Sunday, January 19, 2014


FDA asks physicians to curb usage of medications with high levels of acetaminophen.

In continuing coverage, CBS Evening News (1/15, story 12, 0:20, Pelley) reports that “there is a warning tonight about acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol. It’s also found in prescription painkillers such as codeine and hydrocodone.” CBS says the FDA is asking “doctors to stop prescribing medication that contains more than 325 milligrams of acetaminophen per pill” because in high doses it can cause severe liver damage.
        NBC Nightly News (1/15, story 8, 2:00, Williams) reports the FDA “was very pointed today” in why it is taking this action “and it has to do with the fact that so many people don’t know that acetaminophen is a common component in prescription pain killers like Vicodin and Percoset.” NBC says that many a time patients take an additional OTC acetaminophen “without realizing that they are at risk for liver damage and that is why the agency is asking doctors to stop prescribing combination medications with more than 325 milligrams of acetaminophen per dose.”
        USA Today (1/15, Painter) reports the step by the agency is one of several moves by the FDA to curb “high-dose use of the popular painkiller.” USA Today also notes that the agency has said “it soon will withdraw approval for any of those medications” that have more than 325 mg of acetaminophen. The FDA also plans to unveil “new regulatory action on over-the-counter acetaminophen,” though it didn’t provide details.
        The Los Angeles Times (1/15, Kaplan) says pharmacists getting requests to fill prescriptions for medications “with more than 325 mg of acetaminophen should contact the” prescribing doctor or dentist to check if “lower dose would suffice,” the agency has recommended. TIME (1/15), Alabama Live (1/16, Lord) reports and FOX News (1/15) also cover the news.