Do you have Tylenol readily available in your medicine cabinet? And do you take some when you have a nagging headache or bouts of body aches after going through some physically demanding activity? Well, if so, you’re probably not alone. For temporary use, it will serve its purpose. But prolonged usage could be dangerous. The main ingredient in Tylenol is acetaminophen, but the FDA is not putting the clamps on such over-the-counter (OTC) pain killers. They are targeting prescription pain killers. Check out this article in the Los Angeles Times …
The Food and Drug Administration has asked doctors, dentists, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals to stop giving patients high-dose acetaminophen, the active ingredient in the popular pain-reliever Tylenol.
Pills, capsules, tablets, syrups and other formulations that contain more than 325 milligrams of acetaminophen have not been shown to reduce pain better than lower doses of the medication; however, such high levels of the drug can cause liver damage, the FDA explained in a recommendation issued Tuesday.
Pharmacists who are asked to fill prescriptions for medications with more than 325 mg of acetaminophen should contact the doctor or dentist who ordered it and see if a lower dose would suffice, the recommendation said.”
The article mentioned that research has found pain killer drugs containing doses of acetaminophen over 325 mg has not been proven to be effective in pain relief as compared to lower doses. Even though these findings involve prescription pain killers, I guess we should think twice before purchasing the extra-strength versions of OTC pain killers when the regular-strength versions with acetaminophen will suffice.