Tylenol is manufactured by McNeil Laboratories, which is one of the largest health-care companies in America. The Tylenol brand family of products is designed to relieve the symptoms associated with allergies, colds, headaches, muscle aches, arthritis, fever and insomnia. Tylenol is one of many over-the-counter medications that do not need to be prescribed by a physician. To some, it may seem that over the counter (OTC) means safer, but that may not necessarily be true. Especially, if the over-the-counter medication is not taken as directed.
What is Tylenol?
According to RxList, the active ingredient in Tylenol is acetaminophen, which is crystalline in form and white in color. Acetaminophen is a pharmaceutical strength pain reliever (analgesic) that is commonly used in America and around the world. But, commonality may not be such a good thing. In fact, it is because of its wide-spread use that acetaminophen has become no stranger to overdose.
Tylenol.com reports that Regular Strength Tylenol contains 325 mg of acetaminophen per tablet. The recommended single dose is two tablets every four to six hours, not to exceed 12 tablets per day. For patients who are taking Extra Strength Tylenol, the safest single recommended dose is two tablets every four to six hours, as well. But, keep in mind that Extra Strength Tylenol contains 500 mg of acetaminophen per tablet, which means that no more than eight tablets should be ingested in a 24-hour period.
McNeil manufactures products specifically designed for children. Therefore, adult strength Tylenol should never be given to children under 12 years of age. Tylenol.com reports that their infant products should never be administered using anything other than the infant dropper to prevent overdose. A physician should also be consulted for dosage instructions before giving an infant, or child under 12 years of age, any Tylenol product.
The Daily Dose
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently voted to lower the accepted daily dose of acetaminophen for adults. Previously, four grams (eight pills) of acetaminophen per day was considered safe. But, the FDA administration panel has concluded that the maximum daily dosage be decreased to 2.6 grams per day to reduce the risk of liver damage.
According to the University Of Michigan Department Of Pediatrics, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an antidote for Tylenol (acetaminophen) overdose. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) has been found to be effective in preventing liver damage in an acetaminophen overdose, but it must be administered within eight hours of ingestion of the acetaminophen medication.