Today, the FDA ordered manufacturers of combination acetaminophen/narcotic painkillers like Vicodin, Lortab, and Percocet to reformulate the medications or stop producing them altogether within the next three years. The new regulations will mandate a maximum amount of 325 milligrams of acetaminophen per pill. The move is intended to cut down on the incidence of liver problems resulting from people ingesting too much acetaminophen.
In 2009, an FDA advisory committee voted to ban such products from the market altogether, but that recommendation was tempered by concerns about the impact on patients in pain.
The detail I found most interesting in the story above was that the FDA has no firm plans to go after over-the-counter products containing acetaminophen. That will leave over-the-counter products with higher amounts of acetaminophen than prescription medications like Vicodin.
Any thoughts on this decision?