with increased all-cause mortality but also that the effect is even more pronounced with cardiovascular mortality.[iv] This finding was confirmed the same year in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society, [v]and again in 2010 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.[vi]

Magnesium: In a world gone mad over taking inorganic calcium supplementation for invented diseases such as T-score defined “osteopenia” or “osteoporosis,” despite their well-known association with increased risk of cardiac mortality, magnesium’s role in protecting against heart disease cannot be overstressed. It is well-known that even the accelerated aging of the heart muscle experienced by those in long space flight is due to magnesium deficiency. In 2010, the Journal of Biomedical Sciences reported that cardiovascular risks are significantly lower in individuals who excrete higher levels of magnesium, indicating its protective role.[vii]  Another study published in the journal Atherosclerosis in 2011 found that low serum magnesium concentrations predict cardiovascular and all-cause mortality.[viii] Remember that when you are looking to ‘supplement’ your diet with magnesium go green. Chlorophyll is green because it has a magnesium atom at its center. Kale, for example, is far better a source of complex nutrition than magnesium supplements. But, failing the culinary approach, magnesium supplements can be highly effective at attaining a therapeutic and/or cardioprotective dose.

For an additional list of compounds that may reduce cardiac mortality, including cocoa, tea, wine and yes, even cholesterol itself, view our Reduce Cardiac Mortality page.

Pomegranate Heart Health Benefits

Four Natural Compounds Which May Unclog the Arteries

Pomegranate: this remarkable fruit has been found in a human clinical study to reverse the carotid artery thickness (i.e. blockage) by up to 29% within 1 year. [ix] There are a broad range of mechanisms that have been identified which may be responsible for this effect, including: 1) lowering blood pressure 2) fighting infection (plaque in arteries often contains bacteria and viruses) 3) preventing cholesterol oxidation 4) reducing inflammation.[x]

Arginine: Preclinical and clinical research indicates that this amino acid not only prevents the progression of atherosclerosis but also reverses pathologies associated with the process. (see also: Clogged Arteries and Arginine). One of the mechanisms in which it accomplishes this feat is by increasing the production of nitric oxide which is normally depressed in blood vessels where the inner lining has been damaged (endothelium) resulting in dysfunction.

Garlic: Not only has garlic been found to reduce a multitude of risk factors associated with arteriosclerosis, the thickening and hardening of the arteries, but it also significantly reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.[xi]  In vitro research has confirmed that garlic inhibits arteriosclerotic plaque formation.[xii]  Aged garlic extract has also been studied to inhibit the progression of coronary artery calcification in patients receiving statin therapy.[xiii]

And let us not forget, garlic’s benefits are extremely broad. We have identified over 150 diseases that this remarkable culinary and medicinal herb has been confirmed to be of potential value in treating and preventing and which can be viewed here: Garlic Health Benefits.

B-Complex: One of the few vitamin categories that has been confirmed in human studies to not only reduce the progression of plaque buildup in the arteries but actually reverse it is B-complex. A 2009 study published in the journal Stroke found that high dose B-complex vitamin supplementation significantly reduces the progression of early-stage subclinical atherosclerosis in healthy individuals.[xiv] More remarkably, a 2005 study published in the journal Atherosclerosisfound a B-vitamin formula decreased the carotid artery thickness in patients at risk for cerebral ischemia.[xv] Another possible explanation for these positive effects is the role B-vitamins have in reducing the production of homocysteine, an artery and otherwise blood vessel scarring amino acid.[xvi]

Additional Heart Unfriendly Things To Avoid

No discussion of preventing cardiac mortality would be complete without discussing things that need to be removed in order to reduce risk, such as:

NSAIDs: Drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen, and Tylenol, have well-known association with increased cardiac mortality. Review six studies on the topic here: NSAID Cardiotoxicity.

Statin Drugs: It is the height of irony that the very category of drugs promoted to millions globally as the standard of care for primary and secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease and cardiac mortality are actually cardiotoxic agents, linked to no less than 300 adverse health effects. Statin drugs have devastating health effects. Explore the research here: Statin Drug Health Effects.

Wheat: while this connection is rarely discussed, even by those who promote grain-free and wheat free diets, wheat has profound cardiotoxic potential, along with over 200 documented adverse health effects: Wheat Toxicity. And why wouldn’t it, when the very countries that eat the most of it have the highest rate of cardiovascular disease and heart-related deaths? For an in-depth explanation read our article: Wheat’s Cardiotoxicity: As Serious As A Heart Attack.

Finally, for additional research on the topic of heart health promoting strategies visit our Health

Tylenol Provides More Than Just Pain Relief: 7 Things You Didn’t Know About Acetaminophen


Acetaminophen, more commonly known as Tylenol, is one of the most popular over-the-counter pain medications we encounter. Popping a couple Tylenol pills when you have a headache is as routine as brushing your teeth before you go to bed. But based on recent research, acetaminophen’s short- and long-term side effects may involve more than potential liver damage. Here are seven effects of acetaminophen that researchers have studied in recent years, and which call into question the safety and efficacy of the drug.

REDUCES EMPATHY

Acetaminophen may alleviate your splitting headache, but it may also numb your emotions, according to researchers at Ohio State University. In a recent study, Baldwin Way, assistant professor of psychology at Ohio State, and his team investigated how acetaminophen could actually reduce people’s ability to feel both negative and positive feelings. When students were divided into an acetaminophen group and a placebo group, those who had taken the drug showed less empathy when rating sad short stories compared to those who hadn’t.

“If you are having an argument with your spouse and you just took acetaminophen, this research suggests you might be less understanding of what you did to hurt your spouse’s feelings,” Way said. He and his team have examined this trend for some time, and found similar results in a 2015 study. However, they still don’t completely understand the emotional or psychological mechanisms behind the drug’s ability to reduce empathy. Way hypothesizes that there’s a possibility acetaminophen blunts a part of the brain called the insula, which registers and responds to emotional pain.

acetaminophenAcetaminophen may affect our bodies in more ways than just pain relief.

KILLS HUNDREDS OF AMERICANS EVERY YEAR

Tylenol may seem like a safe drug, and for the most part it is. But long-term use of the pills, or taking one too many in a short period of time, may contribute to liver damage and even death from overdose. According to a ProPublica analysis of three sets of data, up to 980 people die each year of causes related to acetaminophen use, and over 300 die from direct acetaminophen overdose. The same report found that based on FDA data, the number of deaths caused by acetaminophen was increasing faster than those for other common pain medications like aspirin and ibuprofen. There’s a fine line between safety and risk when it comes to acetaminophen, and the recent stats prove that: taking the right dose, not more, is important.

AFFECTS YOUR BRAIN’S ABILITY TO PROCESS ERRORS

It’s only been recently that scientists have begun investigating acetaminophen’s effect on the brain and behavior. The research that showed that the drug could dull emotions became something of a trigger for other scientists to delve further into understanding exactly how it affects pathways in the brain.

As a result, earlier this year, researchers published a study that found acetaminophen actually impaired people’s ability to detect errors, hinting that not only does it blunt feelings, but it may also mess with your problem-solving ability. “It looks like acetaminophen makes it harder to recognize an error, which may have implications for cognitive control in daily life,” author of the study Dan Randles said.

MAKES YOU LESS EXISTENTIAL

This all comes back to the same notion: that acetaminophen may affect the brain in more ways than we originally thought. Researchers are aware that brain pathways managing physical pain are linked to emotional responses, and believe that acetaminophen’s subtle effects on our emotions may be related to that. In 2009, researchers found that the drug could reduce feelings of social rejection and existential distress.

“When people feel overwhelmed with uncertainty in life or distressed by a lack of purpose, what they’re feeling may actually be painful distress,” the researchers stated. “We think that Tylenol is blocking existential unease in the same way it prevents pain, because a similar neurological process is responsible for both types of distress.”

LOWERS TESTOSTERONE IN UNBORN BABIES

Generally speaking, acetaminophen is safe to take in the form of Tylenol if you’re pregnant — and taking the right dose. But recent research questions the drug’s safety when it comes to the unborn baby. For example, a 2015 study discovered that acetaminophen was linked to lower testosterone in male infant mice. Since the study was only done in mice, there’s nothing to worry about if you take occasional Tylenol pills while pregnant, but the researchers still encourage pregnant women to talk to their doctors first.

MIGHT GIVE YOUR KIDS ADHD

Another recent study found that mothers who used Tylenol to treat fevers while they were pregnant reported more ADHD-like symptoms in their children. But the researchers were unable to fully conclude whether taking Tylenol during pregnancy was to blame more than other factors for the increased risk of ADHD symptoms within some children. Instead, the researchers note that mothers who take regular doses of Tylenol — especially to reduce fevers — should be totally fine, assuming they’re living a healthy lifestyle.

DOESN’T ALWAYS WORK FOR BACK PAIN

Perhaps one of the most surprising discoveries about acetaminophen is that it’s not exactly the most effective medicine for back or neck pain. In 2014, a group of Australian researchers found that acetaminophen did nearly nothing to help treat back pain, though it did still prove useful for headaches, toothaches, and other types of pain. Another study came to a similar conclusion, noting that doctors should reconsider recommendations to use Tylenol for back pain or even osteoarthritis in certain joints, like the hip and knee. However, don’t be afraid to continue using safe doses of acetaminophen to treat pain and fever.

Tylenol can kill you; new warning admits popular painkiller causes liver damage, death


It has been a common household name in over-the-counter pain relief for more than 50 years. But the popular painkiller drug Tylenol is getting a major labeling makeover following a string of personal injury lawsuits. According to the Associated Press (AP), so many Tylenol users these days are suffering major liver damage or dying that the drug’s manufacturer, McNeil Consumer Healthcare, has decided to put a large, red warning label on the cap that informs users about the drug’s risks.

Even when taken at recommended doses, acetaminophen, the primary active ingredient in Tylenol, can cause major damage to the liver, potentially leading to liver failure and even death. In fact, acetaminophen is currently the leading cause of sudden liver failure in the U.S., as its toxic metabolites have been shown to kill liver cells. The drug is so toxic that as many as 80,000 people are rushed to the emergency room annually due to acetaminophen poisoning, and another 500-or-so end up dead from liver failure.

tylenol

These are disturbing figures that might come as a surprise to most people, especially considering that millions of Americans pop Tylenol and acetaminophen-containing drugs on a regular basis. But with more than 85 personal injury lawsuits and counting filed against the company in federal court, McNeil is feeling the heat from a drug that has long been claimed as one of the safest painkiller drugs on the market, which it clearly is not.

“The warning will make it explicitly clear that the over-the-counter drug contains acetaminophen, a pain-relieving ingredient that’s the nation’s leading cause of sudden liver failure,” writes Matthew Perrone for the AP. “The new cap is designed to grab the attention of people who don’t read warnings that already appear in the fine print on the product’s label, according to company executives.”

The new label, which will bear the phrases “CONTAINS ACETAMINOPHEN” and “ALWAYS READ THE LABEL,” is set to first appear on all bottles of Extra Strength Tylenol, which contains more than 50 percent more acetaminophen per dose than regular strength Tylenol. And in the coming months, all bottles of Tylenol, including regular strength Tylenol, will bear the new label.

NyQuil, Sudafed, Excedrin and many other common drugs also contain acetaminophen

Despite the new label, McNeil, which is owned by drug giant Johnson & Johnson (J&J), insists that Tylenol is safe when taken as directed. But what the company fails to admit is that many people are taking not only Tylenol but also other drugs that contain acetaminophen, which increases their dose of the chemical to levels that are much higher than they probably realize.

According to the AP, nearly one in four Americans, or about 78 million people, consume drug products that contain acetaminophen in a given week. Some 600 over-the-counter drug products, it turns out, contain acetaminophen. These products include other painkiller drugs like Excedrin, for instance, as well as NyQuil cold formula and Sudafed sinus pills.

Combining these and other acetaminophen-containing drugs is a major cause of acetaminophen overdose, say experts, hence the addition of the new labels. But some people who stay well within the maximum daily dose of acetaminophen, which is currently set at 4,000 milligrams (mg) per day, still fall ill or die, which suggests that perhaps any level of acetaminophen is toxic and should be avoided.

“It’s still a little bit of a puzzle,” says Dr. Anne Larson from the Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, Washington. “Is it a genetic predisposition? Are they claiming they took the right amount, but they really took more? It’s difficult to know.”

Tylenol Kills Emotions As Well As Pain, Study Reveals


For decades Tylenol has been used as a pain-killer, but new research reveals it has psychiatric side effects including dulled emotional responses to both positive and negative stimuli. 

The public is beginning to understand that many over-the-counter painkillers do more than just kill pain, but sometimes kill those taking them.

For instance, A 2013 review of 754 clinical trials published in Lancet found that NSAID use was associated with roughly double the heart failure risk. Ibuprofen, in particular, has been estimated to cause thousands to die of cardiovascular events each year, andaccording to the lead researcher of the Lancet review, equally as dangerous for long-term users as the drug Vioxx which was estimated to cause 30,000 excess heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths between 1999-2003 alone.

Popular over-the-counter painkillers include acetaminophen (Tylenol) , ibuprofen, napoxen(Alleve) and aspirin, and many pop them like candy to reduce pain and inflammation without ever looking to identify and resolve the root causes of their symptoms.

Now, a new study finds that not only does the Tylenol affect the body, but it also dulls the emotional responses of users as well.

The groundbreaking new study published in the journal Psychology Science titled, “Over-the-Counter Relief From Pains and Pleasures Alike: Acetaminophen Blunts Evaluation Sensitivity to Both Negative and Positive Stimuli“, found that:

“Participants who took acetaminophen evaluated unpleasant stimuli less negatively and pleasant stimuli less positively, compared with participants who took a placebo.”

In the study, participants were randomly assigned to take either an acute dose of 1,000 mg of acetaminophen or a placebo, both in a liquid form. As a double-blind study, neither the experimenters nor the participants were aware of which they received. After a 60-minute waiting period to allow the Tylenol to enter their brain, participants were shown pictures depicting positive and negative events to ascertain the intensity of their responses.

The researchers discussed the implications of their findings:

“Across two studies, we demonstrated that acetaminophen attenuates individuals’ evaluations and emotional reactions to negative and positive stimuli alike. These results build on recent psychological research illustrating that acetaminophen can blunt the intensity with which individuals experience negative events that originate from physical, social, or cognitive sources (DeWall et al., 2015; DeWall et al., 2010; Randles et al., 2013). Further, these findings expand on the research to date to show that acetaminophen blunts positive evaluations in like fashion.”

They noted that their research has significant implications for Tylenol’s psychotropic properties:

“That a drug purported to relieve negative evaluations of pain also reduces positive evaluations of pleasant stimuli suggests the existence of a common evaluative psychological process that influences a wide range of thoughts and behaviors. This might mean, for instance, that certain methods designed to specifically alter individuals’ reactivity to negative stimuli (e.g., treatment of phobias) could, if too broadly applied, potentially change their sensitivity to emotionally evocative stimuli more generally, including positive events (e.g., causing them to feel less joy at a wedding). It is interesting that such diminished evaluation sensitivity could also presumably cause people to feel less conflicted, indecisive, or uncomfortable when they experience ambivalence toward individuals or experiences that elicit both negative and positive reactions (e.g., Priester & Petty, 1996; Rydell & Durso, 2012).”

Clearly, this study opens up a disturbing possibility that commonly used pain-killers, work both physically and emotionally, to blunt the intensity of both physical and psychological experiences. Were these drugs safe, and not causing thousands of deaths a year, perhaps this ‘side effect’ could be considered justifiable. But considering that they do indeed have lethal side effects, it is important for consumers to know that they also may come with psychiatric ones. Considering it took the FDA 32 years after its own expert panel told the agency in 1977 that it was “obligatory” to put on the warning label of Tylenol products that it caused “severe liver damage,” we are doubtful that this information will be disseminated widely any time soon.  For more information on the dangers of Tylenol, read the recent ProPublica expose titled, “Use Only As Directed,” or review our Tylenol and NSAID databases for hundreds of articles linking these drugs to dozens of serious health problems.

If You Take Tylenol For Joint Pain, You Need To Read This


tylenol
If the pain is bad enough to send you rummaging through your medicine cabinet, you’re probably on the hunt for something that works—and fast. But a new study suggests one of the most common over-the-counter pain meds may not be the cure-all you once thought.

According to new research, published in the BMJ, acetaminophen—known to most of us as Tylenol—isn’t all that effective at relieving pain from osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis.

Because acetaminophen is one of the most popular tools for treating pain, study author Gustavo Machado, a PhD student at the George Institute for Global Health and the University of Sydney medical school in Australia, says he and his co-authors wanted to assess its safety and efficacy. And their findings are not too promising: “Our results revealed that acetaminophen provides only trivial benefits for patients with hip or knee osteoarthritis in terms of pain reduction and improvement of function and quality of life,” Machado says. The researchers also found acetaminophen to be entirely ineffective for low back pain.

hip pain
Machado and his colleagues analyzed results from 13 prior clinical trials on the effectiveness of acetaminophen and found the reductions in pain for people with hip or knee osteoarthritis were so small they wouldn’t be considered “clinically important.” Acetaminophen improved pain in these patients by an average drop of just 4 points or less on a scale of 0 to 100. On the other hand, the researchers write, previous studies show that a regular strength and flexibility exercise routines can make a big difference when it comes to pain, compared to more sedentary folks. One study found exercise resulted in an average drop of 2.3 points on a 0 to 10 pain scale, nearly 5 times the impact of acetaminophen in the current study.

Before you toss your pill bottles, it’s worth discussing the risks and benefits with your doctor, Machado says, as every patient is different. And because this review only examined low back pain and hip or knee osteoarthritis, he can’t say whether people using acetaminophen for other painful conditions are reaping any benefits.

However, should you choose another pain-relief route, you do have effective and safe options to quiet barking hip and knee joints, Machado says. “Land- and water-based exercises, strength training, weight management, and oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (like ibuprofen) have also been shown to be effective for patients with lower limb osteoarthritis.” To help speed back pain recovery, he recommends getting some regular physical activity and avoiding bed rest. (Try these 4 exercises to ease back pain.)

One place to start is with this knee-protecting move: Using a set of light ankle weights, sit on a chair with your feet flat on the floor and your palms on the sides of the chair for balance. Slowly lift one foot until the leg is straight. Hold for a couple of seconds, then lower it back to the floor. After you’ve done 10-12, repeat on the other leg.

The Limits of Tylenol for Pain Relief


Low back and neck pain (spinal pain), along with osteoarthritis of the hip and knee, are leading causes of disability worldwide. It’s estimated that more than 9 percent of the global population suffers from spinal pain while another 4 percent have osteoarthritis.1

Doctors often recommend drugs as the go-to treatment for such pain, with acetaminophen (Tylenol) being the first-line pain reliever typically recommended. Such advice is not without controversy, however.

There can be responsible and appropriate use of painkillers to treat debilitating pain, but there are also significant dangers when these drugs are overprescribed and overused.

Research has shown, for instance, that acetaminophen may only be mildly effective compared to placebo, while regular doses of up to 4,000 milligrams a day of the drug, which might be needed for optimal therapeutic benefits, could pose a risk of serious side effects.2

Now the use of Tylenol for pain relief is being called into question again after a systematic review of randomized trials found it works no better than a placebo.3

Tylenol Ineffective for Treating Back Pain, Quadruples the Risk of Liver Damage

A new review of 13 studies found that widespread recommendations for treating back-pain and osteoarthritis patients with acetaminophen need to be reconsidered. The study found “high-quality evidence” that acetaminophen is ineffective for treating low back pain and had only a small effect in patients with osteoarthritis.

That small effect was “not likely to be meaningful for clinicians or patients,” the researchers wrote. In addition, acetaminophen use increases the risk of having an abnormal result on liver function tests by nearly fourfold.4 According to researchers:

We found that paracetamol [acetaminophen] is ineffective on both pain and disability outcomes for low back pain in the immediate and short term and is not clinically superior to placebo on both pain and disability outcomes for osteoarthritis.

…Our results therefore provide an argument to reconsider the endorsement of paracetamol in clinical practice guidelines for low back pain and hip or knee osteoarthritis.”

Acetaminophen Can be Deadly

Given the fact that acetaminophen is one of the most widely used drugs in the world, you might be surprised to learn that taking just a bit too much on a regular basis, or taking it in combination with alcohol, can have rather significant health risks.

Acetaminophen overdose is the leading cause for calls to Poison Control Centers across the US—more than 100,000 instances per year—and acetaminophen poisoning is responsible for nearly half of all acute liver failure cases in the US.5

Acetaminophen overdoses are also responsible for more than 150 deaths each year in the US.6 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.

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.7

When taken all at once, just under four times the maximum daily dose can be lethal. Previous research has also shown that taking just a little more than the recommended dose over the course of several days or weeks (referred to as “staggered overdosing”) can be more risky than taking one large overdose.8

In 2009, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) finally added a warning to acetaminophen-containing drugs alerting consumers to its potential for causing liver damage—a move recommended by an expert panel all the way back in 1977!

Then, in 2013, the agency warned that acetaminophen may cause three seriousskin reactions, two of which typically require hospitalization and can be fatal. Last year, the FDA issued a statement urging doctors and other health professionals to stop prescribing and dispensing prescription combination drug products that contain more than 325 milligrams (mg) of acetaminophen per tablet, capsule, or other dosage unit.9

One of the problems with relying on medications to treat pain, especially chronic pain, is that the side effects can sometimes be worse than the condition you’re trying to treat. This is even sometimes the case with seemingly “safe” medications like acetaminophen. Your risk of severe liver injury and/or death related to acetaminophen increases if you:

  • Take more than one regular strength (325 mg) acetaminophen when combined with a narcotic analgesic like codeine or hydrocodone
  • Take more than the prescribed dose of an acetaminophen-containing product in a 24-hour period
  • Take more than one acetaminophen-containing product at the same time. Make sure to read the list of ingredients on any other over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription drug you take in combination.
  • Drink alcohol while taking an acetaminophen product. Research suggests that acetaminophen significantly increases your risk of kidneydysfunction if taken with alcohol—even if the amount of alcohol is small.10Combining alcohol with acetaminophen was found to raise the risk of kidney damage by 123 percent, compared to taking either of them individually. Besides alcoholics, young adults are particularly at risk as they’re more likely to consume both.11

Past Research Also Found Acetaminophen Doesn’t Work for Back Pain

Research published in 2014 also found that taking acetaminophen for back pain is no more effective than taking a placebo.12 As reported by Fortune Magazine:13

“Conducted at hundreds of clinics in Sydney, Australia, the study tracked 1,652 individuals with lower back pain for four weeks. They were given either paracetamol (what acetaminophen is known as overseas), or a placebo.

In the end, researchers found there was almost no difference in the number of days required to recover between the two groups; the median time to recovery was 17 days in the regular paracetamol group, 17 days in the as-needed paracetamol group, and 16 days in the placebo group.”

According to lead author Dr. Christopher Williams, “The results suggest we need to reconsider the universal recommendation to provide paracetamol [acetaminophen] as a first-line treatment for low-back pain…”

Unfortunately, back pain is also one of the leading causes for opioid addiction, which now claims the lives of 17,000 Americans each year. Prescription opioids have also become the latest “gateway drugs” to illicit drug use. It’s important to realize that prescription medications like hydrocodone and oxycodone are opioid derivatives—just like heroin.

One in Four Chronic Pain Patients Misusing Opioids, One in 10 Addicted

In an accompanying editorial to the featured acetaminophen study, Christian Mallen and Elaine Hay of Keele University in England wrote that removing acetaminophen from existing treatment guidelines for back pain and arthritis might lead to anincrease in the use of other powerful drugs, particularly addictive narcotics.14

Yet, misuse and addiction to such drugs has already reached epidemic levels. A new study published in the journal PAIN, for instance, found that one in four chronic pain patients may be misusing narcotic painkillers, and one in 10 may have formed an addiction.15 Dr. Andrew Kolodny, the chief medical officer at Phoenix House, a drug treatment provider, told Forbes:16

“Some people who become addicted develop the disease from misuse, but people can just as easily become addicted taking pills exactly prescribed … Once addicted, misuse (i.e. taking more pills than prescribed or crushing and snorting pills) becomes more common, but again, keep in mind that patients can still be addicted without misuse.”

Opioids Often Cause More Harm Than Good for Chronic Pain

In 2014, the American Academy of Neurology updated their position statement on opioids, highlighting the problems of overuse. Over 100,000 people have died, directly or indirectly, from prescribed opioids in the US since the late 1990s. In the highest-risk group (those between the ages of 35 and 54), deaths from opioids exceed deaths from both firearms and motor vehicle accidents.

Pain is one of the most common health complaints in the US, but record numbers of Americans are, sadly, becoming drug addicts in an attempt to live pain-free. According to 2010 data, there were enough narcotic painkillers being prescribed in the US to medicate every single adult, around the clock, for a month.17 By 2012, a whopping 259 million prescriptions for opioids and other narcotic painkillers were written in the US, which equates to 82.5 prescriptions for every 100 Americans.18

The Academy of Neurology report notes that while such drugs may offer short-term relief for non-cancer chronic pain such as back pain, headaches, migraines and fibromyalgia, they cause more harm than good over time:19

“Whereas there is evidence for significant short-term pain relief, there is no substantial evidence for maintenance of pain relief or improved function over long periods of time without incurring serious risk of overdose, dependence, or addiction.”

Research has shown, for instance, that more than half of people who use opioids for three months will still be using them five years later.20 Meanwhile, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that long-term use of opioids actually does little to relieve chronic pain.21 In some cases, they may even make chronic pain worse. As TIME reported:22

“…the opioids can backfire in excessive doses; in the same way that neurons become over-sensitized to pain and hyper-reactive, high doses of opioids could prime some nerves to respond more intensely to pain signals, rather than helping them to modulate their reaction.”

The American Academy of Neurology is now calling for clear limits to be set on opioid use, especially for non-cancer pain. Certain states already have warnings in place that require physicians to seek other opinions if a person takes daily opioid doses of 80-120 mg without getting relief. Still, the pills shouldn’t be viewed as a go-to treatment for chronic pain in the first place, as lifestyle changes, cognitive behavioral therapy, and other strategies are often more effective and far safer.

Medical Marijuana Offers Pain Relief While Driving Down Opioid Overdose Deaths

In states where medical marijuana is legal, overdose deaths from opioids like morphine, oxycodone and heroin decreased by an average of 20 percent after one year, 25 percent after two years and up to 33 percent by years five and six.23 As the researchers explained:24

Opioid analgesic overdose mortality continues to rise in the United States, driven by increases in prescribing for chronic pain. Because chronic pain is a major indication for medical cannabis, laws that establish access to medical cannabis may change overdose mortality related to opioid analgesics in states that have enacted them… Medical cannabis laws are associated with significantly lower state-level opioid overdose mortality rates.”

There is a wealth of research linking marijuana with pain relief. In one study, just three puffs of marijuana a day for five days helped those with chronic nerve pain to relieve pain and sleep better.25 If you’re in pain, especially if it’s severe, I realize that you may be desperate for relief. Prescription and over-the-counter painkillers do have their place in medicine, especially for short-term relief of severe pain (such as after surgery or serious injury). In certain cases, such drugs can be a great benefit when used cautiously and correctly with appropriate medical supervision.

However, it’s also quite clear that these drugs are being overprescribed, and can easily lead you into addiction and other, more illicit, drug use, as well as cause other serious side effects. The overreliance on them as a first line of defense for pain is a major part of this problem. So if you are dealing with severe or chronic pain, my first suggestion would be to see a pain specialist who is familiar with alternative treatments and the underlying causes of pain. Ideally, it is best to find a knowledgeable practitioner who can help you attack the pain from multiple angles, giving you both relief and healing.

As mentioned, cannabidiol (CBD) in marijuana is an excellent painkiller and has been used successfully to treat a variety of pain disorders. If your pain is severe enough, it might even be worth moving to one of the many states where medical cannabis is legal, as it can be a real life changer. In states where medicinal marijuana is legal, such as California, you can join a collective, which is a legal entity consisting of a group of patients that can grow and share cannabis medicines with each other.

By signing up as a member, you gain the right to grow and share your medicine. I do, however, still recommend working with a health care practitioner who can guide you on the most effective dosage and form of use. While critics of medical marijuana (which, by the way, are in the minority, as 85-95 percent of Americans are in favor of medical cannabis, and 58-59 percent are in favor of legalizing marijuana) point out its risks, they pale in comparison to those of opioids. While some do become addicted, or at least dependent, on marijuana, it is far less addictive than prescription opioids.

19 Non-Drug Solutions for Pain Relief

I strongly recommend exhausting other options before you resort to an opioid pain reliever or even acetaminophen. The health risks associated with these drugs are great, and addiction to opioids is a very real concern. For instance, exercises, such as strengthening exercises, have been found to decrease pain more than short-term use of acetaminophen for hip or knee osteoarthritis.26 And as Dr. Houman Danesh, director of integrative pain management at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, told WebMD:27

“This [featured] study does suggest that other methods — such as acupuncture, smoking cessation, weight loss, physical activity and proper ergonomics at our work stations — may have an equal role to [acetaminophen] in treating back pain.”

Below I list 19 non-drug alternatives for the treatment of pain. These options provide excellent pain relief without any of the health hazards that prescription (and even over-the-counter) painkillers carry. This list is in no way meant to represent the only approaches you can use. They are, rather, some of the best strategies that I know of. I do understand there are times when pain is so severe that a prescription drug may be necessary. Even in those instances, the options that follow may be used in addition to such drugs, and may allow you to at least reduce your dosage. If you are in pain that is bearable, please try these first, before resorting to prescription painkillers of any kind.

    1. Eliminate or radically reduce most grains and sugars from your diet. Avoiding grains and sugars will lower your insulin and leptin levels and decrease insulin and leptin resistance, which is one of the most important reasons why inflammatory prostaglandins are produced. That is why stopping sugar and sweets is so important to controlling your pain and other types of chronic illnesses.
    2. Take a high-quality, animal-based omega-3 fat. My personal favorite is krill oil. Omega-3 fats are precursors to mediators of inflammation called prostaglandins. (In fact, that is how anti-inflammatory painkillers work, they manipulate prostaglandins.)
    3. Optimize your production of vitamin D by getting regular, appropriate sun exposure, which will work through a variety of different mechanisms to reduce your pain.
    4. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is a drug-free approach for pain management of all kinds. EFT borrows from the principles of acupuncture, in that it helps you balance out your subtle energy system. It helps resolve underlying, often subconscious, negative emotions that may be exacerbating your physical pain. By stimulating (tapping) well-established acupuncture points with your fingertips, you rebalance your energy system, which tends to dissipate pain.
    5. K-Laser Class 4 Laser Therapy. If you suffer pain from an injury, arthritis, or other inflammation-based pain, I’d strongly encourage you to try out K-Laser therapy. It can be an excellent choice for many painful conditions, including acute injuries. By addressing the underlying cause of the pain, you will no longer need to rely on painkillers. K-Laser is a class 4 infrared laser therapy treatment that helps reduce pain, reduce inflammation, and enhance tissue healing—both in hard and soft tissues, including muscles, ligaments, or even bones.

The infrared wavelengths used in the K-Laser allow for targeting specific areas of your body, and can penetrate deeply into the body to reach areas such as your spine and hip. For more information about this groundbreaking technology, and how it can help heal chronic pain, please listen to my previous interview with Dr. Harrington.

  1. Chiropractic. Many studies have confirmed that chiropractic management is much safer and less expensive than allopathic medical treatments, especially when used for pain, such as low-back pain. Qualified chiropractic, osteopathic, and naturopathic physicians are reliable, as they have received extensive training in the management of musculoskeletal disorders during their course of graduate healthcare training, which lasts between four to six years. These health experts have comprehensive training in musculoskeletal management.
  2. Acupuncture can also effectively treat many kinds of pain. Research has discovered a “clear and robust” effect of acupuncture in the treatment of: back, neck, and shoulder pain, osteoarthritis, and headaches.
  3. Physical and massage therapy has been shown to be as good as surgery for painful conditions such as torn cartilage and arthritis.
  4. Astaxanthin is one of the most effective fat-soluble antioxidants known. It has very potent anti-inflammatory properties and in many cases works far more effectively than anti-inflammatory drugs. Higher doses are typically required and you may need 8 mg or more per day to achieve this benefit.
  5. Ginger: This herb has potent anti-inflammatory activity and offers pain relief and stomach-settling properties. Fresh ginger works well steeped in boiling water as a tea or grated into vegetable juice.
  6. Curcumin: In a study of osteoarthritis patients, those who added 200 mg of curcumin a day to their treatment plan had reduced pain and increased mobility. A past study also found that a turmeric extract composed of curcuminoids blocked inflammatory pathways, effectively preventing the overproduction of a protein that triggers swelling and pain.28
  7. Boswellia: Also known as boswellin or “Indian frankincense,” this herb contains specific active anti-inflammatory ingredients. This is one of my personal favorites as I have seen it work well with many rheumatoid arthritis patients.
  8. Bromelain: This enzyme, found in pineapples, is a natural anti-inflammatory. It can be taken in supplement form but eating fresh pineapple, including some of the bromelain-rich stem, may also be helpful.
  9. Cetyl Myristoleate (CMO): This oil, found in fish and dairy butter, acts as a “joint lubricant” and an anti-inflammatory. I have used this for myself to relieve ganglion cysts and a mild annoying carpal tunnel syndrome that pops up when I type too much on non-ergonomic keyboards. I used a topical preparation for this.
  10. Evening Primrose, Black Currant and Borage Oils: These contain the essential fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA), which is useful for treating arthritic pain.
  11. Cayenne Cream: Also called capsaicin cream, this spice comes from dried hot peppers. It alleviates pain by depleting the body’s supply of substance P, a chemical component of nerve cells that transmits pain signals to your brain.
  12. Medical cannabis has a long history as a natural analgesic, as mentioned.29 At present, more than 20 US states have legalized cannabis for medical purposes. Its medicinal qualities are due to high amounts (about 10-20 percent) of cannabidiol (CBD), medicinal terpenes, and flavanoids. As discussed in this previous post, varieties of cannabis exist that are very low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—the psychoactive component of marijuana that makes you feel “stoned”—and high in medicinal CBD. The Journal of Pain,30 a publication by the American Pain Society, has a long list of studies on the pain-relieving effects of cannabis.
  13. Methods such as yoga, Foundation Training, acupuncture, meditation, hot and cold packs, and other mind-body techniques can also result in astonishing pain relief without any drugs.
  14. Grounding, or walking barefoot on the earth, may also provide a certain measure of pain relief by combating inflammation.

 

Eating Sesame Seeds Superior to Tylenol for Knee Arthritis.


A remarkable study published in theInternational Journal of Rheumatic Diseasesconfirms that food is not only medicine, but sometimes superior to it Medical researchers working out of Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran, sought to investigate theeffects of sesame seed supplementation on clinical signs and symptoms in patients with knee osteoarthritis.[i]

Knee osteoarthritis is a form of degenerative joint disease or degenerative arthritis localized in the knee, and causes a variety of symptoms including pain, swelling, abnormal bone growth (which can result in bone spurs), disfigured cartilage and loss of motion, and it affects as many as 12.1% of adults aged 60+, according to the CDC.[ii]  Standard therapy involves the use of NSAID drugs, many of which have been linked both to internal bleeding and significantly increased risk of cardiac mortality, which is why the researchers sought out to look for “a complementary treatment to reduce complications and costs.”

sesame_drug_comparison

The study took fifty patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, and divided them into two 25-patient groups: a sesame group, receiving 40 grams/day of powdered sesame seeds, and a standard drug therapy group, receiving two 500 mg doses of Tylenol twice a day along with 500 mg of glucosamine once daily. After two months of treatment, 22 patients in the sesame intervention group and 23 patients in the control group completed the study.

Table 1

Considering that treatment was comprised of little over an ounce and one half of sesame seeds, the results were truly remarkable. As presented in Table 1 above, there was a significant difference in pain intensity between the two groups after treatment, with the sesame group seeing the largest drop from 9.5 before treatment to 3.5 after treatment, and the control group seeing a more modest drop from 9 before treatment to 7 after treatment. Additional measurements were taken using both the Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) Questionnaire and the Timed Up and Go (TUG) Test. Both tests revealed a similar degree of positive change in both treatment and control groups, when compared to baseline. [See table 2 and table 3 below].

KOOS score sesame

Table 2 [KOOS]

TUG score

Table 3 [TUG]

Taken together, sesame was the clear winner. Not only was this food therapy superior in reducing the intensity of pain, but it was at least equal in effectiveness to Tylenol and glucosamine in both the KOOS and TUG tests. This, of course, was accomplished without the notorious side effectsassociated with Tylenol; to the contrary, sesame seed has a wide range of side benefits, which we covered recently in our article on sesame’s health benefits.

So, how much is 40 grams of sesame seed? A tablespoon of sesame seeds is approximately 9 grams. So, approximately 4 tablespoons will get you to what the study found to be a ‘clinical dose.’ Also, the researchers powdered the sesame seeds in order to enhance digestion. Remember, it is best to do this fresh with a mortar and pestle (first choice) or coffee grinder, also making sure that your seeds are raw, certified organic, and vetted to have not undergone gamma irradiation.

To truly appreciate the significance of this study, take a look at the growing body of toxicological research indicating that the unintended, adverse health effects of Tylenol (acetaminophen) far outweigh its purported benefits. We recently featured articles on the fact that even only occasional use of Tylenol may raise a child’s asthma risk 540%, and that it may be time for the FDA to remove it from the market.

For additional research on natural and/or integrative interventions for knee osteoarthritis visit our research page on the topic: knee osteoarthritis.

Article Resources

[i] Bina Eftekhar Sadat, Mahdieh Khadem Haghighian, Beitollah Alipoor, Aida Malek Mahdavi, Mohammad Asghari Jafarabadi, Abdolvahab Moghaddam. Effects of sesame seed supplementation on clinical signs and symptoms in patients with knee osteoarthritis.

[ii] CDC.gov, Osteoarthritis statistics

Tylenol and Panadol Prove No Better Than Placebo at Helping Back Pain .


Acetaminophen isn’t curing your aches after all

Two-thirds of adults experience back pain sometime during their lives, and most take acetaminophen, found in brands like Tylenol and Panadol, for relief. But new research has found that those medicines are no more helpful than swallowing a sugar pill.

Paracetamol Reportedly Not Effective Drug For Back Pain

A study published this week in a medical journal called The Lancet split 1,643 people with acute low-back pain into three groups, each given two boxes. One group received two boxes of 500-miligram acetaminophen tablets, with instructions to use the second box “as needed’; the second group got a box of acetaminophen and an as-needed box of placebos; and the third group received two boxes of placebos. Researchers told the participants to take six tablets per day from the regular box and up to two from the as-needed box.

Over the course of three months, the researchers found no difference among the three groups. Subjects showed no variation in terms of pain, recovery time, function, disability, symptom change, sleep or quality of life. About 75% of the participants were happy with their results, whether or not they had received the placebos.