FDA Announces Plans To Limit Acetaminophen Use
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has asked healthcare professionals to stop prescribing high doses of the painkiller acetaminophen, which is used in Tylenol, Vicodin and Percocet.
The FDA hopes to reduce liver damage in patients taking high doses. Because many drugs contain acetaminophen, the chances of an inadvertent overdose for someone taking several different prescriptions are likely and very dangerous. Acetaminophen overdose is the leading cause of acute liver failure.
How Drug Makers And Pharmacists Will Be Affected
Drug makers are also being asked to consider limiting the amount of acetaminophen in prescription drugs to 325 milligrams or less per pill. Over half of drug makers have agreed. Another step the FDA has taken is recommending pharmacists who receive multiple prescriptions from doctors that, when combined, contain more than 325mg of acetaminophen per dose, contact the doctor who prescribed it and discuss other options.
Are Over The Counter Drugs Included In FDA’s Limit Of Acetaminophen?
The FDA is also attempting to make drug makers take any drugs containing more than 325 mg of acetaminophen off the market. The warning issued by the FDA does not apply to Tylenol and other over the counter drugs… for now.
Acetaminophen And Alcohol – Dangerous Combination
The FDA explained there is no available data to show that more than 325 mg of acetaminophen provides additional benefits, but it does increase the risk of liver problems. When combined with alcohol, the effects of acetaminophen are even more dangerous. They also report that acetaminophen has been known to cause life-threatening skin reactions, including blisters, serious rashes and the detachment of the upper surface of the skin.
Preventing Acetaminophen Overdose
To decrease chances of overdose, individuals taking pain medications and other medications should read the labels of their prescriptions. The FDA maximum recommendation for adults is no more than 4,000 mg of acetaminophen a day.