Smaller doses of painkillers recommended

June 30, 2009 9:33:15 AM PDT
Government experts say the maximum daily dose listed on Tylenol and dozens of other painkillers should be reduced to help curb deadly overdoses. The Food and Drug Administration's panel voted 21-16 to lower the current maximum dose of nonprescription acetaminophen, which is 4 grams, or eight pills per day. Taking more than that can cause potentially fatal liver damage.

Federal regulators are asking experts to vote on ways to prevent overdose with acetaminophen - the key ingredient in Tylenol, Excedrin and other medications.

Despite years of educational campaigns and other actions, the FDA says acetaminophen remains the leading cause of liver failure in the U.S.

The panel also is scheduled to vote on other proposals to reduce overdose with the drugs.

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