Monday, August 1, 2011

Too Much Tylenol

Are you taking Tylenol - or acetaminophen - for Sjogren's related aches and pains? If so, better read this:

McNeil Consumer Healthcare has announced it is lowering the maximum daily dose instructions for Extra Strength Tylenol to six pills a day (3,000 mg) to reduce the risk of acetaminophen overdose.
The currently recommended maximum dose is eight pills a day (4,000 mg).
..............Although low doses of acetaminophen are generally safe, too much of the drug can cause liver damage. Reports have indicated that acetaminophen is the leading cause of drug-induced liver injury in the U.S. One reason: People often don't realize the number of medications that contain acetaminophen, which can lead to accidental overdosing. 
Over-the-counter products and prescription drugs that contain acetaminophen number in the hundreds and include Sudafed, NyQuil, Excedrin, Anacin, Midol, Theraflu, Alka-Seltzer, Percocet, and Vicodin.
You can read the rest of this story on Medpage Today.


Laura said...

Interestng. I'm unclear whether that's because over 3000 is now considered riskier than previously, or just because they're trying to counter for people getting additional acetaminophen in their decongestant.

I know that last pregnancy, when I had the rib issue, I had a couple days where I hit 4,000 (but not routinely, at least), but I am always very careful to track what else I am taking and whether it has any in it.

It should be noted that not all variations of, say, Sudafed contain acetaminophen and that's probably true for some of the others on the list as well. It's well worth reading the packaging. Back when I took straight Sudafed, and now when I take Sudafed PE, I'm careful to get the ones without acetaminophen. I want to pick if I need a pain pill or just decongestant, and it's not hard for me to take the second pill if I do want pain relief. Those all-in-one pills are ... kinda overkill for me, though I know I have a friend who has a hard time taking pills and would just as soon have one or two fewer to take!

Julia Oleinik said...

Good comments, as usual, Laura!