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U.S. Painkillers to Have New Regulations

| Jan 14, 2011

Your medicine cabinet may soon see a change, according to new federal guidelines on the formula of prescription medicines.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Thursday that prescription painkillers loaded with the drug acetaminophen will soon be restricted in the United States because of their high risk of overdose, according to news reports .

The decision to ban acetaminophen was based on reports that more than 400 people die and 42,000 are hospitalized every year in the U.S from acetaminophen overdoses, which can also cause liver damage. Many people take multiple pain killers for different symptoms unaware of the high levels of the drug.

To regulate the potentially dangerous drug, the FDA will require drug manufactures to limit the amount of acetaminophen in pain killers to 325 milligrams, which is less than half the amount found currently in most of them.

Along with the milligram limit, drugs will also be required to display more explicit warning labels about the risk of acetaminophen overdose.

While over-the-counter products including Extra Strength Tylenol, which has more than 325 milligrams of acetaminophen, has not yet been regulated, prescriptions like Vicodin, which hash doses of 500, 650 and 750 milligrams, will have to be reformulated.

As a North Charleston personal injury lawyer , I think it's good that the federal government is working toward making drugs less dangerous. I hope the ban is better able to protect patients from accidental overdoses of acetaminophen. As a personal injury lawyer in North Charleston , I often hear about accidental drug overdoses because of incorrect labeling or inadequate warning signs.

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