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Acetaminophen Alert

Acetaminophen is a fever reducer and pain reliever. It is commonly used to treat conditions such as arthritis, aching muscles, headaches, colds, fevers, and backaches.

As one of the most common drug ingredients in the United States, acetaminophen can be found in over 600 different over-the-counter and prescription medicines.

On January 15, 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an acetaminophen warning because of reports of liver failure. Taking too much acetaminophen can cause liver failure or death – and the FDA has asked that doctors stop prescribing painkillers that contain more than 325 milligrams of acetaminophen.

According to the FDA, almost half of the deaths related to acetaminophen in the United States were from accidental overdose. These accidental overdoses resulted in liver failure.

The current maximum dose for acetaminophen in a 24 hour period is 4,000 milligrams. The most severe liver damage occurred in the following situations: Patients who take more than the prescribed dose over a 24 hour period; take more than one acetaminophen containing product at a time; or patients who drank alcohol while taking the drug.

The FDA warning applies only to prescribed pain medication with opioids, for example, oxycodone (Percocet), hydrocodone (Vicodin), and codeine (Tylenol with Codeine). The FDA refers to these as "combination drugs" and is asking that doctors not prescribe those that have more than 325 milligrams of acetaminophen per dose.

The FDA also plans to issue a warning for over-the-counter drugs; for example, Midol, Benadryl, Nyquil, Tylenol, Sudafed, and other products.

If you are facing charges or are under investigation for illegally possessing any prescription drug, Contact Kern Law, APC today and speak with me personally about your case.