The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is finally asking Physicians / Doctors and other healthcare professionals to stop prescribing combination prescription pain relievers that contain more than 325 mg of paracetamol (acetaminophen) per table due to the potential risk for liver damage.
Many prescription analgesics have both paracetamol (up to 750 mg of acetaminophen per dose) as well as another ingredient (like codeine)
The FDA stated: “There are no available data to show that taking more than 325 mg of acetaminophen per dosage unit provides additional benefit that outweighs the added risks for liver injury.”
“Further, limiting the amount of acetaminophen per dosage unit will reduce the risk of severe liver injury from inadvertent acetaminophen overdose, which can lead to liver failure, liver transplant, and death,” they added.
Severe liver injury in patients taking paracetamol have occurred when patients took more than the prescribed dose in a 24-hour period or took more than 1 paracetamol-containing product at the same time; or drank alcohol as well as had medicine that contained paracetamol.
Look after the pain – low level laser therapy and osteopathy can help with that in some cases – as well as looking after your liver!
Even short-term NSAID use is considered risky in cardiac patients
In patients who have previously had a heart attack (myocardial infarction / MI), most nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), even when only taken for a week, have been associated with increased risk of death and recurrent heart attacks.
The study, published on May 9 2011 in Circulation, found that use of NSAIDs was associated with a 45% increased risk of death or recurrent MI in the first 7 days of use and 55% increased risk if patients continued taking NSAIDS.
“We found that short-term treatment with most NSAIDs was associated with increased and instantaneous cardiovascular risk” said one of the authors. “Results indicate that there is no apparent safe therapeutic window for NSAIDs in patients with prior MI and challenge the current recommendations of low-dose and short-term use of NSAIDs as being safe”.
Some NSAIDs were associated with more risk than others, but none were shown to be completely safe. Researchers could not identify a period that appeared to be safe, no matter how little time they were taken. Patients were taking commonly available / prescribed medication like ibuprofen and diclofenac as well as COX-2 inhibitors like Vioxx and celecoxib. Diclofenac was associated with early and higher cardiovascular risk than Vioxx (withdrawn in 2004 because of its high cardiovascular risk).
All NSAIDs, except naproxen, were associated with an increased risk for death or recurrent MI, diclofenac had the worst risk.
So, if you know anyone who has had a heart attack, make sure they are aware of the real risks of even small doses of NSAIDs like ibuprofen – which is commonly taken for headaches, back and neck pain and tendinitis.
KEY POINTS from a paper by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Death from opioid pain relievers (like Tramadol and Vincodin) is an epidemic in the USA.
http://www.cdc.gov November 4, 2011 / 60(43);1487-1492)
Sales of opioid pain relievers quadrupled between 1999 and 2010.
Enough opioid pain relievers were prescribed last year to medicate every American adult with a dose of 5 mg of hydrocodone (Vicodin and others) taken every 4 hours for a month.
Abuse of opioid pain relievers costs health insurers approximately $72.5 billion annually
In 2007, nearly 100 persons / day died of drug overdoses in the US. The death rate of 11.8 per 100,000 population in 2007 was roughly three times the rate in 1991. Prescription drugs have accounted for most of the increase in those death rates since 1999. In 2009, 1.2 million emergency department (ED) visits (an increase of 98.4% since 2004) were related to misuse / abuse of pharmaceuticals. opioid pain relievers now account for more overdose deaths than heroin and cocaine combined.