A new scare?
June 30, 2009 3:26 PM Subscribe
posted by borborygmi (117 comments total)
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You may know it as acetaminophen, paracetamol, APAP, or ... Tylenol. Today an FDA advisory panel recommended banning prescription drugs that contain acetaminophen, such as vicodin and percocet.
The panel of experts also voted to give acetaminophen a black box warning
, and reduce the maximum dosage of over-the-counter formulations. Acetaminophen is a popular painkiller by itself and, in combination with opiates, is the most commonly prescribed medication
in the US.
Acetaminophen has known for over a hundred years
, though its use in the US began in 1955. The brand has survived scares
and maintained its popularity for decades, thanks to some innovative marketing
(last link is a pdf) and effective analgesia
in many clinical settings
Acetaminophen is generally better tolerated than ibuprofen and other painkillers, but it's not without adverse effects -- acetaminophen is now the leading cause of liver failure in the US
. The FDA panel hopes these measures will reduce overdoses leading to fulminant liver failure, but similar restrictions in the UK have had mixed results