U.S. FDA Panel Recommending Ban Of Vicodin And Percocet

Pills%20Blog%20image.jpgLast week, a federal advisory panel of the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) voted 20-17 to recommend a ban of Percocet and Vicodin, two very popular painkillers, due to their damaging effects on the liver. Percocet, also known as Oxycodone, and Vicodin, another name for Hydrocodone, are controlled substances due to their addictive nature, and combine a narcotic with high dosages of acetaminophen, a painkiller found in such medications as Excedrin, Tylenol and Nyquil.

Acetaminophen is combined with different narcotics in at least 7 other prescription drugs, and each of these drugs would be banned if the FDA takes the advice of its panel. Vicodin is prescribed more than 100 million times per year in the United States, according to the study, and patients who take these potentially dangerous drugs often need progressively larger doses to obtain the same pain relief.

In 2005, Americans bought 28 billion doses of products containing acetaminophen. Although it is effective in treating headaches and reducing fevers, even recommended doses can cause liver damage. More than 400 people die and 42,000 are hospitalized in the U.S. every year from overdoses according to the panel. One panel member, an associate professor of medicine from Duke University Medical Center, noted that: “We’re here because there are inadvertent overdoses [of acetaminophen] which are fatal, and this is our opportunity to have a big impact.”


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