A committee advises U.S. officials that current recommended doses of
acetaminophen are too high. Liver damage is a risk, especially when used with more powerful medicines or alcohol. Transcript of radio broadcast: 07 July 2009
This is the VOA Special English Health Report.
The United States government might place new restrictions on a commonly used painkiller. Taking too much acetaminophen can cause liver damage and even death.
Last week, a group of experts advised the Food and Drug Administration that the drug needs more controls and better directions for use. Acetaminophen, also called paracetamol, is found in Tylenol, Excedrin and other products that do not require a doctor's prescription. These products are used for pain, fever, colds and sleeplessness.
Their easy availability is part of the problem. People can accidentally take too much acetaminophen if they take several medicines that all contain it.