Are you at risk for Tylenol (acetaminophen) toxicity?
A Food and Drug Administration panel on Tuesday called for greater restrictions on the widely used pain reliever acetaminophen — even recommending banning some medications that contain it — in a bid to prevent potentially harmful overdoses. The panel said prescription drugs such as Vicodin and Percocet, which combine acetaminophen with stronger narcotics, should be pulled off the market because of their role in deadly overdoses.
Acetaminophen remains the leading cause of liver failure in the United States, according to the FDA. Panelists cited FDA data indicating 60 percent of acetaminophen-related deaths are related to prescription products. The panel stopped short of urging a ban on over-the-counter cough, cold and other medications that combine acetaminophen with other ingredients, but said such products should come in lower doses.
In a separate vote, the panel voted overwhelmingly, 36-1, that if the drugs stay on the market they should carry a black box warning, the most serious safety label available.