Whether you are sipping from a flowery glass or gulping straight by means of the bottle, alcohol could make it tempting to maintain ingesting extra. The rationale: In your first few glasses, alcohol causes dopamine—a feel-good hormone—to flood the mind’s reward middle, eliciting a pleasurable buzz you possibly can solely sustain by having one other drink.
And we all know what that results in: a hangover the subsequent morning. You is perhaps tempted to take Tylenol to calm your signs. In any case, it’s essentially the most available over-the-counter painkiller. However provided that your liver processes Tylenol and it’s already working time beyond regulation due to the alcohol, medical doctors warn in opposition to taking Tylenol (also referred to as acetaminophen or paracetamol) for a hangover as a result of it may be arduous in your liver, particularly at excessive doses or with frequent use.
A 2021 examine printed within the Journal of Theoretical Biology means that taking Tylenol with alcohol could enhance your threat of acetaminophen-induced acute liver damage—a situation that happens when alcohol and Tylenol trigger a build-up of poisons within the liver.
“Alcohol consumption causes further stress in your liver, so combining the 2 in a short while can probably result in liver injury in the long term,” says Stacia Woodcock, PharmD, a pharmacist and scientific editor on the GoodRx. “Higher choices are aspirin or ibuprofen, which get processed by means of the kidneys.”
What occurs whenever you take Tylenol for a hangover?
In response to Tanya Dall, MD, emergency drugs specialist with Windfall Mission Hospital in Orange County, California, your physique first processes acetaminophen by absorbing it by means of the small gut. As soon as within the bloodstream, the liver enzymes metabolize it into smaller molecules—most of which will not do you any hurt.
“Nonetheless, certainly one of these substances, N-acetyl-p-benzoquinone imine (NAPQI), is a dangerous chemical. Fortunately, your liver takes care of it by means of a molecule known as glutathione—making it innocent and flushing it out whenever you pee,” says Dr. Woodcock.
However when you take an excessive amount of Tylenol, or in case your liver is already wired by processing alcohol, “it will possibly’t make sufficient glutathione to maintain up with the excesses, and poisonous NAPQI can construct up within the liver,” she says.
For an individual with a wholesome liver, the utmost day by day advisable acetaminophen allowance is 3000 milligrams. Including extra alcohol to the image, nonetheless, makes it simpler to set off liver toxicity.
Medical consultants warn that Tylenol toxicity is the commonest reason behind acute liver failure within the U.S., accounting for 56,000 emergency room visits, 2,600 hospitalizations, and 500 deaths per yr.
Tylenol toxicity is the commonest reason behind acute liver failure within the U.S.
“By ingesting an excessive amount of alcohol, your liver is already working overdrive, growing the manufacturing of poisonous and damaging substances. And long-term alcohol use can weaken your liver and make it much less in a position to course of Tylenol safely,” Dr. Woodcock explains.
What are the attainable issues?
The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention notes that utilizing Tylenol collectively or inside a few hours of ingesting alcohol could cause problem respiration, liver failure, apnea, or liver injury.
“Early indicators of liver injury embody feeling nauseous, drained, and fewer hungry than regular. At this level, when you keep away from substances which might be arduous on the liver, your liver cells could recuperate rapidly, and these signs will often resolve on their very own,” says Dr. Woodcock.
Your probabilities of experiencing lasting liver injury depend upon how a lot alcohol and Tylenol you devour, and the way usually you mix them. Dr. Dall and Dr. Woodcock agree that when you’ve had a drink or two and brought a regular dose of Tylenol, there’s in all probability no want to fret. However when you’ve consumed a number of drinks, or taken extra Tylenol than advisable, then it is advisable take note of how you feel.
“Search pressing medical consideration when you’re experiencing any crimson flags, akin to bleeding and bruising, darkish urine, weak point, confusion, stomach ache or swelling and yellowing of the eyes or pores and skin,” Dr. Woodcock provides.
And, when you’re feeling nauseated, “resist the urge to set off your gag reflex and induce vomiting—this could result in choking,” Dr. Dall warns.
What remedies can work as an alternative?
Should you’re on the lookout for a hangover remedy that will not enhance your threat of liver injury, you’ve gotten a few choices.
Dr. Woodcock says hydration is vital, since dehydration contributes to many frequent hangover signs. Sipping on water or an electrolyte-rich drink like coconut water or Gatorade may also help you’re feeling higher rapidly.
“For abdomen points, medicines like Pepcid or Zantac could assist. NSAIDs, like ibuprofen or naproxen, are higher choices for ache and headache since they do not have an effect on the liver. However they are often arduous on the abdomen, so taking them with meals is a good suggestion, and you must solely take them if different treatments have but to work,” she says.
And bear in mind, prevention is vital. “Consuming alcohol modestly and responsibly is the very best method to defending your physique from hurt,” Dr. Woodcock says.