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Tylenol dose cut to prevent overdose risk

TRENTON -- Johnson & Johnson said yesterday that it's reducing the maximum daily dose of its Extra Strength Tylenol pain reliever to lower the risk of accidental overdose from acetaminophen, its active ingredient and the top cause of liver failure.

The company's McNeil Consumer Healthcare Division said the change affects Extra Strength Tylenol sold in the United States, one of many products in short supply in stores after a string of recalls.

Starting this fall, labels on Extra Strength Tylenol packages will list the maximum daily dose as six pills, or a total of 3,000 milligrams, down from eight pills a day, or 4,000 milligrams. Beginning next year, McNeil will also reduce the maximum daily dose for its Regular Strength Tylenol and other adult pain relievers containing acetaminophen, the most widely used painkiller in the country.

People taking multiple medicines at once don't always realize how much acetaminophen they are ingesting, partly because prescription drug labels often list it under the abbreviation "APAP." -- AP