Acetaminophen gets a serious warning today as the FDA reports that liver damage can occur when dosages of more than 325 mg. of the drug are ingested. For this reason the FDA is asking doctors to stop prescribing drugs that contain more than the 325 mg. of acetaminophen, according to CNN News on Jan. 16.
Many of the narcotic pain killers prescribed by doctors have acetaminophen as an added pain killing ingredient like Percocet and Vicodin. Many of the over-the-counter brands of medicine also contain acetaminophen like sinus medications and cold medications.
People don’t realize that acetaminophen is an ingredient in many of the narcotic pain killers along OTC medications. They then take the OTC acetaminophen along with the prescribed or OTC medication. By doing this they’ve taken an amount of the acetaminophen that is over the recommended dosage.
This new warning does not apply to the OTC medications, but the FDA plans to address these medications in another regulatory action. The FDA has been keeping an eye on acetaminophen for a while now. Back in 2011 they asked the manufacturers of the medication to limit the drug to 325 mg. per pill or capsule. They were to have this in place by this month, January of 2014.
Many of the “extra-strength” pills that contained 500 mg. of acetaminophen are long gone off the pharmacy racks. The FDA said that about half of the manufactures agreed to do this. An example given by CNN is Extra Strength Tylenol gel tablets contain 500 mg. of acetaminophen. This makes it extremely easy for a person to go over the new recommended dosage when taking just one pill. Tylenol plans to put a warning label on that product.