Thursday, January 13, 2011

Feds Lower Painkiller Dose In Vicodin, Percocet

Because many of our Pennsylvania workers' compensation clients suffer from chronic injuries that cause constant, debilitating pain, this article jumped out at me.

The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday it will cap the amount of acetaminophen in the drugs at 325 milligrams per capsule. Current products on the market contain doses of up to 700 milligrams.

Acetaminophen is a ubiquitous pain reliever found in Tylenol, Nyquil and thousands of other medicines used to treat headaches, fever and sore throats. The ingredient is also used at larger doses in prescription combination drugs that mix it with narcotic drugs like oxycodone.

Those products are not dangerous by themselves but can cause toxic overdoses when patients combine them with a second acetaminophen-containing drug like Tylenol.

This is good news for people with chronic conditions that rely solely on these drugs to merely get through the day. Many of my clients feel that, when it comes to these drugs, they are damned if they do and damned if they don't. They know that narcotic medications are bad for them and can cause other health problems, but the pills are the only way they can cope on an hour to hour and day to day basis.

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