Federal regulators and medical experts will debate next week on how to limit liver injury in patients who take painkillers such as Tylenol, according to CNN.com.
The main issue under the “microscope” is with the ingredient called acetaminophen. This is a drug found in over-the-counter painkillers (such as Excedrin, NyQuil and Theraflu). All of these drugs can cause liver damage, acetaminophen being the most widely used drug in America.
Around 100 people die yearly from accidently overdosing on this common drug, acetaminophen. Apparently, this drug is safe if you take the recommended dosage on the label.
However, FDA does say that “the drug’s prevalence in a variety of pain relievers, fever reducers and cough medicines means patients don’t realize they are taking several drugs that contain the same ingredient, often leading to an overdose of acetaminophen.”
Since 1977 when an agency committee recommended labels for pain relievers to contain a warning about the possibility that they can damage a patient’s liver, FDA has been “struggling with [this] issue.”
Here are the current options that are being discussed:
-reduce recommended dosing levels
-Limit the number of pills or liquid in each drug containing acetaminophen
-and eliminate medicines that combine acetaminophen with other ingredients