British Lung Foundation
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I was looking up a suppliment sugested by one of the posters called NAC. I'm not good at links but something I read has got me absolutely jumping mad.

I know my smoking is to blame for my COPD but this little snippet has made my blood boil because I've been taking this for my Arthritis/fybromyalgia regularily for 9 years.

Surely people should be warned about this. What do you think?

Counteracting Tylenol toxicity

Regular use of the painkiller acetaminophen is associated with higher rates of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and reduced lung function. Animal experiments have suggested that acetaminophen might lower antioxidant activity in the lungs, and causes harm to the liver and kidneys.

With hundreds of people each year dying from acetaminophen overdose, thousands more with liver damage or other health problems, why is acetaminophen still available for sale without a prescription whereas regulators have tried to pull away certain nutritional supplements that are far less toxic?

Those who need to take acetaminophen for a health condition should consider Acetylcysteine, a nutrient that protects the liver from this drug's toxicity. The antidote for acetaminophen poisoning is N acetyl cysteine. Acetylcysteine is thought to work through a number of protective mechanisms. Acetylcysteine is a precursor of glutathione and increases glutathione availability. Acetylcysteine also functions as an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant and has positive inotropic effects. Acetylcysteine increases local nitric oxide concentrations, and this vasodilatory effect on microcirculatory blood flow enhances local oxygen delivery to peripheral tissues. These vasodilating effects decrease morbidity and mortality even in the setting of established liver damage.

Doctors prescribe intravenous or IV acetylcysteine to patients with liver damage due to acetaminophen (Tylenol) overdose. Acetylcysteine IV protects the liver quite well.

I'll be showing this to my docter next time I go because I'm not taking them ever again.

Casper xx


The article goes on to say NAC is beneficial for smokers as it reduces the desire to smoke and helps protect the lungs from cigarette harm and lung cancer, among several other serious illnesses.

I remember seeing a news report years ago about there being a lesser known safer alternative to paracetamol available at the chemist. that people should be taking instead.


11 Replies

Thanks for letting us know. My Husband has been taking Paracetamol for four years for a back problem.


Thanks for that, you just never know what your taking, and they hand out paracetamol like smarties for everything. Nannyb xx


The arthritic link of paracetamol :

The thing is with any prescribed medication long term your doctor would normally carry out regular blood tests and any overdosing taking place would show in the blood results. Keep that in mind when you speak with your doctor.

I've not read anything specific about paracetamol and lung health.

With any drug taken long terms there is an increased chance of side affects, paracetamol is no exception. It always pays to read the information leaflet that comes with the medication. and to check back with your doctor if side affects manifest.

Hope this helps.


Thanks for that Blakey I will mention it. The thing is, I can no longer take Tramadol due to my Antideppressant and I only took it when my pain was pretty bad to stop addiction.

I can't take Asprin or co-codamol type things either due to stomach problems, so I don't know what else there is that's safe.

I'm going to have to stop reading things like this, my anxiety levels shoot up like a rocket.

Angie. x


I think paracetamol is probably one of the safest pain killers generally, sadly with illness we do have to make choices between drugs side affect and benefits, if you have pain from an illness and there is only one drug that helps but it causes detrimental side affects what are you going to do.... its a choice we make. Remember though, if anything is causing a problem it will show in your blood test, so I would just chat with your doctor, check things are ok and perhaps there may be something else your doctor could advise. suggest. The doc may be able to recommend some relaxation class for you to attend to help cope with your anxiety levels too.

Best wishes BC


I think that is very good advice from Blakey. One problem I have is knowing what different named medications are actually aspirin or paracetemol. :-) :-) Alison


Hi Casper

Thanks for that good to know you find out a lot on this site which is great.


Hi Casper, I can understand your apprehension at taking Paracetamol, but honestly, if we take note of all that is reported we wouldn't be taking any medications.

Paracetamol is perfectly safe if used in the correct dosage (no more than 8 in a 24 hour period).

As has already been said, your GP would be taking fairly frequent blood tests and I am sure anything abnormal would show up.

I also used to take Tramadol for many years but was often topping it up with Brufen if my arthritic pains were too bad. I weened myself off Tramadol and now only use Brufen when I need it, but only for two or three days at a time.

Now, according to all warnings etc, Brufen should not be used if you have problems with lungs. My Dr knows this medication has no adverse effect on my lungs and is more than happy for me to take it (but knowing I only use it when really needed).

Have a chat with your Dr, but I really shouldn't be worried.



Hi Casper, Sorry for being ignorant, but what is the link between Acetaminophen and Paracetamol?

I had Acetylcysteine in nebulisation to make me cough up when I had a bad chest infection in 2010. The smell was horrible. It reminded me of those little street lamps workers used to put on unmade road to warm cars not to go on that patch. Now I had to inhale this! It did make me cough up terribly! It's also an antidote for overdose of Paracetamol, not for using Paracetamol regularly in fairly small doses.


god, this scared me half to death when I read it.

Thanks for all the replies, I now wont have nightmares.


Hi flibberti, I have spent hours trying to find the article this was in, with no luck - yet. But, I will keep on trying. I delete my history daily which hasn't helped.

Hi helingmic, as far as I know, the link is they are both the same painkiller.

Peeg I'm sorry if I scared you. I didn't mean to scare anyone. It got me so mad, that I just didn't stop to think it might upset someone. I feel awful. I won't react like that again to something I read - I promise.

Angie xx


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