CDA Essentials 2016 • Volume 3 • Issue 7 - page 16

According toHealthCanada
1
, acetaminophenoverdose
is the leadingcauseof all serious liver injury inCanada,
includingacute liver failure, andaccounts formore than
4000hospitalizations inCanadaeachyear. About 20%of
overdoses areaccidental, but thenumbers aregrowing.
A
TorontoStar
report
2
found that between2000and2011
anaverageof 68Canadiansdiedeachyear becauseof
acetaminophenoverdose.
The recommendedmaximumdailydoseof
acetaminophen for adults is 4grams—about 12 tablets
of Regular StrengthTylenol® (325mg) or 8capletsof
ExtraStrengthTylenol® (500mg).Dosesabove10gper
day inadults aregenerallyconsidered tobe
damaging to the liver.
However, theHealthCanada report
1
found that,
in somecases, acetaminophen-related liver injury
was reportedby individualswho ingested
less
than themaximum recommendeddailydoseof
acetaminophen. Inparticular, people susceptible
to liver injury, suchas thosewithalcoholismor
liver disease,maybeat greater risk.Measures
thatwouldminimize the riskof acetaminophen
overdose, suchasdecreasing themaximum
recommendeddailydoseof acetaminophen
and theunit dose for someproducts, arenow
beingconsideredbyHealthCanada.
Johnson& Johnson, themanufacturers
of Tylenol, educates consumerson
Dentalpatientsoftenuseacetaminophen
throughprescriptionorover-the-counter
medicines forpostsurgicalpain reliefor
to treata toothache, butdentistsand
patientsmaynot fullyappreciate the
potentialdangersof taking toomuch
of thisdrug.
N
ews and
E
vents
WHAT
TOTELL
YOUR
PATIENTS
about the safeuse of
acetaminophen
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