Acetaminophen is the most common drug ingredient in the United States. It’s found in more than 600 different medicines, including prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers, fever reducers, and sleep aids as well as cough, cold, and allergy medicines. Each week, approximately 23 percent of U.S. adults — or 52 million consumers — use an acetaminophen-containing medicine.
Safe use of acetaminophen is a top priority for manufacturers of OTC medicines. Manufacturers work closely with FDA, healthcare provider groups, pharmacist groups, and consumer health advocates to drive safe and responsible use of acetaminophen.
Recent media reports have cited infectious disease experts who recommend against premedicating with over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers, like those containing acetaminophen and ibuprofen, when getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
FDA has determined that the currently available evidence does not support the conclusion that acetaminophen causes cancer. Accordingly, a Proposition 65 cancer warning on the labeling of products containing acetaminophen would not be scientifically accurate, and such labeling would be false or misleading.
We strongly urge the CIC not to “list” acetaminophen as a carcinogen due to the lack of evidence that it has been “clearly shown” to cause cancer, and due to the unnecessary confusion and fear it could cause among consumers and patients.
This information is submitted on behalf of CHPA in response to the September 20, 2019 OEHHA notice: Announcement of the Carcinogen Identification Committee Meeting Scheduled for December 5, 2019, Notice of Availability of Hazard Identification Materials for Acetaminophen and Notice of Public Comment Period.