Saying that Tylenol is widely used is an understatement of “Kim Kardashian had a relatively short marriage” magnitude. Tylenol is ubiquitous. Usually, it serves its purpose of reducing pain and discomfort of fever without incident. But in a minority of cases, Tylenol has been linked to serious and sometimes fatal complications invovling liver damage.
Over the counter medications contain dosage strengths between 325mg and 500mg, with a recommended single dose up to 1000mg. Though toxicity is generally reported at dosages greater than 4g/day, cases have been reported at lower dosages. There are other factors that may increase the risk of liver damage including liver disease and alcohol consumption.
In 2009, the FDA required that manufacturers of acetaminophen revise packaging to ensure that labels prominently display the potential risk for serious liver injury. The FDA’s “Boxed Warning” is the strongest label warning mandated by the FDA. It is applied to drugs that have serious and potentially life-threatening risks.
In January, the FDA took further action by limiting the amount of acetaminophen in combination prescription drugs to 325mg. The requirement will be phased in over the next three years and mandatory compliance is set for 2014. Though this ruling addresses combination drugs, it does not apply or address the concerns faced with over the counter medications.
With so many multi-ingredient products on the market, especially for cold and flu symptoms, it can be difficult for a person to calculate their total intake of acetaminophen. This may be especially true of elderly persons who may be taking acetaminophen already for joint pain relief. A survey conducted in 2002, showed that 11% of people do not read product labels, which make this group of people extremely vulnerable to toxic effects of Tylenol and acetaminophen containing products, as they may not be aware of the risk. Symptoms of overdose include nausea, tiredness, sweating, loss of appetite, vomiting, stomach pain, unusual bleeding or bruising, and/or flu-like symptoms.
It is often left up to the consumer to be vigilant about the other medications they are taking to properly tally acetaminophen usage. Often, patients prescribed medications containing acetaminophen are not aware that they should not take over the counter products containing acetaminophen at the same time, as they are not always informed by their doctor or pharmacist. With many products on the market now that contain multiple ingredients, it is important to be aware of the ingredients, amounts, and total daily intake of certain products such as acetaminophen in order to avoid potential toxic and fatal effects. This can be extremely difficult in situations where patients may be taking acetaminophen from multiple sources for multiple indications (ie. taking a cold and flu medication with acetaminophen when also using Tylenol daily for joint pain relief).
Our lawyers are reviewing Tylenol liver damage lawsuits. If you believe you or a loved one has suffered a injury or wrongful death from this painkiller call 8000-553-8082 or get a free no obligation on-line consultation.