Millions of Americans take Tylenol, Excedrin and other pain relievers containing acetaminophen. And they never think of them as anything but safe. But the Food and Drug Administration is in the middle of 2 days of hearings focusing on a dangerous side effect of the medications, severe liver damage.
The govenment says overdoses of acetaminophen send an estimated 56,000 people to the emergency room every year. It's the leading cause of liver failure in the U.S.
The makers of medications with the ingredient are trying to dissuade regulators from placing new restrictions on the drugs -- and possibly even removing some of them from the shelves.
The FDA is asking experts for new ideas on reducing accidental overdoses of Tylenol and other over-the-counter pain relievers. Two options are adding a "black box" warning label to the products and lowering the doses of some of the drugs.
Associated Press - June 29, 2009 1:23 PM ET
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