You should always consult with a doctor prior to adding or changing meds; this includes any supplements or OTC drugs too.
With that said, Tylenol (acetaminophen) is the most widely recommended analgesic for HCV patients; assuming it’s taken per package directions. If you have advanced liver disease (cirrhosis), some doctors will reduce the recommended dosage accordingly. Other drugs such as aspirin and NSAID’s tend to affect platelets and the blood’s ability to clot; this is an issue for more advanced disease by itself.
Narcotic analgesics are also usually liver friendly too, but they come with their own obvious issues.
In doses above the recommended amount, Tylenol (acetaminophen) is highly hepatotoxic. However, there’s no evidence that it is cumulative; that it builds up in serum. This is why it’s the most frequently recommended drug for minor pain when a patient has liver disease:
Jorge L. Herrera M.D.
Division of Gastroenterology
University of South Alabama College of Medicine
“Acetaminophen use: Contrary to popular belief, acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol®) is perfectly safe for patients with cirrhosis as long as it is used cautiously. Any person who drinks alcohol regularly should not consume any acetaminophen. For patients with early cirrhosis (CPT class A or B), the use of acetaminophen is safe as long as the recommended dose is not exceeded (1,000 mg per dose, repeated no more often than every 6 hours). Patients with more advanced cirrhosis should take only ½ of the recommended dose. In fact, for patients with cirrhosis, acetaminophen, when used as described, is the preferred medication for the treatment of pain.”
From an anecdotal standpoint, I had significant fibrosis; I treated for several years with a large research and transplant center here, and they *insisted* I use Tylenol for minor aches and pains.
Every patient has their own needs; be sure to check with your doctor before altering medication regimens.
Bill is correct. Tylenol in the recommended doses or adjusted for advanced liver disease is the safest analgesic for those of us with HCV. I have cirrhosis and can take up to 2000 mg of Tylenol per day as needed. When I strained my back last fall, I was allowed 2 Norflex per day along with 800 mg. Motrin 3x per day, but this was for a VERY short period of time.
Do consult your Dr. to see what is advised for your personal situation regarding brand, dosing and frequency.
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