Acetaminophen, a common prescription and over the counter pain management drug, has recently undergone a significant review by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). On June 29 and 30, 2009, the FDA held an advisory committee meeting to discuss the problem of liver injury due to acetaminophen use. Acetaminophen is the leading cause of liver injury in the United States.
While the FDA is not bound by the recommendations of its advisory committees, it often follows their recommendations. The recommendations of the acetaminophen advisory committee were significant and included:
Acetaminophen has been legally available in the United States for about fifty years and is in common household drugs such as Tylenol. The recommendations of the FDA’s advisory committee are significant and may have a fundamental impact on the way people in the U.S. use painkillers in the years to come.