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Materials

So you’ve got your messages, and you’ll soon determine how to integrate them into your campus activities. Take a look at the following Public Service Announcements (PSAs)Articles and Ads. Feel free to personalize them by adding your school’s name and contact information.

Public Service Announcements

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PSAs are great tools to promote Acetaminophen-Savvy messages. Provided are 10-, 15- and 30-second PSAs for your use as scripts. Your organization or its designated spokesperson(s) can read them on-the-air. They can also be printed in your campus newspapers/newsletters or placed on websites. We’ve left you room to place your campus organization’s name and URL on some of them. They can be added in the PDF download or you can put a sticker on them if that’s easier.

10-Seconds

  • Acetaminophen? It’s in more medicines than you think – like Tylenol®, NyQuil® and Excedrin®. It’s also in Percocet® and Vicodin®. Taking too much acetaminophen can lead to liver damage and death. To learn more, contact [organization’s name] at [URL].
  • There are absolutes when it comes to Acetaminophen – an active ingredient in over 600 medicines. Because it’s in so many medicines, ALWAYS read the label for dosage instructions; never double-dose; and use ONLY as directed.
  • If you drink 3 or more alcoholic beverages per day, acetaminophen may not be the right choice for relieving your pain or fever. Learn more at [organization’s name] at [URL].

15-Seconds

  • What do Tylenol®, NyQuil®, Excedrin® and other OTCs have in common? They all contain acetaminophen. Taking more acetaminophen than directed can hurt you. Always follow the directions on your medicine container, and when in doubt, ask a healthcare professional. Contact [organization’s name] at [URL] for more information.
  • You’re at the pharmacy with two OTC medicines in your hand. You’ve got a cold and a fever. So many contain the same active ingredient, “acetaminophen.” What to do? Be Acetaminophen-Savvy. Read the label for instructions and NEVER take more than one medicine with the same active ingredient. Contact [organization’s name] at [URL] to learn more.
  • Acetaminophen. You know – an active ingredient in medicines like Tylenol®, NyQuil® or Excedrin®. Taking these medicines as-directed is fine; taking more than directed can be risky. Be Acetaminophen-Savvy. Never take two medicines at that same time that contain acetaminophen. Always use these medicines as directed. If you’re confused about what medicines to take, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor or pharmacist.

30-Seconds

  • Who knew that you could overdose on acetaminophen, resulting in liver damage? Medicines like Tylenol®, Robitussin® and Excedrin® and prescriptions like Vicodin® and Percocet® contain acetaminophen. According to the FDA, 56% of acetaminophen overdoses occur when prescriptions and over-the counter medicines like these are taken together. Be Acetaminophen-Savvy. Read the label, never use more than one medicine with the same active ingredient, use the medicine as directed and don’t be afraid to ask your healthcare professional questions. To learn more, contact [organization’s name] at [URL].
  • When we’ve pulled a muscle or a have a headache or a cold or flu, we know what to do. Right? OTC and prescription medicines can help us get through the pain. Did you know that many of these medicines contain acetaminophen, and that taking more than directed can lead to liver damage? Never take two medicines that contain acetaminophen at the same time; to be sure of what you’re taking, always read the drug label; use these medicines only as directed; and don’t be afraid to ask your healthcare professional if you have questions. Contact [organization’s name] at [URL] to learn more.
  • OK – so here’s the deal – if you fit the 3 or more -alcoholic-drinks a-day profile, before you take any medicine, stop and read the medicine label and use it only as directed. Over-the-counter medicines that contain the active ingredient acetaminophen include a warning that severe liver damage may occur if you take 3 or more alcoholic drinks every day while using the medicine. Spread the word. Be Acetaminophen Savvy – Not Sorry. Learn more by contacting [organization’s name] at [URL].

Articles

Placing the spotlight on this issue, personalizes misuse in very poignant ways. We’ve provided two articles to get you started.

My Friend Is Gone (433 words)

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My friend is gone. He died because he overdosed on products that contain acetaminophen. Before this, I wasn’t sure what acetaminophen was. NOW I know – it’s the active ingredient in a lot of over-the-counter and prescription medications that are used to treat headaches, colds, fevers, allergies and muscle aches.

Here’s what happened. Joe – that’s his name – was a star football player at his university. He was instrumental in winning the division championship. On a key play, he fell and broke his arm in two places. He was immediately rushed to the nearest hospital. After surgery to repair the multiple fractures, he was placed on prescription pain medicine than contained acetaminophen. He was still taking low doses of this medication 3 months after his fall. It was exam time, and Joe came down with a really bad cold and started taking cold medicine that also contained acetaminophen. A few days after he started taking the cold medicine, he started to feel really bad. He was throwing up, had stomach pain and couldn’t eat. The student health center sent him to the hospital, and a week later, he was gone. He died of liver failure.

Acetaminophen is a common drug ingredient in over 600 OTC and prescription medicines that we use every day. On prescription medicine labels, it could be abbreviated as: APAPacetacetamin or acetaminoph. It’s safe and effective when used as directed. According to Medical News Today, however, acetaminophen overdose causes more than 400 deaths due to acute liver failure each year, and the numbers appear to be on the rise. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 56% of acetaminophen overdose occurs when someone takes an OTC medicine and a prescription drug that contain acetaminophen at the same time – like Joe.

To put it simply, taking too much medicine that contains acetaminophen interrupts liver function, and like a domino effect, if the liver isn’t functioning, we can die.

Who knew that too much acetaminophen could do this? Stay safe:

  1. ALWAYS READ THE DRUG FACTS LABEL! Learn to recognize acetaminophen in your medicines by reading the Active Ingredients section of the Drug Fact label, and look for acetaminophen abbreviations in your prescription medications.
  2. USE AS DIRECTED. Acetaminophen is safe and effective when used as directed. Taking more could cause an overdose and can lead to liver damage.
  3. NEVER DOUBLE-DOSE. Never take two medicines that contain acetaminophen at the same time.
  4. DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK. Talk to your healthcare professional if you have acetaminophen questions.

Contact [organization’s name – URL] at [phone number][e-mail] for additional information.

Acetaminophen By Any Other Name (356 words)

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Acetaminophen is an active drug ingredient in many of the over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medicines that we use to treat colds, headaches, flu symptoms and aches and pains. In fact, it’s in over 600 OTC and prescription medicines. What we may not know is how many of the medicines we take actually contain acetaminophen. The truth is that too much acetaminophen can cause liver damage and even death.

Which medicines contain acetaminophen? Take a look at the lists below and check off all of the medications that you think contain acetaminophen. Please note this chart is not interactive, however you may download the PDF version which is interactive and you can fill in the boxes as directed.

Acetaminophen: Do They or Don’t They?

Over-the-Counter Brand NameCommon Prescription Drugs
Actifed®
Advil®
Alka-Seltzer Plus Liquid Gels®
Anacin®
Benadryl®
Cepacol®
Contac®
Coricidin®
Dayquil®
Dimetapp®
Dristan®
Excedrin®
Feverall®
Formula 44®
Goody’s® PowdersLiquiprin®
Midol®
Motrin®
Nyquil®
Panadol®
Robitussin®
Saint Joseph®
Aspirin-FreeSinglet®
Sinutab®
Sudafed®
Theraflu®
Triaminic®
TYLENOL®
Brand ProductsVanquish®
Vicks®
Zicam
®And store brands
Diltazium®
Endocet®
Fioricet®
HycotabHydrocet®
Hydrocodone BitartrateLortab®
Percocet®
Phenaphen®
Sedapap®
Tapanol®
Tylenol® with CodeineTylox®
Ultracet®
Vicodin®
Zydone®
And generic drugs

ALL but 3 of these medicines contain acetaminophen. Advil®, Motrin® and Diltazium® do not. Acetaminophen is in more medicines than you think. When you take these medications, be Acetaminophen-Savvy:

  1. ALWAYS READ THE DRUG FACTS LABEL! Learn to recognize acetaminophen in your OTC medicines by reading the Active Ingredients section of the Drug Fact label. If it’s a prescription medicine that contains acetaminophen, it may be listed as APAP, acet, acetamin or acetaminoph on the prescription container label.
  2. USE AS DIRECTED. Acetaminophen is safe and effective when used as directed. Taking more could cause an overdose and can lead to liver damage.
  3. NEVER DOUBLE-DOSE. Never take two medicines that contain acetaminophen at the same time.
  4. DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK. If you have questions about dosing instructions or the medicines that contain acetaminophen talk to your healthcare professional.

For further information, contact [organization’s name] at [URL] for additional information.

Ads

Provide quick, easy ways to communicate information. Integrate web and smart phone technology to promote these messages in addition to old fashioned advertising know-how of magazines, newspapers and other venues. Download these print-ready PDFs and you can place them in your newspapers, on message boards, email blasts or any other media to get the message out. They are available in ¼ and ½ page sizes, but can be enlarged or reduced to suit your needs. Click on download(s) of your choice and add your contact information.

Ad 1: Be Acetaminophen-Savvy

Ad 2: What Do These Medicines Have in Common?

Ad 3: Too Much Acetaminophen — In Case of Emergency or Overdose

Ad 4: Acetaminophen Alert