By Lola Augustine Brown
Many of us think little of taking acetaminophen products when we have a headache or for other niggling aches and pains, but Health Canada is warning that these products can be very harmful indeed.
Health Canada is demanding stronger wording on drug labels and additional instructions that will help consumers use these drugs more safely. They want packaging to warn that consumers that:
- They should take the lowest effective dose needed to relieve their pain (and not automatically reach for that extra-strength dose).
- Dosage should not exclude more than four grams (for adults) in a 24-hour period.
- You should not mix these products with alcohol if drinking three or more drinks a day.
These recommendations come after the results of Health Canada’s 2015 Report on Acetaminophen and Liver Injury. The report revealed that more than 250 cases of serious liver injury occur every year because of acetaminophen products.
Tylenol is probably the best known acetaminophen product, but the drug is also found in various other products such as NyQuil and NeoCitran. When people unwittingly combine these drugs, it’s easy to exceed the recommended dose.