The Tylenol Scare

Too many Americans gobble acetaminophen tablets like so many M&Ms. What are the risks?

For many of us suffering occasional aches and pains, reaching for the Tylenol has become almost a reflex. The best-selling over-the-counter pain reliever and its generic copycats are staples in American medicine cabinets. The active ingredient in Tylenol is acetaminophen, a versatile molecule that can cool a fever, soothe a teething baby and dull the sharp joint pains of osteoarthritis.

Now, however, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is asking some tough questions about acetaminophen. It's a drug that can do serious damage to the liver when used outside prescribed guidelines, and it's not at all clear that the warnings...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!