ADELPHI, Md. –
(AP) - Concerned over potentially deadly overdoses
of acetaminophen, government experts are proposing new restrictions
on the most widely-used painkiller.
Acetaminophen is the main ingredient in Tylenol and other
popular pain killers.
An FDA advisory panel recommends reducing the maximum dose of
Tylenol and eliminating prescription drugs such as Vicodin and
Percocet which combine acetaminophen with other pain killers.
Acetaminophen overdosing is the leading cause of liver failure
in the U.S. It sends 56,000 people to the emergency room annually.
About 200 die each year.
The panel voted against a proposal to pull NyQuil and other
over-the-counter cold and cough medicines that combine
acetaminophen with other drugs.
The FDA is not required to follow the advice of its panels,
though it usually does.
Analyst Steve Brozak of WBB Securities said the panel votes were
a "shot across the bow" of the pharmaceutical industry.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)