Acetaminophen-Induced Acute Kidney Failure
Acetaminophen is a commonly used medicine for pain-relief. During cold and flu season, it is common to resort to pain-relief medicines to relieve headaches, and ache and pain symptoms associated with a cold or flu as there is no cure. However, the therapeutic range for acetaminophen is 10-30 mg/l, which is small and very easy to go over. During cold and flu season, it is important to monitor the amount of paracetamol entering your body as acetaminophen is more dangerous than suspected. At therapeutic levels, acetaminophen does not produce any adverse effects, however, long-term treatment, prolonged use, and taking a few more than the recommended dose can be severely damaging and fatal. Accidental acetaminophen overdose took the lives of 1,500 people in the U.S between 2001 and 2010. The Randox Acetaminophen assay is used to determine the concentration levels of acetaminophen in the blood to determine if an overdose has taken place.
It is commonly recognised that acetaminophen overdose causes hepatotoxicity, but it is less commonly recognised that it can also cause nephrotoxicity in less than 2% of patients. Nephrotoxicity is toxicity of the kidneys and is often associated with a reduced amount of glutathione which is important for normal cellular metabolism in the kidneys. The Randox Glutathione Reductase assay is required for the regeneration of reduced glutathione. Glutathione is often discussed in association with the Randox Glutathione Peroxidase, which requires reduced glutathione for activation. Both Glutathione reagents are unique to Randox.
Acute renal failure due to acetaminophen manifests as acute tubular necrosis, which can occur alone or in combination with hepatic necrosis. Nephrotoxicity can also occur when the therapeutic levels of acetaminophen are not exceeded. This most commonly occurs when acetaminophen is taken in combination with alcohol. Upon testing acetaminophen levels and the results fall within the therapeutic range, the Randox Ethanol assay can test alcohol levels to determine if a combination of alcohol and acetaminophen caused nephrotoxicity. Renal impairment may be more common than previously suspected as acute renal failure occurs in 10-40% of patients with severe hepatic necrosis. Upon testing acetaminophen to determine toxicity, Randox also offer the following renal tests to test for nephrotoxicity:
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