The US federal advisory board narrowly voted to place a recommended ban on the use of Vicodin and Percocet due to their negative effects on the liver.
Both medications are most commonly prescribed painkillers in the world and contain acetaminophen which is behind the damage.
Acetaminophen is also found in Tylenol and Excedrin. The panel noted that when used in high doses acetaminophen causes extensive liver damage and many users of both drugs build resistances leading to higher doses over a long period of usage.
Vicodin and its generic forms are prescribed over 100m times a year in the US alone and if the ban is instated by the FDA the popular painkiller and seven other painkillers with acetaminophen will be included in the ban.
Spokeswoman for Abbot Laboratories Laureen Cassidy said that if the FDA places a ban on the drug they will follow the FDA’s guidelines.
The federal advisory met to discuss other problems associated with acetaminophen which can be useful in reducing headaches and fevers, but has caused the deaths of over 400 people and the hospitalization of 42,000 from overdoses.
The committee also voted to change the content of acetaminophen in OTC products such as Tylenol from 500mg to 325mg.