Issue: Accidental overdose and liver failure
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Acetaminophen belongs to a class of drugs called analgesics and is used to relieve fever as well as aches and pains. It is the active ingredient of the Tylenol brand pain reliever. It is also an active ingredient in a number of over-the-counter (such as Excedrin, Midol, Theraflu, Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold Medicine, NyQuil) and prescription (Vicodin and Percocet) drugs.
Acetaminophen Overdose and Liver Damage | Liver Failure
The accidental taking of toxic doses of acetaminophen is by far the most common cause of acute liver failure in the United States, causing 450 deaths and 56,000 emergency-room visits a year.
Users most at risk for overdose include those with depression, chronic pain, alcohol/narcotic use, and those who take several acetaminophen-containing products at the same time — for example, Tylenol for a headache and a second acetaminophen-containing product for cold symptoms.
In addition, every year infants die because parents give them liquid acetaminophen for adults instead of solutions that come in droppers and are prepared specially for infants. The two contain different concentrations of medication.
Tylenol Overdose, Tylenol Liver Failure and FDA Warnings
In 2009, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel recommended sweeping and substantial limits on acetaminophen, due to unintentional overdoses that have led to acute liver failure and death. The panel advocated lowering the maximum daily dose to 2,600 milligrams from 4,000 mg and limiting the amount in a single over-the-counter pill to 325 mg, from 500 mg currently.
This was not the first time the FDA looked into the liver problems associated with acetaminophen. In 2002, a FDA advisory panel recommended new warnings about liver damage dangers on the labels of over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen. However, it wasn’t until December 2006 that the FDA officially proposed such a rule, and suggested that products containing acetaminophen come in packaging that highlights the potential liver damage associated with use, particularly when taken in high doses or with a moderate amount of alcohol. This went into affect in April 2009.
Tylenol Liver Damage Lawsuits | Accidental Overdose Complaints
Patients who have suffered liver failure have filed lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson and other drug manufacturers alleging that these companies failed to warn the public that even a small amount of acetaminophen taken multiple times can lead to severe liver injury.
Contact Lieff Cabraser
If you or a family member have suffered acute liver failure or other injuries from Tylenol or another painkiller, you may be eligible to file a claim. Please use the form below to contact Lieff Cabraser for a prompt and confidential evaluation of your case. We will handle all inquiries with the strictest confidentiality and sensitivity. Inquiries from Canada and other nations are also welcome.
You are also welcome to call us toll-free at 1 (800) 541-7358; visitors from Canada can call 415 956-1000. Please ask to speak with lawyer Fabrice Vincent.
Tylenol is a registered trademark of McNeil Consumer Healthcare. Excedrin and Theraflu are registered trademarks of Novartis Consumer Health, Inc. Midol and Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold Medicine are registered trademarks of Bayer Corp. Nyquil is a registered trademark of Proctor & Gamble, Inc. Vicodin is a registered trademark of Abbott Laboratories. Percocet is a registered trademark of Endo Pharmaceuticals. These trademarks are used herein for informational and product identification purposes only. Lieff Cabraser is not affiliated with McNeil Consumer Healthcare, Novartis Consumer Health, Inc., Proctor & Gamble, Inc., Bayer Corp., Abbott Laboratories, or Endo Pharmaceuticals.