Tylenol Makers Lower Recommended Dose
Tylenol maker Johnson and Johnson's McNeil Consumer Healthcare announced Friday that it's chaining its dosage recommendation for their popular Extra Strength label from eight pills a day down to six.
The recommendation changes the daily "not to exceed" dose of acetaminophen from 4,000 milligrams to 3,000. The company is expected to lower the dosage of Regular Strength Tylenol in 2012.
Acetaminophen is the active ingredient in the prescription painkillers Percocet and Vicodin, and is present in some nonprescription pain relievers as well, including NyQuil and some Sudafed products. It is also found in thousands of medicines that cover headaches, fever, sore throats and chronic pain.
However, individuals that are taking multiple medicines at once often don't realize how much acetaminophen they're ingesting.
Two years ago, a Food and Drug Administration advisory panel called for restrictions to prevent accidental fatal overdoses of acetaminophen.
"Acetaminophen is safe when used as directed," Dr. Edwin Kuffner, McNeil's head of over-the-counter medical affairs, said in a statement. "McNeil is revising its labels for products containing acetaminophen in an attempt to decrease the likelihood of accidental overdosing."
Excessive use of acetaminophen can cause liver damage. In the U.S., the drug is blamed for about 200 fatal overdoses a year, and is responsibly for 56,000 emergency room visits annually as well.