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Acetaminophen's maximum dose might be lowered by Health Canada

07/09/2015 01:59 EDT | Updated 07/09/2016 05:59 EDT
A new maximum recommended daily dose for the pain reliever acetaminophen is under consideration by Health Canada.

Acetaminophen is a medicinal ingredient in more than 470 products, including non-prescription and prescription products such as Tylenol, allergy medicines and cold relievers.

Health Canada says there are more than 4,000 hospitalizations a year in this country due to acetaminophen overdoses.

The drug is the leading cause of all serious liver injuries, including liver failure.

The regulator said it will take more steps in the coming months to improve  acetaminophen safety including: 

- Add a drug facts table that will provide safety information in an easy-to-read format.

- Use plainer language, so that consumers can more easily identify products that contain acetaminophen, understand the liver risks and use the products as directed. 

Health Canada plans to hold a technical discussion on other options such as:

- Decrease the maximum recommended daily dose (currently four grams per day).

- Require all children's products be supplied with a dosing device, such as a measuring cup, to prevent the risk of dosing errors (not all children's products are currently subject to this requirement). 

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