Dr. Kenneth Abrams, senior vice president for clinical operations for the North Shore-LIJ Health System based in Manhasset, said recommending lower acetaminophen doses is "a good thing for patients and for the public." Banning prescription combination painkillers which contain acetaminophen, "might be going a bit too far." "Many episodes of pain can be managed with lower dosages," Abrams said. "The vast majority of the time, regular strength Tylenol is going to be just as effective for us."
Dr. Adhi Sharma, chairman of emergency medicine at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip, called acetaminophen "very safe . . . when taken properly" but said it's a good idea to limit dosages. Adhi said people who drink alcohol face a double risk if they use acetaminophen because both damage the liver. As for the action recommending a ban on combination prescription painkillers - like Percocet - containing acetaminophen, Adhi said it probably makes more sense "to remove the acetaminophen" and keep the drugs for pain relief available.
Dr. Lyn Weiss, chairman of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, called the proposed action helpful overall. Weiss said it might help to reduce the amount of acetaminophen in combination over-the-counter products containing ingredients like decongestants or caffeine. "The problem with over-the-counter medication is it does contain certain medications that adversely affect the body," Weiss said.