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  1. m.a.s.
    m.a.s. at |

    Totally agree…when someone takes 50% more dosage (3 Tylenol vs 2 Tylenol), whey would they believe there would not be consequences?

  2. PMDR
    PMDR at |

    It’s been what I considered common knowledge for 20 years or more that Tylenol should be consumed WITH food (i.e. never on an empty stomach) and never with alcohol, or it would blow your liver. It just seems like this is suddenly news to people who should have been paying attention all along. And suddenly news to them means its a BIG DEAL ™.

    FWIW, I always buy generic pain killers. I have no idea what McNeil has or has not been telling anyone but still I knew about the risks. Clearly I am doing something terribly wrong in knowing what I take.

    The far bigger problem, in my opinion, are the incessant TV ads which tell consumers, when you overdo it and screw up your knees/body, the easy/fast/best thing to do is take a pill. Once every 8 hours. Once every 10 hours! And you’re back to being SuperYou. The actual thing to do is listen to your body and not do the things that make it hurt. But then you’ll need less pills. Can’t have that.

    1. Mike
      Mike at |

      I think it is worth mentioning that doctors REGULARLY advise patients that they can take more than the suggested Tylenol dosage for various kinds of pain, usually because they don’t want to prescribe stronger painkillers. I’d listen to my doctor over the label, but hopefully this changes that.

  3. yoes
    yoes at |

    kevin take that hat off, how do you expect me to take this article from a guy who still has a goa tee

  4. T. Christian Miller (@txtianmiller)
    T. Christian Miller (@txtianmiller) at |

    As one of the story’s authors, I feel compelled to respond. While I am suitably impressed with your ability to use Google, I note that you would not find two primary points of the story on that otherwise admirable search engine, until we unearthed them. Namely:

    – “Over more than 30 years, the FDA has delayed or failed to adopt measures designed to reduce deaths and injuries from acetaminophen. The agency began a comprehensive review to set safety rules for acetaminophen in the 1970s, but still has not finished.”

    – “McNeil, the maker of Tylenol, has taken steps to protect consumers. But over more than three decades, the company has repeatedly opposed safety warnings, dosage restrictions and other measures meant to safeguard users of the drug.”

    Perhaps you believe that the liver warnings you were able to discover with your keyboard skills have solved all the problems. I would direct you to our editorial, which lists nine other public health steps that have been suggested by FDA advisors, outsiders and the company itself:

    We are well aware of relative risk issues. I assume that you are as well, and that you know an important part of public health is whether such RRs, however large or small they may be, can be reduced through reforms without altering the risk/reward calculation. In this case, the experts have said yes, and yet the FDA has failed to address such suggestions. You may wish to use Google to review the actions of the U.K. and many other national regulators in limiting paracetamol access. Or you could save yourself time and read our story, with documentation and context included.

    As to your point regarding McNeil’s decision to “encourage appropriate acetaminophen use,” you perhaps might have spent an additional amount of time Googling the company’s other products in the U.S. and around the world and wonder why they did not take the same steps for all of their products — a fact we discuss in our story, and that is not readily apparent from McNeil’s website.

    We did try to reach the tl;dr audience with interactive and social tools woven throughout the story. You apparently were not among them. The best I can offer “to get to the point” is our permalink with embedded tweets: Hopefully, five paragraphs is not too long for you.

    In the end, ProPublica is not the answer to the woes that beset investigative journalism. But neither are sloppy, ill-considered critiques that fail to demonstrate an understanding of the significant time and investment it takes to unearth information which those in power wish to keep from the public. Most journalists realize that going to the 3rd page of Google search results does not constitute shoe-leather reporting. I trust you do as well.

  5. Blogreader
    Blogreader at |


  6. alan Herschenfeld
    alan Herschenfeld at |

    Very few people are capable of the type
    of research described in this piece. Therefore, the warning of overdose should have been more prominent and
    should have appeared earlier. The report
    was correct in suspecting that people who
    market Tylenol dragged their
    feet in warning the public of the possibility of an overdose.

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