Researchers believe their findings could shape additional research into therapies to counteract the harm brought on by excessive doses of the drug – the leading cause of acute liver failure in the western world.
Scientists at the University of Edinburgh analyzed the effect of the painkiller on liver cells in mouse and human tissue.
Their tests demonstrated by harming the critical structural connections between adjacent cells in the organ that in particular settings, the liver can be damaged by paracetamol.
When these cell wall connections – known as tight junctions – are disrupted, the liver tissue structure is damaged, the cells are unable to operate properly and they may die.
Scientists said this form of cell damage was understood to occur in liver ailments including hepatitis, cirrhosis, and cancer, but has not yet been linked to paracetamol toxicity until now.
Researchers say identify possible targets for new drugs, and they will seek to analyze how toxicity in the liver changes.
Scientists have discovered taking too much paracetamol can damage tissues in your liver and cause cells to die
Dr Leonard Nelson, of the university’s Hepatology Laboratory and Institute for Bioengineering, who co -led the study, said: “Paracetamol is the world’s pain remedy that was favored – it's economical and considered effective and safe at healing dose.
“However, drug-induced liver damage remains a challenge and also an important clinical issue for developing safer drugs.
“Our findings reinforce the importance of vigilance in paracetamol may help find how harm brought on by its use that is undesirable might be prevented, he said at health forums