“Acetaminophen is also the nation’s leading cause of acute liver failure”
“Just two additional extra strength pills a day – has been reported to cause liver damage.”
Uhhh I don’t know about you, but I take Tylenol for headaches all the time. And there have definitely been a few times where I take an extra pill or two if it’s not doing the job quick enough. So the fact that each year, 150 people die from ingesting too much acetaminophen and 78,000 are hospitalized from it is terrifying.
Here is the article I found with details and citations.
I would think that such a common household drug would not have such severe and widespread effects. I would expect the FDA to say something along the lines of “Let’s not sell something that can hospitalize tens of thousands of people.” Well, the FDA has indeed determined that the number of acetaminophen doses sold at once should be limited. This was decided 36 years ago, but still no action has been taken.
“Regulators in other developed countries, from Great Britain to Switzerland to New Zealand, have limited how much acetaminophen consumers can buy at one time or required it to be sold only by pharmacies. The FDA has placed no such limits on the drug in the U.S. Instead, it has continued to debate basic safety questions, such as what the maximum recommended daily dose should be.”
Why hasn’t the FDA taken steps to regulate the amount of acetaminophen doses that can be sold?
“Officials proposed more than a dozen solutions, including several aimed at widening the drug’s safety margin, such as lowering the maximum recommended daily dose and reducing the amount of the drug in each pill. The report also suggested removing an entire class of pediatric products to reduce the potential for dosing mix-ups.
At the same time, the FDA officials who wrote the report gave a candid assessment of the fierce resistance they expected from drug makers to certain proposals. To the notion of lowering the recommended daily dose, the agency expected a possible industry challenge.”
I feel my faith in the safety of federally approved medicines rapidly diminishing. Even if consumers take the exactly recommended amount of one medicine, they could be entirely unaware that another drug contains acetaminophen. The long and short of it is that the FDA has left acetaminophen safety in the hands of individuals. Since the “FDA is responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, quality, and security of human and veterinary drugs”, it seems it’s not exactly doing its job.