NOTE: This warning is serious, but should not affect how you use Acetaminophen for fever, aches, and pains.
The FDA recently issued a warning stating that in rare cases, acetaminophen causes serious skin reactions. Such reactions result in rash, blisters, and, in the worst case, widespread damage to the surface of skin. They advise the consumer to seek immediate medical attention if any of these symptoms occur in either adults or children.
"This new information is not intended to worry consumers or healthcare professionals, nor is it meant to encourage them to choose other medications," said Sharon Hertz, M.D., deputy director of FDA's Division of Anesthesia, Analgesia, and Addiction. "However, it is extremely important that people recognize and react quickly to the initial symptoms of these rare but serious, side effects, which are potentially fatal."
While acetaminophen is sold on its own, it is a common ingredient in many over-the-counter and prescription drugs. According to Know Your Dose, Some of the more common drugs that contain acetaminophen are Tylenol, Alka-Seltzer Plus Liquid Gels, Benadryl, Dayquil, Excedrin, Midol, Nyquil, Robitussin, Sudafed, and Vicks. Some common prescription medications that contain acetaminophen are Hydrocodone Bitartrate, Lortab, Oxycodone, Percocet, and Vicodin. It should be noted that while these medications may contain acetaminophen, it is not always present. Be sure to check the ingredients on the bottle's label before purchasing.
While this warning is serious, it shouldn’t stop you from stocking the drug at the front of your medicine cabinet. Acetaminophen is a very useful and mild drug for most people, helping in a pinch to relieve minor fevers, aches, and pains. It is used in more than just a handful of other medications because of how effective it is in treating such common ailments.
Will this change how you feel about using products with acetaminophen?