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Painkiller overuse spikes during cold and flu season

NEW YORK: A growing number of people are taking high doses of the painkiller acetaminophen, and many take so much during cold and flu season that they run the risk of liver and kidney damage, two studies suggest. Throughout the year, 6.3 percent of acetaminophen users take more than the maximum recommended daily dose at least one day during weeks when they use the drug, one study of 14,481 U.S. adults found. During cold and flu season, however, people were 24 percent more likely to exceed the maximum recommended dose…