Remember that game show called "Press Your Luck" where contestants would battle the game of chance in order to win money. Land on a "Whammy" and all that money would be gone in an instant. Many chronic pain patients also battle the game of chance by taking way too much Tylenol each day. Only this "whammy" could cost a life.
Sometimes taking these chances is by accident because Acetaminophen is in so many products with various names like NyQuil, Vicodin, Percocet , Lortab, and the list goes on and on. The problem is that the amount of Tylenol adds up with every product consumed daily. Some people still do not realize that APAP, Acetaminophen and Tylenol are all the same thing. This lingo can be deadly to those unaware. However, some people are very aware that they are taking too much Tylenol. They choose to press their luck. Some give explanations for this reckless behavior like, "I've been O.K. so far" or "My doctor checks my liver test periodically". Someday these excuses ...
One of the frequent questions I've seen here and on other asthma websites is whether asthma can be safely treated with (cheaper) over the counter medicines. So, I thought I'd use this post to explore the answers to that question.
Before I get started, though, let's refresh your memory about a couple of asthma facts:
Asthma is very treatable. While asthma is a chronic, long-term illness that often can't be avoided in the first place, the good news is that it is fairly easily treatable in most cases. With the right treatment, people who have asthma should be able to live full, active lives without many -- or any -- limits.
The best treatment for the majority of people with asthma is a daily or twice daily inhaled steroid. Of course, no one medicine works best for everyone, but research has shown that inhaled steroids are generally the most effective asthma medicine. If they are used correctly, as prescribed, they should control your symptoms most of the time.
What exactly is a "black box" warning? Simply put, it's the strongest warning that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) can require on a drug's packaging. The FDA requires the black box warning when studies suggest a drug can cause a serious or life-threatening side effect. The text of the warning is set apart from other information in a black box, so that doctors, pharmacists, and patients can easily see it. What did the FDA advisory panel recommend? The FDA itself hasn't made a decision about acetaminophen, but an FDA advisory panel has made 10 recommendations concerning the drug. Among those recommendations, the panel voted to remove acetaminophen-containing painkillers such as Vicodin, Tylenol 3, and Percocet from the nation's formularies. It also voted in favor of removing all acetaminophen-containing prescription drugs from the market. But the panel voted to keep over-the-counter (OTC) pills that combine acetaminophen and other ingredients, su...
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