Acetaminophen, the most common drug used in the treatment of pain and fever worldwide, is a major cause of acute liver failure in the US. Although generally considered safe when used in manufacturer recommended doses, acetaminophen at excessive doses can result in fatal liver injury. The current diagnosis of acetaminophen toxicity is the measurement of blood levels of acetaminophen within 24 hours of the overdose. Published findings from Arkansas Children’s Research Institute’s Acetaminophen Toxicity Research Laboratory show that acetaminophen adducts are present for up to 12 days following large overdoses in children and adults broadening the diagnostic window. Under funds from a Small Business Technology Transfer award by NIH, Acetaminophen Toxicity Laboratory investigators are developing approaches for the measurement of adducts that could be widely used in hospitals.
Contact: Laura James, M.D. (JamesLauraP@uams.edu)