The End of NyQuil as We Know It? - The UltimateFatBurner Blog

The End of NyQuil as We Know It?

That’s the title of this Wall Street Journal Blog post – and it sure puts some perspective on all the howling about the dangers of “unregulated supplements.”

Now, a panel of outside experts convened by the agency is meeting to discuss ways to reduce the risk of overdose associated with acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol. The FDA’s briefing memo says the numbers aren’t entirely clear, but cites one study that suggested acetaminophen overdoses were associated with 56,000 emergency room visits, 26,000 hospitalizations, and 458 deaths per year in the U.S. during the 1990s.

Part of the issue is that “there is little difference between the maximum recommended daily dose and a potentially harmful dose,” the FDA says. The agency lays out a few possibilities for dealing with this, including reducing the maximum daily dose and the single adult dose.

One other possibility mentioned in the memo: Getting rid of products that combine acetaminophen with other drugs, on the grounds that consumers may not know acetaminophen is in their medicine, so may take multiple products that contain the drug. Acetaminophen is in lots of cold products — including NyQuil, one of the all-time OTC classics.

56,000 emergency room visits, 26,000 hospitalizations and 458 deaths per year?  I don’t know of any supplement that even approaches the level of risk that “tightly regulated” drugs like acetaminophen does.  If we’re going to save people from themselves, then perhaps that’s the place we should start.

Author: elissa

Elissa is a former research associate with the University of California at Davis, and the author/co-author of over a dozen articles published in scientific journals. Currently a freelance writer and researcher, Elissa brings her multidisciplinary education and training to her writing on nutrition and supplements.


  1. I hope everyone who cares one iota about freedom finds, in this example, the carelessness of government monopoly agencies. Unfortunately, most people are simply clueless to understanding that government agents are not focused on the stated mission, for without competition, there is no point in working towards a consumer-driven deliverable. Rather than focus on the mission, agents of the state, are incented to politic to ensure their jobs and to ensure promotion.

    Nothing can demonstrate this better than the failures of the FDA to protect the public. The public would be far better off without the FDA for competing firms would come to market to certify products as safe. Should those certifications prove false, then civil litigation could be instigated by aggrieved consumers. With the FDA monopoly, there is no such recourse.

    High time Americans realize the pathetic nature of government sycophants that steal our money and use it more for evil than for good.

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  2. To me this is more of an issue of human error. I believe that most people take way to much way to often. As human beings if we feel the least bit of pain we want a pill to make it stop.

    If it dosen’t stop with one I’ll just take two. If the pain comes back in two hours I’ll just take more (even though I should’nt for another two hours).

    I have a young man working for me that takes tylenol almost everyday because he has some sort of pain. I sure in the long run this will cause problems, and it will be self-inflicted.

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