If you take an overdose of acetaminophen, symptoms may occur within the first 24 hours. These symptoms may include nausea or vomiting, sweating, loss of appetite, and diarrhea. In the next 24 to 48 hours, the early symptoms start to disappear, but liver damage starts to occur. Because of these potentially serious effects, early treatment after an overdose is important.
Acetaminophen (Tylenol®) is a commonly used non-prescription medication, and acetaminophen overdose is one of the most common poisonings worldwide. The effects of an overdose will vary, depending on a number of factors, including the acetaminophen dosage and whether it was taken with any other medicines, alcohol, or street drugs.
An overdose can occur as the result of a single intentional or accidental one-time overdose. However, chronically taking an acetaminophen dosage that is too high can also result in overdose. Acetaminophen is a common ingredient in a wide variety of non-prescription and prescription products, and accidental overdose is often the result of taking multiple products that contain acetaminophen (see Tylenol Poisoning for more information).
Even though acetaminophen is extremely safe when taken appropriately, it can be dangerous if you take too much. If you happen to overdose on acetaminophen, seek immediate medical attention.