Why does my Vicodin or Percocet have less APAP?

Keep an eye on any prescription painkillers you receive after today’s date. You should see brand and generic Vicodin, Percocet and other narcotics will have 300mg of Tylenol instead of 500mg, 650 mg, or 750mg per pill previously.

This is an FDA mandate imposed on acetaminophen content because of the liver damage and death associated with more than 4,000mg per day. Many patients were unknowingly exceeding 4,000mg per day by using a prescription painkiller coupled with an over-the-counter pain reliever or cold medicine that contained Tylenol.

FDA reports the lessening of acetaminophen in these narcotic pain relievers only marginally affects efficacy of pain relief since the narcotic content is not changing. Acetaminophen acts to potentiate the effects of the narcotic ingredient. Acetaminophen is also legally required — or some secondary ingredient to the narcotic such as ibuprofen or aspirin — in order to help curb the abuse potential.

One thought on “Why does my Vicodin or Percocet have less APAP?

  • March 10, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    This seems like an excuse to rerelease a drug at a higher cost than the generic currently was costing. There is already something called Norco which has the 5mg Hydrocodone along with 325mg of Tylenol. However Vicodin and Norco are from two competing patentholders. My guess? Docs were changing patients to Norco (the 325mg Tylenol) and Vicodin was losing market share so they came up with this scheme to try and ramp up profits again using 300mg instead of 500mg and 750mg. Before someone jumps on me, I know both Norco and Vicodin have been generics for a long time but I’m pretty sure the original pharmaceutical companies or their subsidiaries still collect some form of compensation.


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