The complaint is the government hasn’t been downsizing, but here’s one example where they are. They are downsizing the amount of acetaminophen allowed in prescription pain relievers to reduce inadvertent overdose.
Limiting Acetaminophen Levels in Prescriptions
In January the FDA announced that over the next three years a shift will take place limiting acetaminophen in prescribed pain killers to 325 milligrams per tablet. The FDA will also put risk warning labels on each prescription bottle. This is being done to reduce the risk of severe liver injury, which can result in liver failure and eventually death caused with an acetaminophen overdose. This change will affect only prescription medicines, not over the counter medications containing acetaminophen, such as Tylenol.
Causes of Acetaminophen Overdose
You might ask why the change? Is there a problem with Vicodin, Norco, Oxycet or Percocet (all medications combined with acetaminophen) as they are now? The answer is NO. The issue has been combining over-the-counter drugs with your prescription. Let’s say your Vicodin alone isn’t taking the edge off that knee pain, a nagging reminder of your glory days, so you pop a couple of Tylenol. Four hours later you are still re-living that quarterback sack, you take another Vicodin and a splash of Jack. Relief, but not what you were hoping for. Two more Tylenol. Just before bed you take another Vicodin. You’ve just inadvertently taken 300 milligrams over the maximum dosage of acetaminophen, and that hasn’t even taken into account the added toll of the alcohol on your liver.
Is this a big deal? Well, yes. It’s certainly something to be aware of. More than 200 people die and 56,000 are hospitalized annually from improper use of acetaminophen. Many over the counter drugs contain acetaminophen, including some that you might not even be aware of such as Nyquil, Theraflu, Pamprin, Contac and Excedrin. So as a consumer you should: read your labels; abstain from alcohol; avoid taking more than the recommended amount, and never take more than one acetaminophen product at any given time. So do yourself and your liver a favor and downsize your acetaminophen consumption.
Thanks for reading!