Skip to main content

An Old Drug with a New Purpose: Cardiovascular Actions of Acetaminophen (Paracetamol)

Buy Article:

$55.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

For over 50 years, acetaminophen (paracetamol) has been a staple in industrialized and non-industrialized countries for the treatment of pain and fever. Although its precise mechanisms of action are not known, the drug generates dose-dependent reduction in circulating prostaglandins, inhibits myeloperoxidase and the oxidation of lipoproteins, and appears to confer cardioprotection by blocking the effects of hydroxyl radical, peroxynitrite, and hydrogen peroxide. The drug might inhibit cyclooxygenase, although its ultimate target(s) is (are) still unclear. Sadly, since most investigations of acetaminophen have focused on its analgesic/antipyretic properties and hepatotoxicity, the effects of the drug on other mammalian organ systems, including the heart and circulation, have been ignored. Recently, work in our laboratory has shown acetaminophen to have a protective role in the injured mammalian myocardium. The cardioprotection was first observed in isolated, perfused guinea pig hearts subjected to ischemia-reperfusion injury. Hearts pretreated with acetaminophen recovered greater ventricular function and exhibited improved myofibrillar ultrastructure when compared to vehicle-treated hearts. More recent in vitro investigations have suggested protective roles for acetaminophen in barbiturate-induced arrhythmogenesis and myocardial hypoxia-reoxygenation injury. We have also extended our work to the in vivo arena. There, we found that acetaminophen reduced infarct size in dogs exposed to 60 minutes regional myocardial ischemia and 180 minutes reperfusion. We invite and encourage readers of this review to repeat/duplicate our experiments. Such work is needed to either challenge or support our findings. Further, more clinically-relevant work depends on these basic and related translational experiments.
No References
No Citations
No Supplementary Data
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: antiarrhythmic; cardioprotective; cyclooxygenase; hypoxia-reoxygenation; ischemia-reperfusion; matrix metalloproteinase; mitochondrial permeability transition pore; myocardial infarction

Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Division of Life Sciences, Rutgers University, 604 Allison Road, Piscataway, New Jersey 08854, USA.

Publication date: 2005-10-01

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more