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FDA video stresses safe use of acetaminophen

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted April 1, 2013

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The Food and Drug Administration in March released a video that explains to patients the danger of acetaminophen overdose and instructs them to talk with their physicians or other health professionals for help in avoiding the problem.

Each year, Americans consume about 30 billion doses of products containing acetaminophen. The drug is the leading cause of acute liver failure in the U.S., the FDA says.

Acetaminophen is in hundreds of over-the-counter products such as pain relievers, allergy drugs and cold medicines, as well as in combination prescription drugs such as hydrocodone/acetaminophen. The recommended daily dose is 4 grams, equivalent to eight regular-strength Tylenol pills.

The FDA video explains the problem in an easy-to-understand way and can be viewed on YouTube (link). Additional free patient education materials such as printable fliers and drug-tracking sheets are available at an FDA website (link).

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