Tylenol is one of the best-selling pain relievers on the market in North America, more popular than medications containing aspirin or ibuprofen. In fact, a 2002 survey indicates that one in five U.S. adults uses Tylenol for pain or fever relief each week. The brand name Tylenol (acetaminophen) was initially introduced by McNeil Consumer Health (Johnson & Johnson) in 1955 as Tylenol Elixir, which was originally marketed primarily to children. Tylenol quickly became one of the most popular pain relievers among adults and children alike though, and today is commonly used to relieve pain, reduce fever, and relieve symptoms of the flu, cough, cold and allergies. Unfortunately, serious concerns have been raised about the safety of Tylenol, due to data suggesting that the over-the-counter drug may cause serious side effects in patients, including overdose and potentially fatal liver failure. If you have taken Tylenol to treat fever or pain and have since suffered from one or more Tylenol side effects, contact a qualified Tylenol attorney to discuss your legal options.
While most people think of overdose as chronically taking large doses of a medication like Tylenol, recent research has indicated that Tylenol overdose can result from a one-time unintentional overdose. Common symptoms of Tylenol overdose include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, irritability, and appetite loss. Although the early symptoms of Tylenol overdose typically dissipate after 24 to 72 hours, the most dangerous side effect of Tylenol overdose, liver failure, will begin to occur shortly after.
Tylenol is metabolized in the liver, which produces a by-product that can cause damage to the liver. In most cases, this by-product is converted into a harmless substance by an antioxidant in the body. Unfortunately, large doses of Tylenol can overwhelm this antioxidant, potentially resulting in irreparable damage to liver cells indicative of liver failure. Common symptoms of liver failure include jaundice, bleeding easily, swollen abdomen, and coma. According to experts, acetaminophen (Tylenol) is the most common cause of acute liver failure in the United States, accounting for 39% of all cases.
In 2006, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study in which researchers found that even healthy adults taking a maximum dose of Tylenol for only two weeks had abnormal liver test results. According to the FDA’s Adverse Events Reporting System, reported cases of acute liver failure have increased from 89 in 1995 to 404 in 2005, and acetaminophen (Tylenol) is the drug most commonly attributed to these liver failure side effects. Finally, in 2009, the FDA issued a report recommending stronger warnings and dose limits on drugs containing acetaminophen, including Tylenol, due to the risk of liver failure resulting from acetaminophen overdose.
The side effects potentially associated with the over-the-counter pain reliever Tylenol are serious and may even be life-threatening. If you or a loved one has suffered from a side effect which you believe to be linked to Tylenol, contact a Tylenol attorney to discuss your legal options. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries and medical expenses, which you can collect by filing a Tylenol lawsuit against McNeil Consumer Health (Johnson & Johnson). You are not at fault for any injuries caused by a dangerous pharmaceutical drug, and you should not be held accountable for the resulting consequences. Drug companies like McNeil Consumer Health (Johnson & Johnson) are expected to produce safe and effective medications, and should be held liable for any adverse side effects sustained by consumers of their products. By hiring a qualified Tylenol lawyer to represent your case, you can seek the compensation you deserve and protect yourself from further harm.