On August 1st, the FDA issued a warning about the connection between the common drug acetaminophen and several rare skin disorders. Although the warning was, in the words of the FDA, “not intended to worry consumers or health care professionals, nor is it meant to encourage them to choose other medications,” it is an important reminder that even common OTC drugs carry potentially serious risks, and people who are taking drugs for chronic pain should consider other treatment options when possible.

Serious Skin Disease Linked to Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen and Other NSAIDs

The FDA warning highlighted the potential risk of Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), toxic epidermal necrosis (TEN), and other skin diseases associated with acetaminophen. In these diseases, the skin begins to die and fall off. The conditions affect all the skin in the body, including the corneas, mucous membranes, such as those in the digestive tract, and the linings of organs. It can lead to hospitalization, permanent scarring, and organ damage.

Although the current warning is associated with acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol), other pain medications such as ibuprofen (Advil), already carry warnings for this condition.

People may develop these reactions even if they have previously taken medications without any adverse response.

Liver Damage and Acetaminophen

Acetaminophen is also associated with serious liver damage. Overdoses of the painkiller or chronic overuse are both associated with damage. To reduce the risk, the FDA ordered a reduction of the amount of acetaminophen in prescription drugs.

Reduce Your Reliance on Pain Medication

If you find yourself taking any kind of pain medication on a regular basis, it’s important to look for strategies at reducing the amount you take and the frequency with which you take them. TMJ treatment is successful at reducing many types of chronic pain, including jaw pain, back pain, and headaches. It is a drug-free way to treat chronic pain and can help some people avoid these serious risks associated with common drugs.

To learn more about treatments for chronic pain, please call (303) 691-0267 at the TMJ Therapy & Sleep Center of Colorado in Denver today.