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How can you tell the difference between food poisoning or possible Acetaminophen poisoning?


The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Answered by

Dr. Divakara. P

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At October 31, 2014
Reviewed AtFebruary 6, 2024

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

How can you tell the difference between food poisoning or possible Acetaminophen poisoning? I ask this because I used the internet to look up for my symptoms. And it is two days since when my symptoms started. I took 4 tablets of Tylenol rapid release and an hour before that I had tablet Tylenol Cold for my cold which I have had for the past 3 days. Now I have a very sour stomach for the past two days. Yesterday I was vomiting and having frequent bowel movements. I have only had water and antacid since yesterday around 10 PM. Today I had a medium rare prime rib with steamed veggies and a salad, then when I was back home, I had a cup of egg nog.

Answered by Dr. Divakara. P


Welcome to icliniq.com.

  • The active ingredient in tablet tylenol is Paracetamol also known as Acetaminophen.
  • So I will tell that you do not have Paracetamol poisoning and it is food poisoning.
  • Also the number of tablets needed to cause Paracetamol poisoning is less in your case.
  • But still I would like to know the dose of Tylenol tablets which you had taken.
  • You may require antibiotic therapy if vomiting or loose motion persists.

Hope you find this information useful. For any clarifications feel free to ask a general medicine physician online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/general-medicine-physician

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Divakara. P
Dr. Divakara. P

Internal Medicine

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