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Could another over-the-counter medication cause cancer?

People in Ohio and across the country have become used to hearing about prescription drugs subject to recalls for one reason or another. However, since the recall of the widely popular over-the-counter medication Zantac kicked off several recalls of ranitidine heartburn medications, concern has been raised about other drugs people use every day and can buy at nearly any store. These fears may be well-founded if a state on the west coast has anything to say about it.

The drug now under the microscope is acetaminophen, which is the primary ingredient in OTC medications such as Tylenol, Theraflu, Excedrin, Robitussin and Sudafed. According to reports, acetaminophen is a human carcinogen. However, there appear to be just as many studies saying it does not cause cancer as there are that conclude it does cause cancer.

The state of California keeps a list of potential human carcinogens to warn the public of the dangers associated with a certain medication, chemical or product. It is not hard to imagine that the state is receiving a great deal of criticism for wanting to add acetaminophen to its list. Even the Food and Drug Administration warned the state not to require warnings on products containing this medication by saying it would be illegal under federal law and misleading to consumers.

Whether this popular over-the-counter medication ends up on any list of possible cancer-causing products remains to be seen. With all of the turmoil surrounding potentially harmful blood pressure medications, heartburn medications and diabetes medications, consumers here in Ohio and elsewhere may be second-guessing every over-the-counter purchase or prescription at this point. What is becoming obvious is that some changes need to be made in this country to help ensure that any medication relied on in the treatment of minor and major health concerns ought to heal more than harm.

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