Blood thinners are a special kind of medication that is used to enhance a smooth flow of blood through veins and arteries. They lower the probability of the formation of blood clots and slow down the growth of existing ones. As such, they can be used to treat various types of heart defects or diseases that can raise the risk of suffering life-threatening clots.
Using blood thinners is, however, associated with some risks such as causing you to bleed more when you have a cut. Despite this fact, the lifesaving benefits of blood thinners outweigh the possible dangers significantly, making them crucial in medicine.
What are the main types of blood thinners?
There are two main kinds of blood thinners. The first, known as anticoagulants, keeps your blood from becoming solid clumps of cells that will stick together. The majority of anticoagulants come in pill form, while the more powerful types are given through an IV or as a shot.
The second type of blood thinners is antiplatelets, which target the platelets in blood preventing them from sticking to the blood vessel walls or to each other. They are known to be weaker than anticoagulants and are meant for people with a higher risk for future clots, as opposed to treating existing clots.
Tylenol: Is it a blood thinner?
Also known by the brand name Acetaminophen, Tylenol is an over-the-counter (OTC) fever reducer and pain reliever that is used with other pain relievers such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen sodium.
Tylenol, unlike aspirin, is not considered a blood thinner even though some people take it for the same reason. Taking into consideration that Tylenol does not have effects on blood and blood clotting, it’s seen as a safe and effective pain reducer especially for individuals who are already taking blood thinners or are at a higher risk for bleeding.
Doctors also recommend the use of Tylenol as a pain reliever for expectant women, taking into consideration that other pain relievers such as ibuprofen are known to have a considerable risk for pregnancy complications as well as birth defects.
What are the main drawbacks of using Tylenol?
Even though Tylenol (Acetaminophen) is not associated with blood-thinning effects and is considered to be a safe pain reliever, you will experience some negative effects when you use too much of it. The main negative effect of using too much Tylenol is liver damage.
When you use acetaminophen, your body will break it down into a compound referred to as N-acetyl-p-benzoquinone. It’s the liver’s job to break down this compound further after which it can be released from the body. However, if there is too much of the compound present in your body, the liver may not be able to break it down, resulting in damage to the liver tissue.
Another major drawback of using Tylenol is that it won’t offer blood-thinning benefits if you are after using a safe pain reliever with blood-thinning properties.
Tylenol is the most recommended pain reliever in some circumstances but not others. Of course, it’s always recommended that you use the medication as directed by your doctor for the best results. Before using Tylenol, you should let your doctor know if you’re allergic to it or have had any liver-related problems.
Also, be sure to contact your doctor if you ever experience any of the following signs as a result of using Tylenol:
- heavier-than-normal menstrual flow
- Prolonged bleeding from cuts
- Unexpected vaginal bleeding
- Bleeding gums after brushing
- Red or dark urine or stool