Thursday, January 13, 2011

FDA limits acetaminophen in prescription combination products

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is asking manufacturers of prescription combination products that contain acetaminophen to limit the amount of acetaminophen to no more than 325 milligrams (mg) in each tablet or capsule.

This is a great way to improve patient safety, but what about over-the-counter medications? So many patients do not realize that a number of over-the-counter cold medicines contain a large amount of acetaminophen. I think these products should have stronger warnings so that patients are not taking double or triple doses of acetaminophen. Some patients are taking a combo cold medicine for their "cold" symptoms, then they'll take a few Tylenol pills for their "headache," and before you know it, they've consumed a large volume of acetaminophen.

Then again, you can't have a Black Box warning on an over-the-counter medication.

You can read the FDA press release here.

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