Sunday, September 29, 2013

Chemistry in the news: Acetaminophen skin reaction

The article FDA issues warning about acetaminophen and skin reactions by Val Willingham from CNN (read the article here) discusses a rare but serious skin reaction caused by acetaminophen. The FDA now requires that acetaminophen containing prescription drugs now carry a warning about this possible reaction on their labels.
  The reactions, though rare, can be deadly. since 1969, cases identified by the FDA have resulted in 67 hospitalizations and 12 deaths. The FDA stated that if anyone develops these skin conditions upon taking acetaminophen should immediately stop using the drug, and tell their doctor.
  Acetaminophen consists of a benzene ring,  with groups on the first and fourth carbons. one of these groups is a hydroxyl group, and the other contains a second degree amine, followed by a carbon with a carbonyl group, and by a final primary carbon.


  1. Hi Matthew! Thanks for the post. It is really interesting to know how badly acetaminophen can affect some people. Acetaminophen is a drug that most people probably consider no to have side-effects as it is used so often and widely in society. Many people would probably not even realise that any blisters or reaction they may have may be as a result of the acetaminophen as it is portrayed to be such a safe drug! These kind of dangers should definitely be publicised on the labels given the potential dangers.

  2. It's crazy to me that something that seems so safe and everyday can cause such harmful reactions. It's also crazy that the warning is just now being placed on prescription drugs containing acetaminophen. These reactions have been occurring since 1969 and the pill bottles are just not get the labels. This is also a little scary for me because acetaminophen is the only OTC pain medicine I can take, and even though these reactions are rare, you never know what might happen!