My neice overdosed last night

It’s suspected she took between 60 and 70 tylenol 3s. She was completely limp by the time her mother got to her and took her to the ER, but obviously if I’m typing this tonight she’s made it through the night. I’m assuming the danger of the codiene is relatively slim at this point, but the tylenol levels in her liver are still being tested. (Teenager had her heart broken by a boy).

I’m hoping some of you further along in your studies than me can point me in the right direction. Are there long term effects we need to know? Am I assuming right about the codeine or is there more to worry about there.

She’s been in ICU since last night. She is currently in a lot of pain. When she is stable they will move her to psychiatrics.

Any help or information you guys might have would be appreciated.

Codeine is not your worry. It is the acetaminophen that could be her problem now. High-doses of tylenol, as determined by her serum acetaminiphen levels & not how many taken, can wreak havoc on your liver. They will monitor her closely. Tylenol overdoses are serious business and can lead to total liver failure requiring transplantation - the severity of the effects are dependent upon the peak serum levels.

I wish you the best of luck & success. Please be there to support a little girl who will be in severe need of unconditional family support. Also, her family will need to dig beyond the obvious - a boy broke her heart - because that is most likely a sign of deeper issues. I grieve for the loss of her innocence…wish her the best from OldManDave as well.

Thanks David.

I knew a lot about the acetaminophen from when my son found the medicine we thought we had hidden on top of the fridge at age two and ate through over 2k mgs of children’s tylenol before I caught him. I know they told us with his age being so young the liver would be able to metabolize it quicker, but that with older individuals it’s not that easy.

We know a lot of what is causing this. You are right, this boy was merely the straw that broke her. My husband is there now with her, and I am hoping I can at least send some flowers to her tomorrow. I’m not sure how that works with the no contact orders for the first day or two in the psychiatric ward. But cross your fingers we can find sunflowers. It will be a reminder to her of when she was 7 and all was right with the world. I am at home with the children feeling rather helpless, and knowing that since it is ICU they will not allow me in there. His only link to get in is that he works with county behavioral health services and is initiating her case for outpatient care now.

Thanks again for your input. It’s been a rather emotional day. One that makes me glad classes haven’t started up again.


I am sorry to hear about your niece - please take care of yourself and your family. I’m glad she is doing okay. God bless all of you.

It’s awful. My deepest sympathies to you and your family.

Susan, my heart goes to your family with firmest hope that she get the help she needs.

I’m confident she’ll get the help she needs. My husband has access to some of the best therapists in the county, and as a case manager he can hand pick the therapist. I’ve been told they were transferring her around 10 p.m. tonight. I’m assuming that means she’s out of the woods. Now we set to work on trudging through the issues that have brought her to this point.

Will she need repeat checks on her liver as the years go by? Or is this a once the body metabolizes it, she’s made it? Goodness, I have so much to learn.

Thank you all for your kind words and sympathies. It means a lot.


I’m glad things look better and that your husband can help out. I’m sure your support will be much appreciated by your husband, your niece and the whole family.

Take care and know that there are lots of people here with her in their thoughts and prayers.


That she is being transferred so soon is a good sign that her liver has not suffered any long-lasting damage. I have checked liver enzymes months and years after such events in patients, “just to be sure,” but have not been able to find any reference that led me to think there was a need to follow up for a long time. (Mostly patients have brought it up, concerned about long-term effects. But you are right, the liver is an amazing organ with a tremendous capacity for self-healing.)

I wish her, and all your family, well.



How is your niece doing? I hope she is doing well and being helped and supported in the kindest and most effective ways. Tell her we all care even if we haven’t met her.


Thanks for asking. She called the day she was released from the hospital to speak to my 8 year old. She hasn’t made contact since, but we’ve made it very clear she is welcome any time she is overwhelmed. We actually considered moving her in with us after hearing the things her parents said/did. We believe that her boyfriend breaking up with her simply was the straw that broke the camels back.

My husband is working with her mom and they were setting up counceling services for her through his company. (He works in behavioral health). Between that and graduation I think she will get through this. She has officially been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and her parents are finally taking the steps necessary to get her properly medicated. They had her on prozac before and her therapist said she was just depressed and being manipulative about it. I’m pretty sure prozac is contraindicated in teens for causing suicidal tendencies. She’s now on abilify which, from all I’m seeing recently, seems to really be helping kids with bipolar disorder.

I have high hopes for her. Her parents have a lot of work to do as they contributed to the situation. I just hope they do what’s necessary to fix things.

That’s terrific Susan!! MAKE SURE TO KEEP THIS UPDATED!!!

Glad to hear that steps are being made in the right direction to help this young lady. I was on Prozac when I was 15 and it was not a good thing for me, it actually made things worse. It was new then and the first of the SSRIs(selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) I think. I’m on Abilify now too and it has worked well for me. No drugs worked for at all, and trust me I went through trial after trial for several years, until the atypical antipsychotics came out(Clozaril, Risperdal, Zyprexa, Seroquel, etc). It literally took my madness to a complete halt and gave me a sense of normalcy back. I was 19 then. I do have a permanent condition from the old antipsychotics, called tardive dyskinesia(TD) which causes some tics and uncontrolled muscle movements, etc. The newer antipsychotics have a lower chance of causing TD, but since she is on Abilify I hope that her doctor keeps up with TD tests, like the AIMS test, not sure if that is the most current one though. Please keep us updated! I’m rooting for her because I have been there and I know how painful and completely frightening it can be. Mehgan

Avery, thanks for that info. I didn’t know about the possibility of TD on these newer meds. I should have assumed, but I’ll make sure her mother knows to have her tested occasionally to ward off any problems.