Acetaminophen in drugs because of be restricted

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Acetaminophen in drugs because of be restricted

In a ruling declared on Thurs, the Food and Drug Administration has announced new limitations to painkillers. The brand new limitations will have to do with how much acetaminophen could be blended into narcotic painkillers. Possible acetaminophen overdoses are the reason for this limit. The Food and Drug Administration is going to add additional limitations to the drugs. Article resource - FDA calls for limits on acetaminophen in narcotic drugs by

Vicodin ingredient limited by FDA

The amount of acetaminophen in each painkiller capsule is limited with the Food and Drug Administration ruling. The current limit is 700 milligrams per pill. There can’t be more than 325 milligrams per pill with the newest limit. Every little thing from headaches and fever to sore throats are treated with acetaminophen. Acetaminophen is mixed with narcotics in many drugs like Vicodin, Percocet and hydrocodone. When too much acetaminophen is taken, an overdose can occur. This is in narcotic painkillers that patients use with other drugs.

We cannot have standard labeling

The lack of standard labeling causes the acetaminophen limitation a bit. APAP is an example of one way acetaminophen is labeled on pills. You will find other abbreviations used too. This lack of standard labeling practice means it is tough for patients to keep away from overdoses. The restrictions for the amount of the painkiller in prescriptions are likely to be followed up with a boxed warning. A lot of the time acetaminophen is responsible for liver failure. Within the USA, it is the leading cause. About 120 deaths a year from overdoses of the drug is estimates by the FDA.

Anything OTC with acetaminophen

There are limits the FDA is putting down on the amount of painkillers in prescriptions and also the Food and Drug Administration is making sure there are more warnings on boxes. Still, the amounts of drugs that have acetaminophen aren’t being limited. Many over the counter medications, like Tylenol, will still contain acetaminophen above and beyond the 325 milligram limit. High-dose over the counter drugs have up to 500 milligrams per capsule. There was a vote by the FDA in 2009 done. This would have gotten rid of the narcotic/acetaminophen combinations. The FDA, however, has decided to limit the amount of acetaminophen, rather than eliminating the drugs from the market.



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Le T Le T's picture

I'd be interested in Sineed's take on this as resident babble pharmacist. I thought that in Canada we have standard lables on drugs for active ingredients, i.e. if it's got 500mg of acetaminophen in it then it will be listed in "active ingredients". It seem that the issue here is when people take narcotic pain pills they are also taking acetaminophen unaware that the drug is already in the narcotics. You would think that the pharmacist would make sure that the client knew what was in the pills they are taking but you never know how crappy the pharmacy is that someone is getting their drugs at.


Le T wrote:
if it's got 500mg of acetaminophen in it then it will be listed in "active ingredients".

Correct.  Overdoses of acetaminophen are the most prominent form of poisoning and can destroy your liver.  We say that 4 g per day is the limit, though that can vary according to your age and liver function.  In Canada, it always says "Acetaminophen"  or "acétaminophène" on the label.  Synonyms you see in other countries include "APAP" and "Paracetamol."  

The problem is the large numbers of products that contain acetaminophen, both prescription and over-the-counter.  The best defence against accidental overdose is to consult a pharmacist if you are taking prescription meds before buying anything.  I believe we have proper labelling in Canada in terms of the information provided, but between the teeny tiny print, the bilingual label, and the lists of non-medicinal ingredients, it can be confusing and frustrating for a lay person to parse.

Le T wrote:
You would think that the pharmacist would make sure that the client knew what was in the pills they are taking but you never know how crappy the pharmacy is that someone is getting their drugs at.

I have had many, many people throw hissy fits when I point out that they are taking a potentially toxic dose of acetaminophen when you add all their meds together.  One of my customers actually died of kidney failure, a possible consequence of taking extremely high doses of acetaminophen for years.  He was taking 3-4 g per day, and each time I filled a prescription for him, I'd call the physician and say, "You know how much acetaminophen this patient is getting?" and the doctor would say it's okay, I'd document this on the back of the prescription, and in the meantime, on the other side of the counter, the customer would be throwing a major temper tantrum.  

In another case, a doctor wrote a prescription for Percocet with the directions, take 25 per day.  I flatly refused to fill it, as that's a poisonous dose of acetaminophen, as well as a heroic dose of oxycodone.  Later my boss phoned me to say how the doctor was so furious with me, he wanted my home phone number to call me.  My boss reported that doctor to the College of Physicians and Surgeons, and this dr is no longer allowed to prescribe narcotics.

Basically, if people are cognizant of what they are taking, there won't be a problem.


Ya this is a bit of a curious and messed up thing. Many of us who are prescribed morphine wonder why the PharmaGiants would be putting Acetaminophen in morphine pills...

Sure, there is some painkilling properties of Acetaminophen that help where morphine doesn't, but a SEPARATE acetamonophen pill could be taken, it doesn't have to be mixed in with the morphine.

Perhaps they do it to keep morphine from "being abused"?  If so, they are expecting morphine abusers to say "gee if this morphine has acetaminophen in it, I better not inject it or take more than the recommended dose".

But morphine users do take those combo pills - and this is where the story gets interesting - when they do take the combo pills, it is the acetaminophen that does, by far, the most harm, as compared to the morphine. People can take morphine for 20 or 30 or more years and not have any negative health effects from it other than constipation [and an astute drug addict can overcome that... I am].

So, why are they in combo? Obviously it isn't to protect our health, and we could take a separate acetaminophen if it will help. Could it be a way to increase acetaminophen sales? Is it too much work to take a separate acetaminophen pill?

Can someone shine a light on this? - why the heck did they ever put acetaminophen in my morphine?? {please keep in mind my proposition that "separate acetaminophen pills can be taken"].