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Doubling Up on Cold, Flu Remedies May Harm Liver
Date:1/30/2013

sing two or more products at the same time," Gibril added. If you're still not sure which to buy, ask the pharmacist for advice, she said.

The word "acetaminophen" is sometimes abbreviated as APAP, Acetaminoph, Acetaminop, Acetamin or Acetam. Consumers can check the FDA's website to find a list of brand-name products that contain acetaminophen.

As of January 2011, overdoses from prescription medicines containing acetaminophen accounted for nearly half of all cases of acetaminophen-related liver damage in the United States, the FDA reported. They advised that patients let their doctors know about any prescription or over-the-counter medications they are taking and also ask about the active ingredients in any new medications they are prescribed. Those with a history of liver disease also should inform their doctor before using a medication that contains acetaminophen.

In addition, acetaminophen and alcohol may be a dangerous combination. Anyone who drinks three or more alcoholic drinks per day should talk to their doctor before taking a drug that contains acetaminophen, the FDA researchers warned.

The FDA report was published online Jan. 24 on the agency's Consumer Updates page.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about acetaminophen.

-- Mary Elizabeth Dallas

SOURCE: U.S. Food and Drug Administration, news release, Jan. 24, 2013


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