Common Pain Killer Carcinogenic?

Acetaminophen, the super common and popular pain killer in the U.S., may get blacklisted as a carcinogen in the state of California.  Acetaminophen is the primary ingredient in over 600 Rx and over-the-counter (OTC) meds, including popular commercial painkillers such as Tylenol, Excedrin, Sudafed, Robitussin and Theraflu.

California state regulators have reviewed 133 studies about acetaminophen, all of which were published in peer-reviewed journals. Some studies reported an increased risk of some types of cancers, while others did not…

Evidence for acetaminophen’s link to cancer has been weak enough that the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) declined to list it as a possible carcinogen following reviews in 1990 and 1999. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned state officials that labeling acetaminophen as cancer-causing would be “false and misleading” and also illegal under federal law…

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association, a trade group representing over-the-counter medicines and dietary supplements, conducted its own review and found most studies suggest no risk for most forms of cancer, although some studies did show increased risk for kidney, liver and some forms of blood cancer.  

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