Safety Data Sheet Interpretation – Hazards of Acetaminophen in Antipyretic

Hazards of Acetaminophen in Antipyretic - Safety Data Sheet Interpretation

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1. Safety Data Sheet and what does GHS mean?

A Safety Data Sheet (SDS) is a comprehensive document that provides information on the chemical composition, physical and chemical properties, flammability, toxicity, environmental hazards, as well as safe use, storage, emergency response to spills, and transportation regulations required by law for hazardous chemical production or sales companies to provide to their customers. It is also one of the information carriers required by the EU REACH regulations.

In European countries, Safety Data Sheet / Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is also known as Safety Technical Data Sheet/SDS. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) uses the term SDS, while the United States, Canada, Australia, and many Asian countries use the term MSDS. China has also developed relevant standards to conform to the ISO standard with the GB/T16483-2008 “Chemical Safety Technical Data Sheet Content and Item Order,” which stipulates that MSDS must have 16 sections of content.

The Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS) is a system used to classify and label chemicals based on their hazard classification. If a chemical substance or mixture is classified as hazardous under the GHS classification rules, a GHS label should be created. Many countries and regions around the world have adopted the GHS classification system and have given their own local classification and labeling rules. In a typical GHS label, it usually includes product identification, signal words, hazard statements, precautionary statements, supplier information, and emergency contact information. Depending on local standards, additional information may be required on the label in different countries or regions.

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2. Safety Data Sheet Interpretation of the Hazards of Acetaminophen in Antipyretics

Recently, according to the relevant national epidemic prevention policies, following the “Twenty Latest Epidemic Prevention Policies,” the “New Ten Measures for Epidemic Prevention and Control” have been issued. After three years of hard exploration, we are moving towards the direction of scientific and accurate epidemic prevention and control. Starting from December 2022, the country gradually lifted the control measures for the COVID-19 epidemic. Under this trend, many people have been infected with COVID-19, so medicine has become a topic of discussion and a key item for purchase.

Most people infected with COVID-19 will have a fever, and antipyretics have become the mainstream drugs for alleviating COVID-19 symptoms. Antipyretics mainly include antipyretic and analgesic drugs, commonly used ones include ibuprofen suspension, acetaminophen drops, acetaminophen suppositories, and aminopyrine.

Using acetaminophen as an example, let’s introduce some health hazards associated with this antipyretic medication.

Acetaminophen is a common antipyretic drug, and representative drugs on the market currently include Tylenol and (pediatric) Panadol. Its antipyretic effect is proportional to the dose, and overdose can cause liver toxicity, so it is not recommended for infants under 3 months old to use.

When using it, one should understand the relevant knowledge of acetaminophen and avoid unreasonable use, which can lead to drug poisoning and affect physical health.

Today, we will analyze the hazards of chemical products from the perspective of the Global Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). Based on public databases from the European Chemicals Agency and other international sources, the hazard assessments are as follows:

H341: Suspected of causing genetic defects.

H370: Causes damage to organs (liver, kidneys, central nervous system, heart, digestive system).

H371: May cause damage to organs (respiratory system, testes).

H372: Causes damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure (liver, kidneys, blood system).

H373: May cause damage to organs through prolonged or repeated exposure (thyroid gland).

It can be seen that if these chemicals are used repeatedly over a long period of time, they may cause certain harm to organs such as the liver and kidneys, and there is suspicion of causing genetic defects.

According to medical advice:

Although acetaminophen has good antipyretic and analgesic effects, long-term use can also cause harm to the human body. If the dosage is exceeded, it will cause damage to the patient’s liver and kidneys. After applying 10-100g, the patient may experience nausea and vomiting, and may cause confusion and abnormal liver and kidney function. Furthermore, when the patient’s serum alanine aminotransferase increases due to excessive medication, they may experience symptoms such as jaundice and hypoglycemia after three days. Some patients may also experience cerebral edema.

The unreasonable use of acetaminophen can also harm our digestive system, causing discomfort such as nausea and abdominal pain. When serious, it can lead to acute liver failure. According to research, many cases of acute liver failure are caused by excessive use of acetaminophen. In addition, many pregnant women and infants may experience an increase in asthma incidence due to the inappropriate dosage of acetaminophen.

According to the survey, when the blood drug concentration of the human body reaches 200 micrometers per milliliter, most people will experience liver damage within 12 hours, and a small number of more serious cases will cause acute renal failure, with a mortality rate of 6%. Therefore, the rational use of acetaminophen is very important for both patients and doctors. Patients must use it cautiously under the guidance of a doctor.

Finally, it should be noted that this article is not a guide on how to use drugs, but rather an increase in some related harmful knowledge about acetaminophen. If infected with COVID-19, one should follow the guidance of a doctor or the drug instructions for medication and not use drugs blindly. Overdosing can cause certain harm to the human body.

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