505: Use Only as Directed

505: Use Only as Directed

Sep 20, 2013
One of the country's most popular over-the-counter painkillers — acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol — also kills the most people, according to data from the federal government. Over 150 Americans die each year on average after accidentally taking too much. And it requires a lot less to endanger you than you may know. We reported this alongside ProPublica. Their stories here and here.

 Web Extra: McNeil Consumer Healthcare, the maker of Tylenol, chose not to provide a spokesperson for a taped interview for our story. But they did send written answers to our questions and a statement by their Vice President for Medical Affairs, Ed Kuffner. Recognizing that we're a radio show, Kuffner also made a recording of his statement. We excerpt it in our story. Here it is in its entirety.

  • Reporter Sean Cole explains the confusion over dosing for Infants Tylenol and Children’s Tylenol. The FDA could have mandated clearer labels that might have prevented infant deaths. But it chose not to, despite the urging of Tylenol’s manufacturer McNeil Consumer Healthcare. McNeil, for its part, could have pulled one of the products from the shelves, but it chose not to. (18 minutes)ChildrenHealth Care/Medicine

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