ProPublica Offers Nine Ways to make Tylenol Safer
ProPublica, the investigative newsroom that has often discussed issues of drug safety and pharmaceutical company behavior, recently published an article entitled “Nine Ideas to Make Tylenol and Other Acetaminophen Drugs Safer”. In the piece ProPublica journalists offer the following ideas to make the drug safer for public use and hopefully decrease the number of users that are seriously injured or killed after taking the drug.
Tylenol misuse, accidental overdose, and even intentional overdose has been a problem for some time. Between the years of 2001 and 2010, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that 1,500 Americans died from accidental overdose, and another 1,400 died as a result of intentional overdose.
So what are ProPublica’s suggestions?
- Lower the dose from 4 grams a day to 3 grams a day.
- Clarify dosing instructions for children’s and infants’ Tylenol, including for children under 2.
- Remove acetaminophen from prescription pain killers such as Vicodin and Percocet. The combination of opioids and acetaminophen does not seem to be particularly beneficial, and contributes to dosage confusion.
- Impose restrictions on how much acetaminophen can be purchased at one time. This has proven effective in decreasing suicides in the United Kingdom.
- Change the labels to encourage users to begin at the lowest effective dose, and add more pills only if necessary.
- Limit pill strength of over-the-counter acetaminophen to 325 milligrams per pill, as prescription medicines are limited.
- Require over-the-counter acetaminophen advertisements to explicitly warn of side effects.
- Add warnings to all products containing acetaminophen to help warn consumers when they might be taking more acetaminophen than they think they are.
- Add warnings regarding the possibility of death on over-the-counter acetaminophen. As of now, the FDA only requires it on prescription products containing acetaminophen.
As ProPublica’s list of suggestions highlights, there are currently many inconsistencies between the rules applied to prescription drugs containing acetaminophen and over-the-counter drugs containing it. The public is much more likely to use the drug correctly if the over-the-counter acetaminophen manufacturers are required to follow the same stringent rules that prescription manufacturers have to.
Have you taken acetaminophen and suffered serious liver complications? Or have you lost a loved one due to Tylenol complications? If so, contact a Tylenol attorney at Kirkendall Dwyer LLP to discuss your case. You may be eligible for compensation. Contact us today to learn more.