FDA Advisory Committee Recommends Restrictions on Acetaminophen

July 2, 2009

by Pamela Katz Ressler, RN, BSN, HN-BC, MS-PREP Student, and PREP-AIRED blog moderator
On June 30, a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee voted to recommend restrictions on both over the counter and prescription acetaminophen and acetaminophen combination products. Citing the danger of acute liver failure due to overuse of acetaminophen containing products by consumers, the committee voted to recommend reducing the maximum single adult dose of acetaminophen to 650 milligrams from 1000 milligrams. The advisory committee also recommended removing from the market frequently prescribed combination prescription pain relievers, such as Percocet (oxycodone and acetaminophen) and Vicoden (hydroocodone and acetaminophen).
How does this recommendation affect patients, healthcare providers and pain management specialists? If patients switch to other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) because of fear of liver failure, are they setting themselves up for increased complications related to gastric bleeding, cardiovascular or kidney function? The American Association of Family Physicians published an interesting review of the recommendation by David Mitchell (click here to read).
What are your thoughts about the FDA advisory committee’s recommendation?

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