Possible restriction on acetaminophen dosing

Medscape.com: “The FDA should put new restrictions on acetaminophen, an advisory committee recommended Tuesday, saying the move would protect people from the potential toxicity that can cause liver failure and even death.” – Acetaminophen (a.k.a. Tylenol) is a very safe medication. According to the article “billions of doses of acetaminophen are used safely every year.” That’s billion, with a “b”. So why would you want to restrict it? That’s a good question. I certainly don’t have an answer.

Here are a few things to consider if you use acetaminophen:

  • Keep the dose to a maximum of 650mg if you’re a healthy adult.
  • Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you have any health related issues prior to using acetaminophen (liver problems are especially problematic).
  • Make absolutely sure there is no acetaminophen in any of the prescription medications you take (i.e. Vicodin, Norco, Tylenol #3, etc).
  • Don’t take acetaminophen more often than every 6 hours unless directed so by your physician.
  • Be cautious when using over the counter (OTC) medications with multiple ingredients. READ THE LABEL. If the item claims to take care of aches and pains, then it probably has an analgesic in it. You would be surprised to learn where acetaminophen pops up.
  • Don’t drink alcohol when taking acetaminophen; your liver will not be happy if you do.
  • When giving acetaminophen to a child, make absolutely sure to read the directions before use and use only the measuring device supplied with the medication. If you need to measure more than the device is capable, either the child is too old for the dosage form or you’re giving the wrong dose.
  • This issue isn’t so much about the safety of acetaminophen as it is about common sense. Use your head people.

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