Tylenol – Your Current Dosage is too High!

The FDA had asked 37 experts to recommend ways to reduce overdose of acetaminophen, which is the leading cause of liver failure in the US. Annually 56000 people get send to the ER and 200 people die due to overdose. Acetaminophen is not some exotic mediation that only can be prescribed by specialists; it is the main ingredient that is active in medication such as Tylenol medicine.


Most of us take Tylenol to relieve our headaches and also to treat chronic pain such as backpain. We buy Tylenol over the counter easily and most household leave it on the shelf where it is accessible to our teenage kids who also takes it especially when they had too much of a wild party the night before. None of us really controls the amount of Tylenol that our family takes as our perception of Tylenol was that it is a mild painkiller which is an approved medication. Kids also take children’s Tylenol. I am personally not aware that acetaminophen was actually dangerous until I had read this article.

Experts by FDA recommend reducing current dosage

According to the article, the panel hired by FDA endorsed limiting the maximum single dose of the drug to 650 milligrams. This would be down from the 1,000-milligram dose, or two tablets of Extra Strength Tylenol. With this reduction, all the various Tylenol medication that is currently sold over the counter is affected and not just Tylenol extra strength. We got to be extra careful when we use Tylenol from now on. For example, we can only take 1 rapid release gel or caplet of Tylenol PM as each gel or caplet contains 500mg of acetaminophen. For Tylenol Arthritis Pain, we can only take 1 caplet as each contains 650mg already.

Worried about Tylenol overdosage

Are we already overdosing?

Currently for Tylenol Arthritis Pain, the on box instructions indicate that we should take 2 caplets every 8 hours. This would be double the recommended dosage by this expert panel and this would imply that we have been taking a higher than recommended dosage all this while. And for Tylenol PM, the on box instruction is to take 2 gels at bed time. Same problem for taking higher than the 650mg recommended by the expert panel.

Although we can ignore the advice given by these experts since we have not experienced any severe side effects all these while, I am not sure whether our bodies will react adversely in the future. Moreover with most of us already accustomed to taking at least 2 caplets of Tylenol PM or Arthritis Pain or other variations, will we get the same level of pain relief when we switch to a lower dosage? Will our bodies have already built up the tolerance to acetaminophen?

I am uncertain about whether FDA will take up the recommendations by these experts but I hope that they put the wellbeing of the American consumers ahead of the drug companies. I am a consumer of Tylenol and although I would dread the day I cannot find Tylenol on the shelf whenever my arthritis acts up, I am also concerned about whether our public will be aware that their current dosage of Tylenol is potentially too high to be safe. We will have to wait for FDA’s decision on how they will finally act on the recommendations.

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