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Acetaminophen and Leukemia


C. Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D.


I have long said that acetaminophen is the greatest placebo ever created. I now retract that, as placebo should not create harm. Acetaminophen not only is a very poor pain reliever, it is the major cause of liver failure-far surpassing alcoholism. Now we know that it also increases the risk of lymphoid leukemia, while good old aspirin decreases risk of leukemia and some other cancers. Buffered aspirin should always be considered instead of rot liver acetaminophen. Recognize of course that even buffered aspirin can cause gastrointestinal bleeding.


See comment in PubMed Commons below


Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2011 Aug;20(8):1741-50. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-11-0411. Epub 2011 Jun 29.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug and acetaminophen use and risk of adult myeloid leukemia.

Ross JA, Blair CK, Cerhan JR, Soler JT, Hirsch BA, Roesler MA, Higgins RR, Nguyen PL




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