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New Study Suggests Increased Risk of Blood Cancer among Acetaminophen Users

July 13, 2011

A new study indicates potential new health risks associated with over-the-counter medications containing acetaminophen (brand name: Tylenol). The new study suggest that acetaminophen may increase the risk of blood cancers.

While there were prior cases that suggested that acetaminophen might increase the risk of certain cancers, prior indications were reportedly based on anecdotal evidence as opposed to the recent prospective study.

The study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology followed 65,000 older men and women in Washington state. The researchers found that patients that took substantial amounts of acetaminophen were almost twice as likely to contract a blood cancer, such as lymphoma and myelodysplastic syndrome. Approximately, 5 percent of those who did not use high levels of acetaminophen developed one of these types of blood cancer whereas 9 percent of those who had taken high levels of acetaminophen developed one of these types of cancer. The researchers also concluded that other over-the-counter painkillers like aspirin and ibuprofen were not linked to blood cancers because they operate differently on the body.

This study does not necessarily mean that over-the-counter medications that contain acetaminophen cause blood cancers. This study makes it necessary to conduct follow-up research into a possible link between the over-the-counter pain drug manufactured by Johnson and Johnson subsidiary, McNeil Consumer Healthcare. This is just another in a long line of issues facing McNeil including quality control issues so severe that they resulted in the closure by the FDA of a McNeil manufacturing plant in Fort Washington.

Because of the widespread use of over-the-counter medication containing acetaminophen by many Americans, the prospect of increased blood cancer risk could affect many people. Acetaminophen already constitutes a leading cause of kidney failure, and this new study only increases the concerns about the number of people that may be exposed to adverse health risks associated with acetaminophen usage.

If you have suffered serious adverse health risks, such as blood cancer or liver failure that may be associated with acetaminophen, the Atlanta pharmaceutical injury attorneys at Montlick and Associates offer a free initial consultation so that we can determine whether you may have a claim for financial compensation. We are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Dalton Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. Call us today for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333), or visit us on the web at No matter where you are located, we are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you.

Category: Personal Injury

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All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.