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Minty fresh Tylenol

by C1ay / August 22, 2004 10:28 PM PDT

Well, Johnson & Johnson has come out with minty fresh Tylenol. I'm not so sure it's such a great idea though. It seems to me that the less it tastes like candy the less some toddler will eat if he/she gets their hands on it. What do you think?

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(NT) (NT) Re: I agree with you. And not necessary
by MKay / August 22, 2004 10:31 PM PDT
In reply to: Minty fresh Tylenol
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Re: Minty fresh Tylenol -- agree 100%
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / August 22, 2004 11:30 PM PDT
In reply to: Minty fresh Tylenol

Hi, Clay.

Those flying pigs are at it again... Why not send them an e-mail and tell them what you think of the idea?

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Re: Minty fresh Tylenol -- agree 100%
by C1ay / August 22, 2004 11:32 PM PDT
Why not send them an e-mail and tell them what you think of the idea?

Did that already. You can too right here.
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Re: Minty fresh Tylenol -- e-mail I sent
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / August 22, 2004 11:40 PM PDT

Hi, Clay.

Here's the e-mail I sent:

"I think the idea of mint-flavored Tylenol, even though a response to similar products made by others, is terrible. Having medicines that taste like candy increases the risk of accidental infant poisoning. That risk should outweigh any benefit to your profit margins!
-- David A, Konkel, Ph.D."

Here's the "contact us" link if others want to give their response to the idea!

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Re: Minty fresh Tylenol
by Diane Harrison / August 23, 2004 1:47 PM PDT
In reply to: Minty fresh Tylenol

Just read this thread. What the heck were they thinking?!!!!

Each year we get numerous kids who die from consuming medicines that don't even taste good, but look interesting. About the most deadly common vitamin (particularly found in the homes of new mothers) is iron pills. They are usually a pretty red color (taste dreadful, but not a deterrent apparently), and are absolutely deadly to young kids. Iron causes them to blled to death internally - a situation which often can't be remedied by even blood transfusions! We even had three kids poisoned in one case - the two year old died, the three year old and 18 month old lived. The iron was thrown in with their Kix cereal (red and yellowish white puffs the size of gumballs), and the two year old ate more than the others despite how bad it must have tasted. had it tasted better, the other two probably would have eaten enough to die also.

To intentionally make ANY medicine attractive tasting beyond what is necessary for basic consumption as directed, is unconscionable!

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Tylenol's reply
by C1ay / August 23, 2004 1:57 PM PDT
In reply to: Minty fresh Tylenol

Well, I sent them an email tellin' 'em how dumb I thought their idea is. Here's their reply....

Dear Clay,

Thank you for contacting us about our Extra Strength TYLENOL (TM) (acetaminophen) Cool Caplets.

We appreciate the confidence in our company that prompted you to contact us. For over forty years, McNeil Consumer & Specialty Pharmaceuticals has worked hard to fulfill the needs of our consumers with dependable products and exceptional consumer service. We take great pride in the reliability of our products and do our utmost to make sure our customers receive merchandise of the highest quality.

For that reason, we take every complaint seriously. Your complaint will be reviewed thoroughly by the Consumer Relationship Center's management, as well as managers in other divisions such as Quality Assurance, Research, Operations and Marketing.

Our consumer reseach has shown that a significant portion of the population has difficulty swallowing pills. Cool caplets are easier to swallow. This cool coating provides a cooling sensation in the mouth. We continue to manufacture Extra Strength TYLENOL in caplets, geltabs, gelcaps and tablets without the cool coating.

Our Extra Strength TYLENOL Cool Caplets are available in 50 and 100 count packages with child-resistant lids.
As stated on the package label, "Keep out of reach of children. In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away. Prompt medical attention is critical for adults as well as for children even if you do not notice any signs or symptoms."

We hope we have restored your faith in us. If you have any further questions or comments, please don't hesitate to give us a call, toll-free at 1-877-895-3665 or through our website at www.tylenol.com.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to share your concerns with us. It's only through feedback like yours that we can consistently meet the needs of our consumers.

Tracey Ely
TYLENOL Consumer Relationship Center

------------------------------------------------------

Well, I guess that means that when some kids die and they get sued they'll reevaluate Sad

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Re: Tylenol's reply
by Diane Harrison / August 23, 2004 2:48 PM PDT
In reply to: Tylenol's reply

Grrrrrr!!! At my daughter's middle school, the kids were handing out various home medications last year to share for fun. Happens all the time in elementary school too. These could be confused with the minty breath fresheners!

If it's to market as easier to swallow, then why not market it to say that and not be minty? What they claim is their intent is NOT matched by their deeds nor their advertising! When you have product confusion as it is by such illustrious spokespersons as Paris Hilton and Jessica Simpson (who does a great dumb parody of herself) and her sister, no wonder kids get confused! Change their commercial to, "Pain reliever or Mint? Pain reliever or Mint? Hmmm. . .I'm confused here!" At least Ashton Kucher isn't selling them as, "Dude, what's my mint thing?"

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Re: Tylenol's reply
by Dave Konkel [Moderator] / August 23, 2004 11:28 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: Tylenol's reply

Hi, Diane.

What renders this even worse is that Tyelnol has a lower safety margin than most OTC meds -- overdoses (or even normal doses coupled with some other drugs and/or alcohol) can cause such severe liver damage as to require a transplant. That happened to Caspar Weinberger, former head of DOD and DHHS a while back...

-- Dave K, Speakeasy Moderator
click here to email semods4@yahoo.com

The opinions expressed above are my own,
and do not necessarily reflect those of CNET!

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Re: Tylenol's reply
by Evie / August 24, 2004 2:36 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Tylenol's reply
At my daughter's middle school, the kids were handing out various home medications last year to share for fun. Happens all the time in elementary school too. These could be confused with the minty breath fresheners!

Sorry, but to me this sounds like more of a concern of the parents and the school system and far less a problem of the makers of Tylenol.

Evie Happy
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Re: Tylenol's reply
by Diane Harrison / August 24, 2004 6:29 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Tylenol's reply

Agreed that parents and the school should take responsibility, Evie. But WHICH drug they end up bringing to school to be bigshots or to "share," kind of depends on how attractove it is to the kid who decides to violate all school rules and bring it. It is already totally against the school rules, to the point of absurdity out here, to where kids can't even take ANY medicine to school at all.

Try having a kid recovering from bronchitis or even just flu, and having a terrible cough when they can't have cough drops under penalty of suspension or expulsion! Yes, we can get a doctor's note, but you don't want to do that each time the kid has a slight relapse and starts coughing again. Besides, they have to have the prescription then, at the office, which is insane if we're only talking cough drops.

For girls, it's a really bad siutation, since they would like to be able to take Midol or something similar in private without having to explain to the teacher in front of the class to get permission to go to the office, to have it administered after the parents have to get a prescription for an OTC medicine to begin with!

Kids share. That's just the way of it. Some bring in their drug dealing parent's stash of dope. Not good, obviously. Many don't even know what it is, but know it's important, and hope it makes them look cool. In second grade, one enterprising young man brought in his dad's stash of condoms. I darned near crashed my car that year, having to answer an unexpected question of," What's a condom, Mom?"

Again, it's the show-and-tell spirit in action. But if it doesn't taste good, they are less likely to use it. Another case we had in a school a few cities away, some dopers had been making a PCP lab on a secluded site. They split, leaving the ground littered with the various stages of chemicals still on the ground. And very pretty those chemcials made the dirt too! Yellow and purple. The kid that brought it to school shared with classmates, who all got sick and were hospitalized. Again, it was attractive. You have the theory of "attractive nuisance' with pools and empty freezers, and other things attractive to kids. The same holds true for making a medicine that is more attractive and thus more likely to look like something to sneak for a private little show-and-tell among friends.

And even good parents, at a good, responsible school, can't predict all of these scenarios. It may still happen, but the drug manufacturers shouldn't make it more likely to happen by the way they market the drugs. As DK says, that drug has lots of potential problems associated with it anyway.

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Re: Tylenol's reply
by Evie / August 24, 2004 6:52 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Tylenol's reply

Hi Diane,

I understand where you are coming from. Which drugs have higher potentials for doing damage? Cherry flavored Children's Tylenol or these mints flavored adult ones? One teaspoon of Children's Tylenol is 160 mg and comes in bubble gum and very berry. Interestingly enough, none of the children's flavors even include mint. Thinking "it's just kids strength" could add just as quickly -- if not more so in kid-friendly flavors -- than these mint flavors.

I honestly don't recall there being anyone that abused OTC drugs when I was in school. In my teens I think I shared a Midol or whatever. This is an overreaction by the schools IMO as can be seen in the many loony "zero tolerance" cases of kids being expelled for sharing an inhaler with a friend having an attack that didn't have their's handy, etc.

OTOH, you left me with the impression that groups of kids were sharing and taking tasty medications for the "cool" of it. If that's really the case then it IS a parent/teacher/school problem.

Given that all sorts of things taken other than "as directed" come in kid-friendly flavors, I just don't see that angle holding much weight here. Trust me, if it catches on as something that adults see as a benefit, the generics are sure to follow.

Evie Happy

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Re: Tylenol's reply
by Evie / August 24, 2004 2:47 AM PDT
In reply to: Tylenol's reply

Hi Clay,

I must buck the concensus here and disagree with the objections.

Although the article states other reasons for the cool cap concept, I'm not willing to totally deny that the company may have a point in terms of ease of pill taking. After all, you have liquid Tylenol and other pain killers to cater in many ways to the pill-averse population.

Yes, kids can get poisoned by mistaking medicines for candies. That's why we have parents, tamper-proof packaging and responsible storage of such items. I don't put out the mouse-bait poison because I am afraid my kitties will get into it. If I didn't have pets, this house would have been mouse free a LONG time ago. Same thing with if I had kids. I wouldn't store chemicals where I do, and I wouldn't order the non-childproof caps on the hubby's bp meds and he certainly wouldn't leave them in a zippered bag on the kitchen table as he does now! What of all the cherry flavored syrups or the even easier to get into powdered "drinks" like TheraFlu?

My husband positively gags on cough syrups. Recently there was a concern when Robitussin became available in pill forms because kids were snorting them. I think we have to be more reasonable in weighing the benefits or desires of the population to the risk (that can be reduced significantly with proactive means) to a relatively small percentage of the population. I don't know the outcome of that but it would have probably added enough to the cost to regulate the pill form that he would have just plugged his nose and stomached the syrups.

JMO.

Evie Happy

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Re: Tylenol's reply
by C1ay / August 24, 2004 8:59 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Tylenol's reply
Although the article states other reasons for the cool cap concept, I'm not willing to totally deny that the company may have a point in terms of ease of pill taking.

I guess the reason I don't particularly buy it is because I don't really see a reason to flavor adult medicines. Tylenol is pretty tasteless to begin with so why flavor it and make it more attractive to children. The costs or risks just seem to outweigh the benefits to me.

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Re: Tylenol's reply
by Evie / August 24, 2004 10:17 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Tylenol's reply

I see our point Clay, but at the same time liquid forms of even adult medicines are made flavored as well. I don't see the marketing at being directed at children, more at getting the young adult crowd into Tylenol brand.

Evie Happy

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Childproof is anything but
by Diane Harrison / August 24, 2004 10:08 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: Tylenol's reply

You've got a good point about the child-friendly flavors, Evie. I think the reason they don't like to take those to school is that they recognize that it is kid's medicine, and that would not be worth sharing, since everyone else likely has it too. And hopefully the parents keep that out of the way. But they may be misplaced in relying on child proof caps in the adult stuff.

Our kids used to open the childproof bottles for us from age two on. We discouraged that when they were younger, but they used to take joy on their own, in taking a bottle we had been wrestling with (and in my case, sometimes gnawing on in frustration), and popping it open for us. My parents used to ask them to do it after a while, since they had arthritis too bad to be able to do it themselves. We used to joke that the bottles were "senior-proofed," but certainly not child-proofed.

We never had the bottles where the kids could reach them on their own, but once they knew someone needed the meds, and they laid hands on them, they would gleefully open them very quickly to show how silly the childproofing labels were.

Has your husband tried taking the cough syrups in a little glass of Sprite or 7-Up? It seems to make them go down easier. Even fresh fruit makes it easier to swallow, like a chunk or an orange (assuming it the medicine is not antibiotics, or other meds contraindicated with citrus or other foods or acids).

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Re: Childproof is anything but
by Evie / August 24, 2004 10:15 AM PDT

Hi Diane,

Where the hubby is concerned, most liquid cough remedies state you shouldn't drink anything right after or with them. He grins and bears it at this point because the pills don't seem to offer a better effect. Kind of like albuterol for asthma. The inhaler is effective (though makes him jittery), the pills do zippo.

Evie Happy

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Re: Childproof is anything but
by Diane Harrison / August 24, 2004 2:39 PM PDT

Have they tried him on the prescription meds for asthma lately? It's been a while since I had to have the full dose of everything from four different inhalers to the nebulizer plus the pills, thankfully, so I don't even properly recall the name of the preventative pills. They are a fairly simple name akin to Accord or something like that. Dr. Bill no doubt knows.

Anyway, they work really well for a large number of people at work too who have asthma. They're preventative and taken each morning with the other preventative inhalers, they finally reduce the need for the other meds.

I can sympathize with the jittery bit. Hate that feeling, but the stuff gets you so wired, you couldn't sleep for anything! Of course, they usually added a blisterpak of Prednisone onto the other mix, to really round it out. The worst possible case of jitters though came one night when I didn't know any better and figured the Theodor was too big a tablet, so I chewed it up at bit. Spun like a crazed ferret on speed for about three hours until the effects started to wear off and I fiinally read the big warning on the bottle NEVER to chew them! LOL

Best non-medical solution I've found to stop an asthma attack in the making though (and prevent coughing from it), is to suck on one of those huge atomic fireball candies (only the "real" atomic fireballs work here, not the knockoff imitations). Don't have any idea on earth why they work - maybe the extreme cinnamon does something, don't know. But I've shared this experience with others who also had similar luck. Keeping a supply in the car or handy in case an attack comes on is pretty easy, and it averts some attacks for those of us who have tried it so that we don't seem to need the inhaler.

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Re: Childproof is anything but
by Evie / August 24, 2004 10:00 PM PDT

Thanks for the info/suggestions. Actually the "asthma" diagnosis from his former doctor is another on a list we need to sort out as he has never had an asthma attack in the sense that you would commonly think. His is more of a chronic thing. Combivent seems to work best for him now.

Evie Happy

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My message to Tylenol
by MarciaB / August 24, 2004 8:08 AM PDT
In reply to: Minty fresh Tylenol

This is what I wrote to them:
------------------------
In regard to your new Tylenol Cool Caplets:

I feel the idea of combining your Tylenol medicine with a Mint (or any other) flavoring is irresponsible. Your advertising campaign for this product is to make it look more hip and "cool." This is an appeal to young people, and, most dangerously, an appeal for abuse of your product. Medicine should be a serious business, not for "fun." The labeling of "keep out of reach of children" is not enough to justify this irresponsibility. Please don't send me your form letter about your label and ask me if you have restored my faith in you. I will never again purchase your products if you keep the Cool Caplets on the market.
----------------------------
Hope they get enough complaints about this to make them reconsider. Doubt it, but it doesn't hurt to hope. Happy

--Marcia

.

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To all that are so upset!
by Evie / August 25, 2004 12:57 AM PDT
In reply to: Minty fresh Tylenol

I am BAFFLED!!!!!!!!

Why not be outraged by Robitussin Honey Cough & Cold

This reaction just doesn't make sense to me. If we are to limit OTC meds to formulations that have no flavor enticement to children, that would be nuts. My hubby accidentally bought cherry flavored children's non-aspirin (acetominophen) pain releaver instead of the baby aspirin once. They were quite tasty and I'll bet a kid would stand a far greater risk of harm from those rather than adult minty tylenol.

Why is it OK for children's medications to be made to taste like candy but nor for adult ones? The risk is not that much alleviated by the dose. I'm sure I could down a small handful of baby aspirin quicker than an adult chewable vitamin C!

Evie Happy

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Re: To all that are so upset!
by Dan McC / August 25, 2004 1:22 AM PDT

You were right earlier when you said that issues like this should be the province of the parents and that limiting the options available to adults is ridiculous when it is the parents' responsibility to be aware of their children's activities.

Dan

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Re: To all that are so upset!
by MarciaB / August 25, 2004 1:23 AM PDT

I am one of the "upset."
It is not so much that there are other medicines out there that are "flavored." For myself it is because they are marketing this as something "hip" and "cool" in order to increase their profits. As I stated in my letter to them - medicine is a serious business, not one for fun.

I know from a tragedy of a 21 year old whom I was close to that Tylenol is nothing to mess around with. She's been in a nursing home environment for 2 years now due to liver failure and brain damage due to Tylenol OD (not by her choice). She will never recover.

Producing and manufacturing a medication in the manner of this current product is, IMO, irresponsible. It is supposedly of a strength and type for adults. The greatest majority of adults can take such a medication in a non-flavored pill form with no problem. To market such in the way they have done, along with the shapely women in skimpy costumes handing out samples, is a far cry from responsible pharmaceutical practices.

The bottom line is $$ money $$ for the makers of Tylenol.

Just my own personal thoughts and feelings about it. From reading info from other sources I don't think I'm alone in my concerns.

--Marcia

.

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So ...
by Evie / August 25, 2004 1:35 AM PDT

... advertising Levitra as a recreational drug means you wouldn't use a prescription drug or any product of Bayer or Glaxo-SmithKline.

I'm sorry, but you are confusing marketing/formulations with the possible toxicity of the product. The cases you and DK cite, presumably occurred with the good old fashioned pill form.

Personally I don't buy Tylenol products. I buy the Equate brand at WalMart. But it's the brand names that have advanced the easier methods of taking the medications over the years -- coated caplets, gel-caps, etc. If this is something adults want enough to buy, so be it, and I'll bet you that cute Garfield the generic market will be hot on their heels.

Any palatable flavor should be enough to satisfy the "vast majority" of the children's market too. Why should we make serious medications any tastier for them either. Yet better tasting flavors are always touted.

Gee that Crest Kids Sparkle Fun toothpaste I got at the dentist last time SURE tasted pretty yummy to me. Ooh, and only a crappy little screw cap on the darned thing. Wonder what consuming a tube of that could do to a kid. Heck, Elmer's glue doesn't even taste that good (I'll never tell how I know) but kids eat that too.

This is an overaction IMO, but that is just my opinion.

Evie Happy

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(NT) (NT) Sorry, first line should have been a question, not stat
by Evie / August 25, 2004 1:40 AM PDT
In reply to: So ...
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