New information about Tylenol liver damage and overdose side effects has led the FDA to take action against Tylenol manufacturer Johnson & Johnson and manufacturers of other acetaminophen-containing medications in an effort to reduce the risk of severe liver injury caused by acetaminophen (Tylenol) overdose. Unfortunately, because Tylenol is so widely used and is available without a prescription, most consumers automatically assume that the over-the-counter drug is safe to use. However, studies have shown that even healthy adults taking Tylenol as recommended may be at risk of suffering from life-threatening liver injury side effects. If you or a loved one has suffered from a major side effect, which you believe to be associated with the use of Tylenol, contact a Tylenol attorney to discuss your legal options.
The most dangerous aspect of Tylenol use is that acute liver failure can occur after taking Tylenol for only four days, and can progress into a fatal condition in as little as 48 hours. A report submitted by the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease indicates that about 500 deaths and 50,000 emergency room visits are related to acetaminophen (Tylenol) overdose. According to the FDA, liver failure caused by Tylenol use may occur as a result of lack of consumer awareness regarding the link between Tylenol and serious liver injury. Unfortunately, without accurate information about the side effects of certain medications, consumers are unable to make educated decisions about which drugs are safe for them to take.
Tylenol overdose and subsequent liver failure can cause significant damage in patients before it is even diagnosed, mostly because the early symptoms of the disease are similar to those associated with minor conditions like the flu. Once liver failure occurs, the organ is typically damaged beyond repair, and treatment is merely geared towards saving the parts of the liver that are still functioning. In many cases, a liver transplant is required in order for the patient to survive. Liver damage is an extremely serious side effect, potentially resulting in life-threatening complications like excessive bleeding and increased pressure in the brain.
The FDA has issued a warning notifying consumers that, although acetaminophen (Tylenol) is one of the most widely-used medications in the United States, it is also an important cause of severe liver injury. According to a revealing study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, even healthy adults taking maximum daily recommended doses of Tylenol for two weeks had abnormal liver test results. In light of this Tylenol side effect study and others like it, the FDA announced in January 2011 that it was advising manufacturers of acetaminophen-containing products, including J&J, to limit the maximum amount of acetaminophen in their products to 325 mg per tablet or capsule. In July 2011, J&J finally reduced the maximum daily recommended dose of Tylenol from 4,000 mg to 3,000 mg, in an attempt to reduce the risk of liver failure resulting from Tylenol overdose.
No pharmaceutical drug is 100% safe to use, not even over-the-counter medications like Tylenol. Unfortunately, many consumers are unaware of the liver damage side effects they may be exposing themselves to just by taking Tylenol. If you took Tylenol to relieve pain or a fever and you have since experienced a Tylenol liver failure or overdose side effect, contact a qualified Tylenol attorney immediately. You should not be forced to deal with the physical, emotional and financial hardships associated with serious side effects like liver damage on your own; with the help of an experienced Tylenol lawyer, you can file a Tylenol lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and pursue financial compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.