Paracetamol (Tylenol) has a cumulative effect – heck, why didn’t I know that?

March 6, 2014 at 1:28 pm | Posted in arthrits, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, joint pai, fibromyalgia, Me, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) | 4 Comments
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I woke up this morning and said to hubby, ‘Yay! Good news! I didn’t need to take any paracetamol last night and I don’t need them this morning either! Isn’t that great.’ He agreed it was great. (He’s nice like that.) 11 am today and I was STILL feeling fine – hurrah, I thought, this dratted flare is finally over. Then, out of the blue, bam, agonising stabbing pains in my ankle. Then the light dawned – oh dear – I bet paracetamol has a cumulative effect.

I’m a bit of an idiot really. I KNEW it had a cumulative effect from the point of view of overdosing, and if has that then it’s likely to have a cumulative effect for pain too I suppose! Feeling a bit silly now!

Anyway, there’s a fascinating article here by Dr Chris More, a fibromyalgia sufferer her/himself (doesn’t specify gender on site, so far as I can see!) Actually, I’ve had a wee browse around the site and I think it’s a great resource for anyone with pain issues, not just fibromyalgia sufferers, so I will be adding it to my blogroll too!

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  1. I guess the good news is that you actually felt well enough (for a while) to NOT have to take the Tylenol. As much as all of us hate taking the drugs, I suppose there are reasons why we’re supposed to take them as scheduled. Thanks for the link to the great article. I love discussions like this one that explain things so the average person can absorb the information. This made so much sense. Sending hugs across the pond!

  2. Yes, that was DEFINITELY good news, Carla – I couldn’t agree more! The only thing is, I’ve never had it given to me as ‘scheduled’. In fact it’s a non-prescription drug so I just buy it over the counter when I need it, and no doctor has ever explained to me (before ‘Dr Chris’ on the net) that if I didn’t take it regularly it wouldn’t work as well. Oh well, I know now!

  3. I think a lot of painkillers work better for the sort of pain we have if you take it regularly. Paracetamol does zilch for me normally and I’ve never needed a “regular” (UK version of regular) dose for chronic pain.
    There was uproar when ibuprofen was put OTC. It doesn’t work as well unless you take a flooding dose first and then you top up every 4 hours for best results. The flooding dose is 800mg, repeat doses are 400mg so the prescribed tablets are bright pink 400mg ones. OTC – 200mg white tablets. So you need a whole pack for the first day – and the recommended dose is200-400mg. The upshot being that if you take 200mg it almost certainly won’t work – and that is bad advertising…

  4. Thanks for the link. I can’t do NSAIDS and now only take Tylenol as needed.This information will help me. I’m on a plant based diet and it is really helping my inflammation. It took 4 months before Dr McDougall’s diet helped. I have RA and love reading your blog. You have a lightness about you that really helps me stay positive!


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