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Addiction & Recovery Message Board

Addiction & Recovery Board Index

In my profession, I've seen a number of people die and I will tell you that, hands down, liver failure is the worst way to go. It's slow, its horribly debilitating, and in many cases, it was self-induced from drinking and drugs.

Assuming you have a healthy liver, aren't drinking or doing other things which hurt your liver, and are of average size, 4 grams of tylenol is the maximum you can take in 24 hours before you start damaging your liver. So, when you have a your hands on those 10/550s that you mentioned, if you take 8 of them in a day, you are at 4400mg (4.4 grams) of tylenol - you are getting into dangerous territory.

If you add in drinking on top of that, you are definitely hurting your liver. And, if you happen to take them all clustered together (like, say 8 pills in an 8-hour time frame), you've really hit your liver with a punch that is the equivalent of 12 grams for a short period of time. In that case, you are doing serious and probably permanent damage.

Heres the deal. You need to stop the vicodin and drinking together, now. If you are too addicted to get off the vicodin and you aren't at a place where you are even ready to seek help, then you need to at least track how much tylenol you are taking when you take those pills. Hydrocodone doesn't kill your liver, it's the tylenol that does. So, opt for the pills with less tylenol. That is, until you get to a point where you can quit altogether, which you should do ASAP.

Also, remember that a lot of over the counter medications have tylenol (acetomenophen) in them too - but you may not know it unless you read the label. And also remember that many, many different drugs affect the liver, not just alcohol and tylenol....and they all use the limited resources that your liver has to keep your body non-toxic. When one uses up these resources, its much easier to OD on something that will kill your liver.

Most importantly, you should go and get your liver checked out. Talk to your doctor and be honest with him about how much you are taking and how much you are drinking.

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