Jones & Swanson

Dangers of Acetaminophen Prompt Stricter Medication Limits

In 2010, approximately 38,329 deaths were caused by drug overdoses in the United States. Overdoses were the leading cause of death in 17 states in 2012, with numbers even exceeding those from automobile wrecks. Worldwide, acetaminophen overdose is an extremely common form of poisoning. This may be due to the public being unaware of the dangers of this ingredient, which is found in many over the counter drugs in addition to prescriptions.

Many drug combinations prescribed to patients after surgery contain a high amount of acetaminophen. What many people fail to realize is that over the counter drugs, such as Extra Strength Tylenol, also contain this ingredient. Taking Tylenol when the prescription drugs don’t seem to be enough can lead to dangerous levels of acetaminophen consumption. Specifically, this drug has been proven to cause liver damage. The maximum amount of acetaminophen recommended by the FDA is 4,000 mg each day.

The Federal Drug Administration recently announced plans to stop approving prescription drugs that are combined with others for those companies who do not comply with regulations announced in 2011. Those regulations requested that producers limit the acetaminophen amounts in prescription drugs to 325 milligrams in a single tablet or capsule. The deadline for this request was January 2014, but many companies allowed combination drugs to remain on the market which contain more than the requested amount of acetaminophen.

To ensure the safety of both yourself and family members, it is important to follow instructions for prescription drugs in detail, taking only the prescribed dose. You should not take more than one medication containing acetaminophen at any given time. Always inform your doctors of all medications you are currently taking before accepting a prescription from them. Also, it is common knowledge that consuming alcohol while on medications with this drug in it is dangerous. Check all medications before consumption to look for acetaminophen in the list of ingredients, also abbreviated as APAP.

This drug overdose potential could one day lead to product recalls and liability claims against manufacturers. It is not yet illegal to offer combination prescription drugs with excessive amounts of acetaminophen, but it may one day be. If you or someone you know have questions about drug recalls or product liability, contact Jones & Swanson today at

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