U.S. Health Coalition message: "Double Check, Don't Double Up" is in reference to which of the following?
Answer: Acetaminophen. The Acetaminophen Awareness Coalition is launching a nationwide initiative today calling on consumers to double check their medicine labels so they don't double up on medicines that contain acetaminophen during the cold and flu season. Acetaminophen is the most common drug ingredient in America. It is found in more than 600 different medicines, including prescription (Rx) and over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers, fever reducers, sleep aids and numerous cough, cold and flu medicines. It is safe and effective when used as directed, but there is a limit to how much can be taken in one day. Taking more than directed is an overdose and can lead to liver damage.
Each year, Americans catch an estimated one billion colds, and as many as 20 percent get the flu. Seven in 10 consumers use over-the-counter medicines, many of which contain acetaminophen, to treat their symptoms. The Coalition is targeting its "Double Check, Don't Double Up" message to the more than 50 million Americans who use acetaminophen weekly for conditions such as headache and chronic pain, and directing them to double check their medicine labels before taking a cold or flu medicine that also contains acetaminophen.
When taking medicines for cough, cold or flu this coming season, consumers should follow these four simple acetaminophen safety steps:
1. Know if medicines contain acetaminophen, which is in bold type or highlighted in the "active ingredients" section of over-the-counter medicine labels and sometimes listed as "APAP" or "acetam" on prescription labels.
2. Never take two medicines that contain acetaminophen at the same time.
3. Always read and follow the medicine label.
4. Ask your healthcare provider or a pharmacist if you have questions about dosing instructions or medicines that contain acetaminophen.