- Associated Press - Thursday, January 13, 2011

LOWER DOSES: The FDA is calling on drugmakers to lower the amount of acetaminophen in prescription painkillers, which have long been linked with potentially fatal cases of liver damage.

ACCIDENTAL OVERDOSES: Acetaminophen is a widely-used pain reliever and fever reducer used in over-the-counter drugs like Tylenol. But FDA officials say many consumers don’t realize that prescription pain killers like Vicodin also contain the ingredient. Combining the two types of products can lead to accidental overdose.

THREE-YEAR PLAN: FDA said it will phase out higher doses of prescription painkillers over the next three years. Currently, the medications can contain up to 700 milligrams of acetaminophen. The new formulations will be capped at 325 milligrams.

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