Because the pain reliever Tylenol is so commonly used and is available over the counter, many consumers assume that it is a safe drug without any harmful side effects. Unfortunately, research dating back to the 1990s has indicated that acetaminophen (Tylenol) use is a major factor in the risk of acute liver failure in the United States, with nearly half of cases caused by unintentional Tylenol overdose. The potential for Tylenol overdose to result in liver failure is so prominent that experts have warned that even healthy individuals taking Tylenol as recommended may be at risk of suffering from major liver failure side effects. Unfortunately, it wasn't until this year that the FDA took steps to limit the amount of acetaminophen in products and to reduce the maximum daily recommended dose of Tylenol. If you took Tylenol and have since experienced side effects of Tylenol overdose, including liver failure, contact a Tylenol attorney for legal help.
According to the FDA, liver damage caused by acetaminophen overdose can occur after taking Tylenol for only four days. Common symptoms of Tylenol overdose include:
During the 24 to 72 hours after a Tylenol overdose occurs, these symptoms may begin to subside. However, liver damage will begin to occur, accompanied by symptoms like confusion, dark urine, jaundice and bleeding.
A Tylenol overdose can seriously damage the liver, which is why it is imperative that medical attention is sought immediately after a Tylenol overdose occurs. If the affected person reaches the hospital minutes after overdosing, the doctor may attempt to empty the stomach by inducing vomiting or pumping the stomach. N-acetylcysteine (NAC) is the antidote for Tylenol overdose, and can be given by mouth or administered through a tube into the stomach. In some instances, activated charcoal may be used, which binds any drug remaining in the gastrointestinal tract. Tylenol overdose may result in severe liver failure, in which case a liver transplant may be required for survival. Unfortunately, some Tylenol overdose victims may suffer from complications like heart problems, kidney failure, multiple organ failure, swelling of the brain, and death.
Although consumers may be aware of the dangers of Tylenol overdose, they may not know that even healthy individuals taking Tylenol according to FDA and manufacturer recommendations may be at risk of suffering from dangerous Tylenol side effects. In fact, a recent study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association indicated that healthy adults who took maximum recommended doses of Tylenol for two weeks had abnormal liver test results. In January 2011, the FDA issued an announcement that it was advising manufacturers of acetaminophen products to limit the maximum amount of acetaminophen in their products to 325 mg per tablet or capsule. In July 2011, the FDA required Johnson & Johnson to reduce the maximum daily recommended dose of Tylenol from 4,000 mg to 3,000 mg, in an effort to minimize the risk of liver failure associated with Tylenol overdose.
Acetaminophen overdose is one of the most common poisonings worldwide. Even though people assume that acetaminophen (Tylenol) is extremely safe, it may be deadly if taken in large doses. If you or a loved one has suffered from serious side effects of unintentional Tylenol overdose, contact a Tylenol attorney to explore your compensation options. You may have grounds to file a Tylenol lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson in order to seek financial compensation for your injuries, the medical expenses resulting from injury treatment, and the pain and suffering endured by you and your family. By hiring a Tylenol lawyer to represent your case, you can protect your rights and help prevent others from suffering similar injuries in the future.