FDA: Tylenol Can Cause Rare Skin Diseases
Still, it's not recommending consumers switch to another pain reliever
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Aug 2, 2013 7:47 AM CDT
Acetaminophen is the active ingredient in Tylenol-brand painkillers.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

(Newser) – The FDA is warning consumers that acetaminophen—the active ingredient in Tylenol—can cause rare skin diseases characterized by rashes, blisters, and, very occasionally, extreme damage to the skin's surface. The agency hastened to add that it wasn't advising that everyone abandon acetaminophen in favor of another pain reliever, as these side effects are rare. But anyone experiencing symptoms should stop taking the drug and seek medical attention, the Wall Street Journal reports.

By scouring its database, the FDA found 107 cases of such acetaminophen-fueled skin disease between 1969 and 2012. In 67 of those cases the patient wound up in the hospital, and 12 people died. Tylenol purveyor Johnson & Johnson says the results "should be viewed within the context of the millions who … have benefited from acetaminophen." It's also worth noting that ibuprofen (Advil, among others), and naproxen (Aleve) already have skin reaction warnings. Still, this isn't exactly the first blemish on Tylenol's record.

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Showing 3 of 4 comments
Aug 3, 2013 2:15 PM CDT
At least it won't drill a hole in your stomach and intestines, as will extended use of aspirin. Now, it might knock out your liver, but you can't have everything.
Aug 2, 2013 12:41 PM CDT
As my family doctor (background in rheumatology and research) continually tells me, anything not found naturally in your body is a poison and the body will react. Some people are really sensitive to many supposedly 'normal' medications. This comes as no surprise and shouldn't be blown out of proportion -- afterall, some folks have lethal reactions to peanuts! This newest FDA warning will probably have the same affect as those found on cigarette packs, alcohol and other medications.
Aug 2, 2013 9:55 AM CDT
This stuff has lots of side effects, and aspirin can do as well or better on pain, fever, & several things Ty can't. Tylenol is more expensive, too. Give it a pass.