Abuse of Over-The-Counter Drugs Increasing
Misuse of over-the-counter drugs has increasingly lead to overdose. This may seem shocking to some, as these medications are easily accessible. Many people believe that these drugs are harmless because they can be found almost anywhere, and can be purchased by almost anyone. However, these over the counter drugs contain hidden dangers and can be life-threatening. Such over the counter pain relievers and other medications have lead to a growing incidence of overdose.
In fact, in Florida, the Poison Information Center has reported a sharp increase over the past ten (10) years in the receipt of calls concerning over-the-counter products. Such reported health products included ibuprofen, acetaminophen the ingredient found in cold medicines and pain relievers, including Tylenol, other cough and cold medicines, and vitamins.
Some experts have speculated that the reason for the increase in overdose from over-the-counter medications stems from the expense associated with doctor’s visits. If a patient does not have health insurance, a visit to the doctor’s office can be extremely expensive. Such a high expense may discourage patients from going to see a medical professional. Instead, they may self-medicate with drugs that they can easily, quickly, and cheaply pick up at any drug store, grocery store, or convenience store.
Unfortunately, one man who had no insurance, but suffered from a painful toothache decided to self-medicate with acetaminophen. As a result of taking matters into his own hands, the man suffered from liver and kidney failure. His consumption of four pain reliever pills at a time contributed to him organ failure. Symptoms of his over-use of these medications culminated in abdominal pains and vomiting, and ultimately ended with his death.
Many people remain unaware of the hidden dangers of drugs such as Tylenol and ibuprofen. It is difficult to believe that over the counter medications, particularly very popular medications, can lead to death. However, acetaminophen, the drug found in Tylenol, is the leading cause of acute liver failure in the United States. Acetaminophen has resulted in many serious overdose cases, including more than 400 deaths a year, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
As a result of recent studies and a more thorough investigation into the dangers of acetaminophen, the FDA, as of January, has decided to limit the amount of acetaminophen allowed in certain prescription drugs. This limit, which will be applicable to painkiller pills such as Vicodin and Percocet, will likely take effect in about three years. Although a restriction has been placed on these prescription pills, which contain a combination of narcotic painkillers and acetaminophen, the FDA has not yet taken any action regarding limitations on the amount of acetaminophen permitted in over-the-counter medications. Thus, higher dosages of acetaminophen may be available in over-the-counter medications than available by prescription in certain instances.
Where to get help
What do you do if you or a loved one has been injured or killed as a result of taking certain over the counter medications such as Tylenol? Call the Law Offices of d’Oliveira & Associates now. A personal injury attorney familiar in the investigation of acetaminophen and other dangerous over-the-counter drugs can help you get the compensation you deserve. The attorneys at the Law Offices of d’Oliveira & Associates are affiliated with some of the best and most experienced pharmaceutical lawyers in the country. The Law Offices of d’Oliveira & Associates can provide you with the legal representation you need, to help you make important personal and legal decisions. Email us or call us now for FREE case evaluation. For your convenience, our telephones are answered 24 hours a day and 7 days a week (1-800-992-6878)..