Tylenol is the most commonly sold over-the-counter pain reliever in the United States and billions of Americans purchase the drug or a similar form of acetaminophen on an annual basis. While Tylenol manufacturer Johnson & Johnson markets the pharmaceutical as “safe” for regular use by children and adults alike, many individuals sustain severe and even life-threatening liver damage from taking medications containing acetaminophen.
When a person takes acetaminophen, small amounts of the drug convert to the toxin metabolite, which can cause severe cellular damage in the liver. If too much acetaminophen is taken, the extent of liver damage can increase to result in acute liver failure. According to the warning issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), acetaminophen is the most common cause of acute liver failure in the U.S. In addition, liver damage can occur in individuals who consume at least three alcoholic beverages per day or in people who are in a fasting state. The risks for fasting individuals is particularly dangerous since many individuals take Tylenol as a fever reducer during periods of flu or similar illnesses that decrease eating ability.
Accidental overdose can be fatal
According to statistics compiled by the FDA, an average of 980 people die from acetaminophen-related issues each year, many of whom accidentally take too much of the drug. Accidental overdose of acetaminophen is more common than you may imagine, as more people accidentally overdose than intentionally overdose in the U.S. Many pharmaceuticals besides Tylenol may contain acetaminophen and, if a user does not realize that their prescription contains acetaminophen, they may take Tylenol on top of their prescription and overdose. Additionally, many people may take more than the recommended dosage as the packaging may not make clear the risks of overdose.
Holding pharmaceutical manufacturers responsible for acetaminophen liver damage
Pharmaceutical manufacturers have the legal responsibility to sell drugs that are safe for intended use and that properly warn users of the possible side effects and/or dangers of overdose. Many lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson and other pharmaceutical companies due to liver damage caused by acetaminophen. If you have been injured by acetaminophen, you should contact Michigan Injury Lawyers by calling (888) 454-0801 as soon as possible to discuss a possible claim.