Bottles of Extra Strength Tylenol will soon have a new warning on their caps:
“Contains acetaminophen. Always read the label.”
The bright, red lettering is an effort by the manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson, to reduce the number of accidental acetaminophen overdoses, which occur annually.
“Acetaminophen overdose is one of the most common poisonings worldwide,” according to the National Institutes of Health.
Taking too much of this pain reliever can cause severe liver damage. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sets the maximum limit for adults at 4,000 milligrams per day. One gel tablet of Extra Strength Tylenol contains 500 mg.
People should keep their doctor and pharmacist informed about all the medications they are taking to ensure that they are not consuming more than the daily limit, according to the FDA. They should also avoid taking acetaminophen with alcohol.
“With more than 600 (over the counter) and prescription medications containing acetaminophen on the market, this is an important step because it will help remind consumers to always read the label,” Johnson & Johnson said in a statement about the new caps, which will arrive on bottles of Extra Strength Tylenol sold in October in the U.S.
Overdose from acetaminophen constitute roughly 55,000 to 80,000 emergency room visits in the United States each year, and it kills at least 500 people every year, according to health officials.
Johnson and Johnson is the world’s largest maker of health-care products. Of the company’s $67 billion in sales last year, 6.5 percent was made by sales of over-the-counter drugs (including Tylenol) and nutritional products.
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