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Desc:Flush your old Vicodin down the toilet.
Category:News & Politics, Science & Technology
Tags:CNN, tylenol, FDA, being right makes you a troll, warn grandma
Submitted:oddeye
Date:04/14/14
Views:1272
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Comment count is 21
oddeye
Before they (rightly) switched Vicodin to the lower tylenol content version we have now I would routinely see older ladies prescribed 1-2 pills 4-6 hours a day of the ES strength which has 750mg a pill for MONTHS at a time. Obviously the boss would lay down the law and tell them not to exceed 6-8 pills a day (depending on who my boss was that day) but that never stops the doctors writing for it every damn time.

When the switch happened and we could no longer order the old strengths it took the usual suspects 4-5 weeks of being called by us and who knows what other pharmacies before they started to write for valid strengths. How could pain management doctors not know this stuff? We still get the odd script for it but that's from family doctors.

It really annoys me because it's needless risk for minimal benefit and I'm willing to bet the culprit is not a lack of care for the wellbeing of the patient but sheer ignorance. Sadly this ignorance is shared with the public at large because they have been wrongly educated as to what a safe level of tylenol is.

I'm not some silver in the nose whackadoo or ginger up the ass mentalist; but go ahead and call me a troll all you like. I will rail against giant tobacco companies and drugs that needlessly endanger the public at large regardless.
oddeye
I should also have added that I meant 1-2 pills EVERY 4-6 hours regardless of if they are needed or not AND they are prescribed these doses for literally years on end. It's an absolute JOKE what some doctors get away with and I've frequently brought it up with my superiors only to have my reservations quashed. etc. etc.

Not that anyone actually cares.

ashtar.
Our medical system is not good at dealing with certain issues. Chronic pain is one of those. My neck pain varies between mild ache and gotohospialnownownow. I've been in constant pain for so long that I think it's just become part of my identity; I honestly can't imagine life without it. Over the years, I've generally had two reactions from doctors; "you're making this up, go away" and "here's a handful of pills, go away." It took me years of going to different specialists to even get a decent diagnosis.
I've come to the conclusion that most doctors don't want to devote a lot of cognitive resources to problems that don't have obvious causes or definite solutions. This is understandable (treat the people you can help), but may result in the sort of sloppiness you describe.

EvilHomer
Freely partaking in substances when you know the risks involved is a long cry from being prescribed them by medical professionals ignorant of what the risks are. If you'd like to lead the fight against doctors prescribing two packs of menthol a day, I'd be happy to troll alongside with you!

I will NOT condone any actions that might marginalize or jeopardize the freedoms of recreational Tylenol users. But as long as this boundary this respected, we may form a popular front.

oddeye
I only used prescribed drugs with high tylenol content as an illustration of how even highly educated medical professionals are in the dark about this stuff. Yeah alright, I also have beef with crooked pill-mill doctors. As ashtar. correctly states, that is a very thorny issue and I legitimately sympathize with his/her plight.

If someone wants to buy a bajillion tylenol and take 90 a day till their liver melts then so be it. As long as it is an EDUCATED choice and they know the risks vs. the rewards I am not going to step on their freedom to make a choice that is bad for their health alone.

RockBolt
The extremely thorough and well researched ProPublica article on acetaminophen is fucking jaw dropping. How very thin the margins are on safe/fatal doses, the slimy history of Tylenol parent McNeil, the 30 years of lag on proper warnings from the FDA. It just keeps going.

The worst part is acetaminophen is in EVERYTHING, Tylenol, Sudafed, Thereaflu, Nyquil, Vicks... its not hard to see how a few hundred people a year accidentally fatality overdose on the most heavily marketed "safe" medication there is.

http://www.propublica.org/article/tylenol-mcneil-fda-use-only- as-directed

And if you'd rather listen than read, This American Life did a whole episode on the ProPublica report as well

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/505/use -only-as-directed

I highly recommend getting this story one way or the other, the history is so far beyond what you can imagine.
Old_Zircon
Back in college one week I noticed a pile of empty cough syrup bottles forming by the dumpster next to the drug store near my apartment. IT was the kind with acetaminophen and someone who didn't know any better was drinking a new bottle of it every day for 5 or 6 days. Then they stopped showing up and I never saw them there again, and to this day I wonder if the person who was leaving them died (or at least wrecked their liver).

gravelstudios
Eh, I've always used aspirin when something hurts. It works better than Tylenol (at least for me), and the fact that too much will give me an upset stomach prevents me from taking it unless I need it.
glasseye
Dispose of it properly. Don't throw it away or flush it down the toilet.
oddeye
Yeah alright but it was a lot catchier than "Mix your old vicodin with used coffee grinds or take them to medication drop off point/national take back day center."

SteamPoweredKleenex
How does one do that, exactly? Take it to the dump? I can't think of a way it doesn't wind up back in the environment short of incinerating the stuff.

oddeye
Check the FDA website. Most drugs are disposed of in the above manner (drop off points are typically in police-stations and other such places) coffee grinds are recommended to make your blood pressure pills unappealing or some shit. Some medications SHOULD be flushed, like Fentanyl patches, while some medications SHOULD NOT be flushed, like warfarin.

Just fucking educate yourself, dickhead!

Potter
There's sober junkies who would cut off their right nut for those pills. Pass along the joy!

Jet Bin Fever
Yes, oddeye is right about this. Medications need to be very carefully disposed of. Thanks for addressing it before I could leave a comment saying the exact same thing.

Oscar Wildcat
Yes, send them to me. I'm well qualified to handle and dispose of them safely.

Pillager
The hospital where I work switched from Vicoden & Lorcets to Norco a while back. Sadly, 1,000mg of acetaminophen iv aka Ofirmev is now all the rage.

Nothing good will come of this.
Gmork
Should be common sense not to take that much aceto, even druggies I knew back in the day would avoid the combination pills.
Jet Bin Fever
Prescription drug addicts are a lot worse than almost any in the past. They're fucking terrifying. I don't think they would care.

infinite zest
I'm not saying it's a positive choice, but back in college I got kind of freaked out about my liver.. it was the early days of things like WebMD (symptoms: You might have #1 A COMMON COLD #2 CANCER/STROKE/AIDS) and had a massive panic attack that I attributed to binge drinking that I figured was an actual heart attack or something. I was also taking a bunch of Tylenol at the time; I wasn't used to the cold winters, and as soon as it got warm you'd wake up thinking it was snowing and realize it was FUCKING POLLEN.

Anyway, after that I stopped taking any drug that can have an interaction with alcohol that effects the liver, including when I got my Wisdom teeth removed (I got really high and drunk and gave the vicodin to my friends.) I'm sure I still do things that aren't good for me, but I've been store-drug-free for 12 years!
Jet Bin Fever
It's about fucking time they cracked down on this. There was a good This American Life show about this just a few months ago. Part of the show talked about how they did a report over 30 years ago detailing these liver effects, but despite thousands and thousands of deaths EVERY YEAR the FDA never put a liver damage warning on the bottles. Really makes me angry.
boner
Bob Ross videos work just as well.
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