Liver toxicity is a major cause of acute liver failure and fatality in the United States. Unfortunately, liver toxicity can occur from something as simple as taking too much Tylenol, an over-the-counter pain reliever that can be found in nearly every medicine cabinet in the United States. According to the FDA, this type of liver injury, called drug-induced liver toxicity, may result from the lack of consumer awareness about the link between Tylenol (acetaminophen) overdose and potentially-fatal liver damage. In light of this risk, the FDA asked all manufacturers of acetaminophen products in January 2011 to limit the amount of the drug to 325 mg per tablet or capsule. In July 2011, Johnson & Johnson also reduced the maximum daily recommended dose of Tylenol from 4,000 mg to 3,000 mg, in an effort to minimize the risk of liver toxicity and liver failure caused by Tylenol overdose. If you have suffered from liver toxicity and you believe Tylenol to be the cause, contact a Tylenol attorney to explore your compensation options.
Liver toxicity describes damage to the liver caused by harmful chemicals or medications in the body. The liver is a critical component in the body's functioning, performing important tasks like storing nutrients and producing proteins that the body needs to remain healthy. One of the major responsibilities of the liver is to remove toxic substances from the bloodstream, a process that can be inhibited if an excessive amount of toxins enter the bloodstream. When this occurs, the toxins can overwhelm the liver, resulting in liver toxicity.
The symptoms associated with liver toxicity vary depending on the extent of damage the liver sustains. The most common symptoms of liver toxicity include nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, vomiting, and, in some cases, the liver may become enlarged. If liver toxicity progresses to liver failure, the patient may experience more serious symptoms like jaundice, dark-colored urine, confusion, and possibly even coma or death.
Liver toxicity is dangerous because it can severely inhibit liver function if not properly diagnosed and treated. The main goal of liver toxicity treatment is to prevent liver failure, a dangerous condition that can lead to the need for a liver transplant for survival. Unfortunately, this condition can sometimes be difficult to diagnose, as the initial symptoms associated with Tylenol-related liver toxicity and liver failure are similar to those of minor conditions like the flu.
According to the FDA, between 1998 and 2003, acetaminophen was the leading cause of acute liver failure in the United States, with 48% of acetaminophen-related cases associated with accidental overdose. In light of this serious risk, the FDA has taken steps to raise consumer awareness about the link between Tylenol and liver toxicity since the 1990s, when the risk of liver failure was first brought to light. Since that time, the agency has also made an effort to reduce the incidence of acetaminophen-related liver injury by changing dosage labeling to include information about the potential for safety risks, including liver toxicity. Unfortunately, the FDA warns, the extent of liver failure cases reported in medical literature indicates that liver toxicity from acetaminophen overdose remains a serious public health problem. In fact, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, even healthy adults taking the maximum daily recommended dose of Tylenol for two weeks had abnormal liver test results.
According to the FDA, acetaminophen-related overdose and liver toxicity accounted for an estimated 56,000 emergency room visits, 26,000 hospitalizations, and 458 deaths between 1990 and 1998. If you or a loved one has suffered from liver toxicity potentially associated with Tylenol, contact an experienced Tylenol attorney for legal help. You may have grounds to file a liver toxicity lawsuit against drug company Johnson & Johnson in order to seek financial compensation for your injuries, medical bills, and other damages associated with your liver toxicity. No pharmaceutical drug, especially a drug available over the counter, should cause life-threatening harm to consumers. With the help of an experienced Tylenol attorney, victims of Tylenol-related liver toxicity can protect their legal rights and pursue the compensation they deserve.