Nightly News   |  January 15, 2014

FDA Asks Doctors to Stop Prescribing High-Dose Acetaminophen

NBC News’ Dr. Nancy Snyderman explains the reasoning behind the latest FDA warning.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> do with drugs found in homes, the ones prescribed for patients after surgery and injury. the pain relievers and prescription pain meds that contain acetaminophen, the active ingredient in things like tylenol. the fda is taking action to limit the amount of acetaminophen because of overdose, as it is the most common cause of liver failure . dr. nancy snyderman has more.

>> reporter: hey, brian, the fda was very pointed on taking action on this today, because it has to do with the fact that many people don't know it is a common ingredient in drugs like vicodin, patients may not realize they are at risk for liver damage , and that is why the agency is asking doctors to stop prescribing medication -- combination medications with more than 325 milligrams of acetaminophen per dose. it all breaks down to why this is so important, it targets the prescription pain killers and is a reminder to keep the dosage down to common levels, that is don't exceed more than 4,000 milligrams in a 24 hour period, usually about eight or ten pills. ask your doctor what is the content in any prescription pill, and acetaminophen, and remember, alcohol is not your friend when it comes to acetaminophen and don't drink when you take the medication. and a reminder when you just need an over-the-counter medication, one pill can sometimes take care of routine pain and there is no evidence, interestingly, brian, that two pills is better than one.

>> and in that way, it is big news today, nancy,