Friday, July 3, 2009

Pain Medicine Experts Recommend Safe and Responsible Use of Acetaminophen

/PRNewswire/ -- In response to the advisory committee's recommendations to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to put new restrictions on acetaminophen this week, physician leaders from the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM), have released the following statement:

The American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM), which represents the
medical specialty of Pain Medicine, supports the safe and responsible
use of acetaminophen both in over-the-counter and prescription
medicines. While there are risks associated with the misuse of
acetaminophen, the benefits to patients suffering from both
short-term and chronic pain are significant.

The misuse and abuse of both over-the-counter and prescription
medicines are significant social and medical problems that must be
addressed responsibly. But, the under-treatment of pain is also a
longstanding and significant medical and social problem that also
must be addressed responsibly.

AAPM recognizes that analgesics that combine acetaminophen and an
opioid do pose additional risk for patients with pain conditions
that require doses of the opioid component for sufficient pain relief
that exceed safe doses of the acetaminophen component.

AAPM supports measures that reduce the risk of misuse and abuse of
medications without deterring access to appropriate pain care for
legitimate patients and the need for physicians to adhere to
responsible analgesic prescribing practices. The Academy will
continue to work towards these goals through advocacy, research,
promotion of best clinical practices, and continuing medical

AAPM, founded in 1983, is the recognized authority on the evaluation
and care of patients with pain. It is a professional community of
physicians with a sustained interest in pain disorders and their
management, with a background in related specialties such as
anesthesiology, internal medicine, neurology, neurosurgery,
orthopedic surgery, physiatry, family practice, and psychiatry.

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