Thursday, January 27, 2011

Don't Fear the Fever; Fear the Fever Reducer

Update! A new study published in JAMA Pediatrics found that if mothers used acetaminophen during pregnancy, their children were more likely to have ADHD symptoms or be diagnosed with severe ADHD.

Did you know that the practice of administering Tylenol before or after vaccinations is not supported by scientific evidence? If you choose vaccines for your child, read this:

“Giving babies Tylenol to prevent fever when they get childhood vaccinations may backfire and make the shots a little less effective, surprising new research suggests.
It is the first major study to tie reduced immunity to the use of fever-lowering medicines. Although the effect was small and the vast majority of kids still got enough protection from vaccines, the results make "a compelling case" against routinely giving Tylenol right after vaccination, say doctors from the CDC.”

Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is known to deplete glutathione, (this is why an overdose will kill you. It exhausts the body's supply of glutathione, and the liver can no longer excrete it). Glutathione is the body's "master antioxidant" and is essential for eliminating toxins, including mercury, from the body. Studies are showing that many autistic kids are deficient in glutathione, and also have abnormalities with sulfation.  Gultathione is important to the immune system. It helps break down toxins, especially heavy metals, and excrete them from the body.

Learn about Glutathione:
"Glutathione is also critical in helping your immune system do its job of fighting infections and preventing cancer. That's why studies show that it can help in the treatment of AIDS.(i)Glutathione is also the most critical and integral part of your detoxification system. All the toxins stick onto glutathione, which then carries them into the bile and the stool -- and out of your body."

Tylenol (Acetaminophen) depletes Glutathione:
"The danger is that there isn't much difference between a safe, effective dose, and a toxic dose. Just a doubling of the maximum daily dose can be enough to kill, warns Dr. Anne Larson of the University of Washington Medical Center.”

"An overdose of acetaminophen can cause depletion of glutathione and land a
person in the hospital. "Acetaminophen toxicity is the number one cause of
hospital admission for liver failure in the United States," he said. "

"Most experts believe Tylenol causes its damage by depleting glutathione.
If you keep your glutathione levels up, the damage from the Tylenol may be
largely preventable. Even conventional medicine recognizes this, as anyone
who overdoses on Tylenol receives large doses of NAC in the emergency room."

"Glutathione detoxifies acetaminophen, but once glutathione is depleted there can be significant cell death in the liver [THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF MEDICINE; Flanagan,RJ; 91(Suppl C):131S-139S (1991)]. AIDS victims can suffer severe liver and kidney damage by using acetaminophen or alcohol, which severely deplete glutatione [PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES (USA); Herzenberg,LA; 94(5):1967-1972 (1997)]. "

"Glutathione, another antioxidant, also prevents cataracts. In fact, lenses with cataracts contain one-fifteenth (1/15th) of the normal amount of glutathione and one-tenth (1/10th) the normal level of vitamin C. Abel notes that metabolizing and excreting acetaminophen
(Tylenol) depletes glutathione. "Tylenol is probably not the best long-term pain reliever for anyone concerned with eye health."

This article is one of the best articles I have seen on Glutathione. It talks about the numerous things that Glutathione is involved with. It also talks about Acetaminophen & Glutathione.

Authoritative study showing that acetaminophen depletes glutathione:
 "Acetaminophen overdose is a leading cause of drug related acute liver failure in the United States. Glutathione, a tripeptide antioxidant protects cells against oxidative damage from reactive oxygen species and plays a crucial role in the detoxification of xenobiotics, including acetaminophen."

Many parents wrongly think they need to give Tylenol to reduce fever and prevent febrile seizures. There are a lot of myths surrounding febrile seizures. Please read this:

If a child has a fever most parents will use fever-lowering drugs such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to make the child more comfortable, although there are no studies that prove that this will reduce the risk of a seizure. “

This study shows that giving acetaminophen is risky for febrile children:

"Conclusions In febrile children, treatment with repeated supratherapeutic doses of paracetamol is associated with reduced antioxidant status and erythrocyte glutathione concentrations. These significant changes may indicate an increased risk for hepatotoxicity and liver damage."

What is the connection between Glutathione and Thimerosal Neurotoxicity?

//Thimerosal neurotoxicity is associated with glutathione depletion: protection with glutathione precursors.

Thimerosol is an antiseptic containing 49.5% ethyl mercury that has been used for years as a preservative in many infant vaccines and in flu vaccines. Environmental methyl mercury has been shown to be highly neurotoxic, especially to the developing brain. Because mercury has a high affinity for thiol (sulfhydryl (-SH)) groups, the thiol-containing antioxidant, glutathione (GSH), provides the major intracellular defense against mercury-induced neurotoxicity. Cultured neuroblastoma cells were found to have lower levels of GSH and increased sensitivity to Thimerosal toxicity compared to glioblastoma cells that have higher basal levels of intracellular GSH. Thimerosal-induced cytotoxicity was associated with depletion of intracellular GSH in both cell lines.
Although Thimerosal has been recently removed from most children's vaccines, it is still present in flu vaccines given to pregnant women, the elderly, and to children in developing countries.\\

You can learn more about Thimerosal and which vaccines contain it here:

Acetaminophen is less effective at reducing fever.
//CONCLUSIONS: In children, single doses of ibuprofen (4-10 mg/kg) and acetaminophen (7-15 mg/kg) have similar efficacy for relieving moderate to severe pain, and similar safety as analgesics or antipyretics. Ibuprofen (5-10 mg/kg) was a more effective antipyretic than acetaminophen (10-15 mg/kg) at 2, 4, and 6 hours posttreatment.//

Ibuprofen and acetaminophen have similar complication rates.
//The risk of hospitalization with any diagnosis in the 4 weeks after enrollment was 1.4% (95% confidence interval, 1.3%-1.6%) and did not vary by antipyretic assignment. No children were hospitalized for acute renal failure, anaphylaxis, or Reye's syndrome. Three children were hospitalized with gastrointestinal bleeding; all 3 had been assigned to treatment with ibuprofen. The risk of hospitalization with gastrointestinal bleeding among children randomized to ibuprofen was 17 per 100 000 (95% confidence interval, 3.5-49 per 100 000) but was not significantly greater than the risk among children given acetaminophen. The risk of hospitalization with asthma, bronchiolitis, or vomiting/gastritis did not differ by antipyretic assignment.//

Overdosing is common and easy to do (accidental).
//From 1998 to 2003, acetaminophen was the leading cause of acute liver failure in the United States, with 48% of acetaminophen-related cases (131 of 275) associated with accidental overdose…Individuals with increased susceptibility may experience toxic effects at lower acetaminophen doses than others—rare cases of acute liver injury have been linked to amounts lower than 2.5 grams per day.10 More research is needed to understand whether ethnicity, genetics, nutrition, or other factors might play a role in
making some individuals more prone to liver injury. //

Liver damage can occur even when taking less than the recommended amount.
//A study by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) showed that about 20% of people with acetaminophen-related liver toxicity had taken less than the recommended daily amount. For other people, a dangerous dose is not much higher than the recommended dose—that is, the “window” between a therapeutic dose and a toxic dose is smaller for acetaminophen than it is for many other drugs. Some experts also believe that taking acetaminophen for several days in a row may cause a dangerous build-up of the drug in the body.//

Acetaminophen is linked to asthma in children.
// The researchers found that children who were given acetaminophen for fever during the first year of life had a 46 percent increased risk of developing asthma when they were 6 to 7 years old.

In addition, children who were given high doses of acetaminophen within the past year had a more than three times increased risk of asthma. Those who were given medium doses had a 61 percent increased risk of developing the condition, Beasley's team reported.

Acetaminophen use was also associated with an increased risk of severe asthma of about 22 percent to 38 percent, the researchers found.

Moreover, acetaminophen increased the risk of eczema by 18 percent and rhinoconjunctivitis by 32 percent. Among children given high doses of acetaminophen, the risk for eczema almost doubled, and the risk for rhinoconjunctivitis increased by almost threefold, Beasley's group found.//

Using Tylenol during pregnancy increases asthma in children. Many of the medications that are given to women during and after birth contain acetaminophen (Tylox, Darvocet, Lorcet, Lortab, etc).

“A growing number of studies show that regular use of acetaminophen (paracetamol) carries a dose-dependent risk of developing allergies in general and asthma in particular and of worsening other respiratory diseases and lung function. The most disturbing finding has come from the population-based Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, in which use of paracetamol-but not aspirin-in late pregnancy was positively associated with asthma when comparing children whose mothers took paracetamol "sometimes" and "most days/daily" with those whose mothers never took it. Assuming a causal relationship, the percentage of asthma attributable to paracetamol use in late pregnancy was 7%. In this review, we present data from the most important studies published since 2000. Although the pathophysiology remains unclear, the available data justify a warning to the general public that the uncritical use of over-the-counter acetaminophen can lead to the development of allergies and asthma, even in utero.”

More asthma info:

“The prevalence of asthma has increased worldwide. The reasons for this rise remain unclear. Various studies have reported an association between acetaminophen, a widely used analgesic, and diagnosed asthma. In a prospective cohort study, the rate of newly diagnosed asthma was 63% higher among frequent acetaminophen users than nonusers in multivariate analyses. Studies of patients with asthma suggest that acetaminophen challenge can precipitate a decline in FEV(1) > 15% among sensitive individuals. This article reviews the existing literature and evaluates the epidemiologic and pathophysiologic evidence underlying a possible link between acetaminophen and asthma.”

More on asthma:

//INTRODUCTION: A link between regular paracetamol intake and asthma in adults has recently been postulated. Detoxification of paracetamol may deplete stores of glutathione, which is one of the major antioxidants present in the lung. A reduced source of glutathione in the lung may lead to increased oxidative damage to the epithelium and hence increased frequency and severity of asthma attacks in susceptible individuals. CONCLUSIONS: Chronic ingestion of maximum therapeutic doses of paracetamol depletes serum antioxidant capacity in healthy volunteers in as few as 14 days, possibly by a reduction in glutathione. This may have implications for analgesic use in asthmatic individuals. Further studies are now required to assess the impact of paracetamol on antioxidant defences in the lung.\\

 Ear infections respond to GSH treatment:

“BACKGROUND: The inflammatory cells documented in chronic otitis media with effusion (OME) spontaneously release oxidants which can induce middle ear (ME) epithelial cell damage. Glutathione (GSH), a major extracellular antioxidant in humans, plays a central role in antioxidant defense. PURPOSE: To evaluate the effects of GSH treatment on chronic otitis media with effusion (OME). SUBJECTS AND INTERVENTION: Sixty children with chronic OME were enrolled, 30 of whom were randomly assigned to the treatment group and 30 to the placebo group. Patients in the treatment group received 600 mg glutathione in 4 mL saline per day subdivided into five 2-minute administrations given by nasal aerosol every 3 or 4 waking hours for 2 weeks. Patients in the control group received 4 mL saline per day following the same procedure as for GSH treatment. RESULTS: Three months after therapy improvement had occurred in 66.6% of patients in the GSH-treated group and in 8% of the control subjects (P <.01). CONCLUSION: On the basis of these results, GSH treatment could be considered for the nonsurgical management of chronic OME.”

Notice that these studies show Tylenol causes mitochondrial damage:

“Since the first mitochondrial dysfunction was described in the 1960s, the medicine has advanced in its understanding the role mitochondria play in health and disease. Damage to mitochondria is now understood to play a role in the pathogenesis of a wide range of seemingly unrelated disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disease, dementia, Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, migraine headaches, strokes, neuropathic pain, Parkinson's disease, ataxia, transient ischemic attack, cardiomyopathy, coronary artery disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, retinitis pigmentosa, diabetes, hepatitis C, and primary biliary cirrhosis. Medications have now emerged as a major cause of mitochondrial damage, which may explain many adverse effects. All classes of psychotropic drugs have been documented to damage mitochondria, as have stain medications, analgesics such as acetaminophen, and many others.”

Study Shows Link to Mitochondrial Dysfunction in Children With Autism
According to a study published in Molecular Psychiatry by Dr. Daniel Rossignol and Dr. Richard Frye (University of Texas), children with autism are more likely to have abnormal function of a key part of the cell called the mitochondria.”

Here is an article that sheds light on Tylenol’s association with autism and mitochondrial disease. Keep in mind the glutathione depleting properties of Tylenol.

// We found very clearly that the glutathione levels were low in our mitochondrial disease patients," says Gregory Enns, a pediatrician and geneticist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, Calif. and coauthor of the study published this week in the online edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. By measuring blood levels of glutathione, researchers may be able to assess the severity of a patient's disease and gauge how well therapies are working, Enns notes.

Mitochondrial diseases stem from gene defects in the cells' mitochondria, which convert energy from food into energy the body can use. These genetic errors lead to the production of dysfunctional proteins that spew toxins into the cells. "It's a little bit like a car engine; if it doesn't work well, it produces smoke," Enns says. In mitochondrial diseases, that "smoke" consists of free radicals—unstable molecules such as hydrogen peroxide that damage the cell's DNA, proteins, and lipids (fats), preventing them from functioning properly and causing them to die prematurely.

 Among the most famous cases of mitochondrial disease: nine-year-old Hannah Poling, whose mitochondrial disorder caused autism-like symptoms that were exacerbated by routine childhood vaccinations.

This study suggests that glutathione blood levels might serve as a good indicator of how large a toll these diseases are taking on the body, which could come in handy in drug trials, Enns says. "Before we can give drugs to patients in a clinical trial," he says, "we need to establish the biomarkers [such as glutathione] to see if treatments are working.\\

What is happening on a cellular level?
"...Professor Peter Piper of the University of Sheffield claims that sodium benzoate by itself can damage and inactivate vital parts of DNA in a cell's mitochondria. Mitochondria consume oxygen to generate ATP, the body's energy currency. If they are damaged due to disease, the cell malfunctions and may enter apoptosis. There are many illnesses now tied to DNA damage, including Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases, but above all, the aging process in general.[9][10][11][12][13]"

Remember Hannah Poling, the little girl who developed autism from vaccines, (at least according to the federal government)? It was noted that she had an "underlying mitochondrial disorder" which pre-disposed her to developing autism from her vaccines. (If you google Hannah Poling and mitochodrial disorder, you'll come up with tons of stuff.)

So the question at hand is: does the administration of Tylenol before, during and after vaccination interfere with mitochondrial function? Does it interfere with immunological and neurological function? Does this trigger Autistic symptoms?

//Since sulfur intake is low, and its oxidation is slow in many autistic children, sulfate is low, and PST activity is slower than it would be otherwise. It would seem that this sub optimality of sulphotransferase activity is a function of low plasma sulfate levels rather than of deficits in the actual enzyme. Cellular level enzymatic effects of mercury's binding with proteins include blockage of sulfur oxidation processes and of the neurotransmitter amino acids. These have been found to be significant factors in many
autistics. Thus, mercury, and any foodstuff that requires or uses up sulfate ions during its metabolism, will make the situation worse. These foodstuffs include foods that supply neurotransmitters, like bananas (serotonin), chocolate (phenylethylamine), and cheese (tyramine), apple juice (and one mother reports her child drank a quart a day!), citrus fruit juices, and paracetamol (Tylenol™). For instance, one or two minutes after a dose of Tylenol™, the entire supply of sulfate in the liver is gone!"

I've also learned that autism rates are much higher in those with Down Syndrome, possibly because they are already deficient in glutathione due to their genetic makeup.

Overdose is common in part because acetaminophen is in such a variety of products. The following is a list of some of the drugs that contain acetaminophen:

Actifed Plus

Anacin (all products)

Benadryl (Plus and Plus Nighttime)

Comtrex (all products)

Dristan (all products except Room Vaporizer)

Drixoral Plus

Excedrin (all products)

Nyquil Nighttime Cold Medicine

Pamprin (all products)

Panadol, Children's and Infant's


Sinutab (all products)

Sominex Pain Relief Formula 1 Tablets

TheraFlu (all products)

Tylenol (all products)


This site is biased, but presents some interesting history on how Tylenol has been marketed and in turn, how aspirin has been smeared, merely as a marketing campaign.


  1. I want to send this to someone, but the websites you quote are showing for me as needing to be C&P'd, instead of links. Can you fix this, and turn them into clickable links? It would be so much better!
    Thank you for putting this together!

  2. thank you so much for your research and post...I linked to this post in a recent post I did about Acetaminophen and mitochondrial disease :

    thanks again!

  3. Great info!! Here is the paper just published by Dr. William Shaw on the connection between Acetaminophen and Autism/ADHD/Asthma.

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