Tylenol Not So Effective in Fighting Flu
It may be the go-to medication for millions as the symptoms of flu begin to do their damage, but Tylenol, at least according to one recent study, may be no more effective than a placebo in fighting the flu.
Researchers in New Zealand looked at 80 adults with flu symptoms. Each was given either 1,000 milligrams of acetaminophen (Tylenol) or a placebo four times a day for five days. Twenty-two people in the placebo group and 24 in the Tylenol group had laboratory-confirmed flu virus infections.
The results: The team detected no differences between the two groups in severity of symptoms, including mean daily temperature, maximum temperature, viral load, adherence to the medicine or time before the symptoms disappeared.
“I would say that there’s no clear evidence that it helps, and none that it’s harmful,” said a co-author of the study, Dr. Irene Braithwaite of the Medical Research Institute of New Zealand. “But in animal models, it has been shown to be harmful. If you’re going to use it, use with care.”
She emphasized that the bet option for fighting flu is to get a flu shot.