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Ear to the Ground

FDA Experts Recommend Pain Drug Ban

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Posted on Jul 1, 2009
Flickr / TheGiantVermin

The Food and Drug Administration’s expert panel has recommended the agency ban Vicodin and Percocet. Both drugs contain acetaminophen, which is known to cause liver damage. The panel also recommended reducing the standard doses of over-the-counter acetaminophen products, such as Tylenol.

New York Times:

While the medicine is effective in treating headaches and reducing fevers, even recommended doses can cause liver damage in some people. And more than 400 people die and 42,000 are hospitalized every year in the United States from overdoses.

In hopes of reducing some of these accidents, the committee voted 24 to 13 to recommend that the F.D.A. reduce the highest allowed dose of acetaminophen in over-the-counter pills like Tylenol to 325 milligrams, from 500. And members voted 21 to 16 to reduce the maximum daily dosage to less than 4,000 milligrams.

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By Eye Laser Treatment, June 8, 2011 at 2:06 am Link to this comment

It is claimed that the liver damage can only be caused through overdosing but why take the risks if there are other alternatives. There are still many other drug-free methods to relieving pain.

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By BlueEagle, July 1, 2009 at 4:35 pm Link to this comment

Excellent comments! Thanks sharing. Here’s a video that addresses the general problem with the pharmaceutical industry…

Dr. John Rengen Virapen, Whistleblower of the Psychopathic Pharmaceutical Industry, Speaks Out

Dr John Rengen Virapen is a former scientist who after 35 years of work in the pharmaceutical industry (Eli Lilly) has left it to warn the public of the nefarious dealings and motives of the pharmaceutical industry.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-5uVrbH9lME

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By hippie4ever, July 1, 2009 at 3:32 pm Link to this comment

I’ve arthritis (osteo & rheumatoid) and am quite the expert on pain relief. Motrin gave me GERD and a pre-ulcerous stomach. I switched to Tylenol & while it helped I was nervous because I had heard about liver damage. I never drank alcohol while taking either drug.

I now use a balm made of cannabis and lemon verbena in an olive oil base. It really works wonders—much better than the pills or those smelly ointments. Cannabis and opiates are a lot safer & more effective that the rot those Big Pharm drug dealers are peddling. Trashy people sell rubbish—that’s what we’re dealing with. And the FDA? A bunch of pimps for Big Pharm/Chem/Agri.

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By Paracelsus, July 1, 2009 at 1:40 pm Link to this comment

Forget this nonsense. I say if you have pain and you are over 18 you should be able on your say so to buy some opium tincture without a by or leave of anybody. Where does it say in the Constitution that you can’t buy a narcotic unless you have a prescription from the doctor? All this nonsense started out with progressive movement of the early 20th century. We have a bunch of fascist do-gooders trying to live other people’s lives for them. First we were cursed with Theodore Roosevelt and then Woodrow Wilson, and ever since we haven’t been able to treat ourselves without having to pay the Rockefeller cartels their damnable tolls. Cursed amalgamation and monopolization has robbed us of our freedom. Yes, I know the Pure Food and Drug Law was supposed to safeguard us from quacks and dodgy patent medicines, but tell me is it any better to have to buy your nostrums from government approved quacks?

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By Cathy, July 1, 2009 at 1:01 pm Link to this comment

Well, if they’re worried about live damage so much they should look at SSRIs and SNRIs.  Cymbalta has been under serious scrutiny because of issues with liver damage.  But they’re never ban or limit the use of anti-depressants—they are the biggest cash cows in pharmaceutical history.  One one goes out of patent another formulation of the same product is there to take its place. 

Besides, there have already been lawsuits on these issues and the companies pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in settlements—the cost of doing business when the profit is in the billions.

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By KDelphi, July 1, 2009 at 11:39 am Link to this comment

NSAIDS, which I HAVE to take, also defeats blood pressure lowering drugs…and is hard on the kidneys. Aspirin can cause gout (a no no for those with RA)Otherwise, I have to take steroids all the time…

I never trusted acetomenophin and never thought it worked! Is there someone here who has actually had Tylenol Work for pain?

Why not call for an end to combination drugs? Do yu really NEED “Tylenol” with codeine?

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By glider, July 1, 2009 at 11:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Gulam, I also have wondered about why tylenol is put in opiates when it has such a negligible effect. The only thing I can come up with is that it is somewhat analogous to denatured alcohol which is spiked with methanol to prevent it from being drunk. To0 bad for the foolish kids who drink it and go blind each year. You would think they could just come up with something that tastes bad but that is the “solution”.  Likewise acetominophen may be added to reduce abuse of drugs like codiene or even their use in suicides since overdoses of tylenol in which your liver is destroyed supposedly results in a very painful death. So it discourages abuse.  Too bad for bad for those who die.

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By Gulam, July 1, 2009 at 10:41 am Link to this comment

I once pressed my doctor to give me two different pain medications for pain from broken ribs, and he gave me tramadol and codeine. The tramadol is a synthetic opiate, but it is processed by the body in a different way from most other opiates. The tramadol was great. It killed the pain and did not leave me on Mars. Over the years I have been given it in France to carry on journeys in Asia; pharmacists have given it to me there without a note from a doctor after talking with me to see who I was and what I wanted it for. I bought it in a pharmacy in Kabul in 2003 for an Afghan whose grandmother was keeping the family up every night in her pain. In Canada, however, tramadol is only available mixed with acetaminophen, which does nothing and which I have never trusted. It is the same with codeine in Canada. You can get it over the counter, but only mixed with acetaminophen. Why   is everyone forced into taking acetaminophen all the time when it does so little to reduce pain?

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By glider, July 1, 2009 at 10:32 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Aspirin does have a risk with ulcers but this can be made inconsequential with enteric coated versions, or liquified versions (AlkaSeltzer), or by as I do grinding it up and mixing it with a glass of water. Overall few drugs have such a well known risk profile and such a beneficial effect. Tylenol is a dangerous drug pushed by pharmaceutical firm disinformation advertisements.

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By Stepping Razor, July 1, 2009 at 9:42 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Ibuprofen does not eat out your stomach nor does Aspirin. The danger with both is they thin your blood and result in stomach bleeding. Tylenol does not and therefore it is safe in this regard. Tylenol does/can cause liver damage when taken in large doses over a period of time. Believe me you won’t keep taking it repeatedly because the pain is very great.

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By Paracelsus, July 1, 2009 at 8:57 am Link to this comment

Just make Percodan instead. It is the old pain relief medicine that was made with hyrdocodone and aspirin.

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By rockinrobin, July 1, 2009 at 8:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Big Pharma is owned 93 per cent by Rockefeller, & Bush/Clinton & all other politicians have such close connections to Monsanto which also has it’s pharma along with all the other chemicals they put into the food chain with close connections to the Corps they have criminalized & thru the abuse of power & misuse of “laws” constantly shifting laws backed by shiftier judges: my my my. Just another way to profit from poisoning: some day perhaps the American Public will WAKE UP to the reality that “democracy” is NOT what our forefathers planned; what about formaldehyde being put into all processed foods by the FDA as Rumsfeld requested? and all items used in normal life? the FDA is NOT there for the PEOPLE any more than the Government is; it is target & harm us the people: and it is NOT for population control at all; but to make their pocketbooks overflow. THIS is the country NONE OTHER will buy from nor put a drop of food from THIS nation into their mouths. Chemicals are used to HARM not to help.
Why not just call this nation “land of the deceived” instead of land of the “free”??? Free for anyone anywhere anytime to harm & hurt the people for personal gain & profit & never be brought to justice.

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By hidflect, July 1, 2009 at 8:27 am Link to this comment

Whoops. Here we go again. Back to the aspirin. Seriously, unless there’s a medical reason not to take it, aspirin is the ace, king and queen of pain relief. Somehow it gets a bad rap with some people (probably from Tylenol makers). It’s nothing more than the synthetic version of a salt derived from the roots of the Willow tree. Not to mention stroke/heart attack reduction…

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By glider, July 1, 2009 at 6:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is about time!  A truly nasty drug that is actually forced on people by spiking it in virtually all pain killers. Just try getting codeine without Tylenol in it. A person gets addicted and destroys their liver. I once saw a presentation by a scientist who studied cell apoptosis (death). He told the audience he would never personally take acetaminophen as it was one of the most potent apoptotic agents he had ever tested. Thanks FDA! Someone should be prosecuted but I sure there was too much money spread around by the manufacturer.

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By Kesey Seven, July 1, 2009 at 6:02 am Link to this comment

The intriguing question is:  Now will doctors be more likely to prescribe pure Oxycodone?  Or will they be more likely to send patients home in pain and tell them to take Ibuprofen, which will eat holes in their stomachs and intestines while not actually relieving moderate to severe pain? Hmm. What will happen, very serious like.

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By George, July 1, 2009 at 5:05 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In Europe, “paracetamol” (acetaminophen) is often manufactured with its antidote.

N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is an amino acid that the body uses to make a little protein, glutathione (GSH). GSH is found in high concentrations in nearly every cell in the body and is critical for many organs’ function, particularly the liver. I use NAC as part of my treatment for Hepatitis C.

The WAY acetaminophen kills is by wiping out the GSH level. The antidote for an overdose, within about 12 hours of the overdose, is NAC.

But being a “dietary supplement” the FDA is terrified to admit something “non-drug” has medical benefit. Why? It might act as a disincentive to drug development (FDA document). And we CANNOT have anything interfere with the PROFITS OF PHARMA! They count so much, even just a REMEDY to a toxicity is perceived as a threat.

So let’s have some more economic genocide and assure more people take more drugs and the really useful ones are abused and kept out of the hands of the poor. (Like ARV for HIV in Africa—pharma has helped murder MILLIONS to assure profits.)

Well…sorry. Just take some NAC with it if that NSAID works for you. The others have other toxicities and benefits. Physicians don’t have the time or often interest (or often even awareness) to actually educate patients about the stuff that’s out there.

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By coloradokarl, July 1, 2009 at 5:00 am Link to this comment

I wonder how long the “power” has known? 20 years? 30? 70% of the liver transplants? how much is that? $5 Billion? $10Billion? What other happy facts are the corporate Moguls withholding from our simple people?......

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By Jaded Prole, July 1, 2009 at 4:47 am Link to this comment

For many of us who are allergic to NSAIDS, tylenol, bad as it is, is the only alternative. I would be happy to have codeine or paragoric available once again in drug stores. Though it is known to be much safer than many of the drugs pushed by big pharma, the moralists have made it unavailable too.

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