Sunday, March 11, 2012

Paracetamol (Tylenol) should be prescription only

I agree entirely. I have long said that it is far more dangerous than aspirin yet aspirin seems to be out of fashion. In the pharmaceutical corridor at my local supermarket there is a great range of painkillers but you have to look hard to find the little corner where they have a small amount of aspirin for sale

The family of a young mother who died after taking too many paracetamol tablets to help cope with pain following routine surgery have called for the drug to be prescription only.
Paracetamol Tablets, health, pills

Single mum Desiree Phillips, 20, was buying the painkillers over the counter and had upped her dose to "a few extra tablets" a day, an inquest heard. The talented singer was found unconscious next to a pack of the tablets at the home where she lived with her 11-month-old son.

Desiree was rushed to hospital where doctors diagnosed liver failure due to paracetamol poisoning. She was transferred to a specialist hospital for a liver transplant operation but died when it failed.

Desiree had auditioned for X-Factor and was hoping for a career in showbusiness after recording an album of seven songs.

After the hearing her grandfather Desmond Phillips, a chef, said: "This shows that Paracetamol should be prescription only. "It can be a very dangerous drug. "If a painkiller is that dangerous, it should be prescribed. Cigarettes have a label saying "smoking kills" but paracetamol packets don't look dangerous. "Desiree was taking a staggered dose - only one or two a day but before we knew it she had done her self terrible liver damage."

Mr Phillips told the hearing: "Desiree's death was sudden, tragic and unexpected. "She's had routine surgery for lumps in her breasts which were not cancerous. "Afterwards she was in a lot of pain - we had to look after her baby because it hurt her too much to hold him. "She had taken paracetamol to ease the pian - she was taking a few too many over the daily dose but we never expected this to happen."

Blonde Desiree, of Llanelli, West Wales, was found passed out by her new boyfriend Andrew Laycock. Mr Laycock told the inquest: "I was concerned because I'd not had any texts from Desiree so I went around to the house. "She was curled up on the sofa and I could see she's been sick. There were packets of paracetamol there.

"I called an ambulance and she was rushed to hospital. "A doctor told me it was serious so I waited through the night with her."

The inquest, in Llanelli, heard Desiree died on August 26 last year after being transferred to Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth hospital.

The cause of death was liver failure caused by paracetamol toxicity and the inquest heard there were high levels of painkillers in her bloodstream.

Carmarthenshire Coroner Mark Leyton recorded a narrative verdict. He said: "Desiree was using paracetamol for pain relief and may have been exceeding the normal dose. "But it remains unclear whether it was a built up or whether she took a large single dose."

Desiree's 18-month-old son Jayden is being cared for by her family.

Desiree's mother Ayshea, 39, said: "Desiree was beautiful and had an infectious personality, she was always bubbly and we were always having a laugh. "She loved Jayden, she couldn't do enough for him. He doesn't deserve to be growing up without a mum because of this.'

A Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency spokesman said: 'Paracetamol is a safe and effective painkiller when used correctly and when dosage recommendations are followed. 'Every pack has a warning about overdose and instructions not to take more than eight tablets in any 24-hour period.'


Food alarmists target Coke

The CSPI are just Leftist attention-seekers determined to make a nuisance of themselves. Their "science" is very biased and selective. Scares sell newspapers, however, so their influence is out of all proportion to their importance

Coca-Cola is changing its top secret recipe to avoid having to put cancer warning labels on their beverages. The move came amid mounting pressure from an American consumer watchdog group to ban an additive used in the caramel colouring of cola.

The compound under debate is called 4-MEI and the Center for Science in the Public Interest claims it causes cancer.

They launched a public campaign against the use of the additive, which led Californian authorities to add it to its list of carcinogens.

To avoid having to introduce risk labels on their products, Coca-Cola have agreed to make nationwide changes to the 125-year-old formula. Pepsi- which is the world's second favourite soft drink after Coke- will also make similar changes to their manufacturing process. It is unconfirmed whether the changes will be made to the soft drinks in Australia.

The advocacy group filed a petition against the colouring with the Food and Drug Administration in February. The appeal highlighted a study which found the chemical led to tumors in lab rats and mice.

The American Beverage Association (ABA) said the campaign against 4-MEI exaggerated the risks. In a statement, the ABA noted a person would need to drink more than 2,900 cans of cola every day for 70 years to reach the lowest dose levels the mice received.

“This is nothing more than CSPI scare tactics, and their claims are outrageous. The science simply does not show that 4-MEI in foods or beverages is a threat to human health,” the statement said.

Coca-Cola also denies the caramel colouring causes any public risk but agreed to alter the recipe to avoid having to conform to California's labelling conditions.


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