Survey: Safer Acetaminophen Use and Increased Risk Awareness Among Americans

Article

In a nationwide survey conducted by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association Educational Foundation, a larger portion of acetaminophen users in the United States reported knowing how to use the drug safely and effectively while avoiding potential risks.

In a nationwide survey conducted by the Consumer Healthcare Products Association Educational Foundation, a larger portion of acetaminophen users in the United States reported knowing how to use the drug safely and effectively while avoiding potential risks.

The survey’s results indicated a positive trend over the past 6 years. According to a press release, more consumers understand the importance of acetaminophen safety measures, including following labels and dosing instructions, and remaining aware of risks.

The findings demonstrate:

  • More consumers (97%) in 2016, compared to 2010 (93%), agree on the importance of reading labels to determine the maximum daily dose of pain medicines.
  • 96% of consumers, compared to 90% in 2010, recognize the importance of adhering to dosing direction on the label.
  • 90% of consumers, compared to 78% in 2010, reported understanding that the exceeding recommended daily dose of acetaminophen can lead to liver damage.

Educational efforts and drug packaging changes made by OTC medication manufacturers have contributed to the growing awareness surrounding pain medication safety. Packages that prominently display acetaminophen on products and label, as well as standardization of acetaminophen and dosing devices for children’s medications, allow users and parents to avoid dosing errors.

Additionally, health care providers play a role in counseling patients about safe medication use and risks of accidental overdose or liver damage to increase awareness.

Reference

Consumers’ Knowledge of Acetaminophen Safe Use at All-time High [news release]. Washington DC. CHPA’s website. https://www.chpa.org/AcetaminophenSafeUseatAll-timeHigh.aspx. Accessed Mar. 7, 2017.

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