BALTIMORE, April 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Pain Foundation (APF) announced today the launch of new information and resources on pain medication safety for acetaminophen and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) as a part of its PainSAFE™ educational initiative. The new information will be launched with a national public service announcement (PSA) emphasizing the safe use of pain treatment options, particularly medications containing NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen) and acetaminophen (Tylenol, APAP). APF is the nation's largest consumer advocacy organization dedicated to people with pain.
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"Patient safety is one of the nation's most pressing health care challenges, directly affecting people living with a variety of acute and chronic pain conditions. Knowledge of how to safely use treatments among providers and people with pain will result in better treatment choices, safer use of these therapies and, in turn, help improve access to pain care for all," said Will Rowe, CEO, APF.
Pain Safety & Access For Everyone (PainSAFE) is an educational initiative from APF. The mission of PainSAFE is to provide education surrounding the appropriate and safe use of pain management therapies for people affected by pain and health care professionals, thereby, helping to reduce risk and improve access to quality pain care.
"People who live with pain are particularly vulnerable to NSAID and acetaminophen overdose because they may take a number of medications to help keep their pain under control," said Lynn Webster, MD, FACPM, FASAM, and advisor for PainSAFE. "However, consumers need to understand that, even though a medication is available without prescription, it still carries risk and can cause side effects. While pain medication is safe when taken as directed, it's not hard to overdose on NSAIDs or acetaminophen, which may occur when people aren't really aware of what's included in their prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medication."
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently expressed concerns about accidental overdose of NSAIDs and acetaminophen. The FDA estimates that there are about 600 prescription and OTC medications that list acetaminophen as an active ingredient. Earlier this year, the FDA asked manufacturers of prescription combination products that contain acetaminophen to limit the amount of acetaminophen to no more than 325 milligrams (mg) in each tablet or capsule. The FDA also is requiring manufacturers to update labels of all prescription combination acetaminophen products to warn of the potential risk for severe liver injury.
The PSA launch is timed to coincide with national medication take-back programs that reinforce medication safety messages. Information available from the PainSAFE program recommends that people check their medication labels and be aware of what and how much they are taking, as well as pay attention to possible side effects. People should also make sure to properly dispose of expired medication or medication that they no longer use to help prevent accidental use by children or pets, theft from family members or friends who may abuse pain medication, and inadvertent contribution to contamination of our water supply by flushing medication down a toilet.
About the American Pain Foundation
Founded in 1997, the American Pain Foundation (APF) is an independent nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that serves people affected by pain. APF speaks out for people living with pain, caregivers, health care providers and allied organizations, working together to dismantle the barriers that impede access to quality pain care for all. The mission of APF is to educate, support and advocate for people affected by pain. For more information, visit www.painfoundation.org.
Tina Regester, American Pain Foundation
PH: (443) 690-4707
SOURCE American Pain Foundation