Monday, September 23, 2013

Behind the Numbers: Acetaminophen poisoning the active ingredient in Tylenol

Behind the Numbers

by T. Christian Miller and Jeff Gerth
ProPublica, Sep. 20, 9:55 a.m.

We explore the data behind figures showing how many people die from overdosing on acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol.


How many people in the United States die or suffer serious harm from acetaminophen overdose?  
To try to answer this question, ProPublica examined three sets of primary data, as well as dozens of scientific studies. While the data sets varied on the total number of deaths, all three showed an increase in acetaminophen-linked fatalities over much of the past decade, with only occasional year-to-year declines.  
Here is an in-depth look at the numbers.  
Data compiled by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has linked as many as 980 deaths in a year to drugs containing acetaminophen. In addition, FDA reports of death associated with acetaminophen have been increasing faster than those for aspirin, ibuprofen and many other common over-the-counter pain medicines.  
Data obtained from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that more than 300 people die annually as a result of acetaminophen poisoning.

Continue reading @ ProPublica

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