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Tylenol (Acetaminophen) Use and Liver Failure

Posted on in Food Poisoning

Acetaminophen is one of the most common pain medications in the world. Johnson & Johnson manufactures the most well known brand of pain medication that contains acetaminophen, Tylenol. While many people consider Tylenol to be a very safe, over-the-counter drug, according to MedicinePlus, a publication of the National Institute of Health (NIH), acetaminophen overdose “is one of the most common poisonings worldwide.” It can be deadly if a person takes too large of a dose, according to NIH. Symptoms over acetaminophen overdose can include stomach pain, nausea, sweating, vomiting, appetite loss, coma or jaundice.

Taking too much Tylenol at one time is not the only danger of the drug, however. According to MedPageToday, a publication of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, acetaminophen overdose or poisoning is without question the most common cause of acute liver failure in the U.S. People who are most at risk for acute liver failure as a result of acetaminophen poisoning include people who take drugs or drink alcohol, people who experience depression, and those who take many different medications that contain acetaminophen at the same time. In addition to Tylenol, according to the NIH, several cold or flu medications contain acetaminophen, as well as medications such as Percocet and Anacin.

If medication labels fail to properly warn patients of the risks associated with taking the medication, the manufacturer can be held accountable. Between 2011 and 2013, according to The Star-Ledger, there were 14 lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson that alleged the drug giant failed to sufficiently warn consumers about the danger of Tylenol, specifically stating that the company did not disclose “these side effects when there were safer alternative methods for pain relief.” As of 2013, there were “187 federal and state plaintiffs alleging Tylenol-related liver injures across the country.”

Attorneys for Johnson & Johnson argued that the risks of overtaking Tylenol have been known for decades; the drug itself has been in the consumer market for five decades. Despite its known dangers, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration continues to approve use of Tylenol, if taken as directed, according to The Star-Ledger.

If you or someone you know has experienced liver damage due to taking Tylenol and feel as if the warning label was not sufficient, you may be eligible for compensation. Do not go through it alone. Contact a DuPage County defective medical product attorney today.

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