Tylenol (generic "acetaminophen") has been available as an over-the-counter pain reliever since 1950 and McNeil, the Johnson and Johnson subsidiary that manufacturers the drug, has sold billions of pills since the drug was introduced on the market by the drug company. Despite its popularity as an over-the-counter pain relief pill, the FDA has linked acetaminophen to major liver problems including liver failure resulting in liver transplants and death. The FDA estimates that liver injuries linked to acetaminophen result in over 56,000 emergency room visits, 26,000 hospitalizations and 400 deaths in the U.S. each year. Hospitals are not required to report such cases so the frequency of liver injury and liver failure may be much higher. Acetaminophen is the number one cause of "acute" liver failure in the United States1, yet it is an ingredient in over 200 over-the-counter pain pills and other cold remedies, including cold, cough, and fever remedies for children. This means that someone might take Tylenol for pain, then a cold remedy in the same day without realizing that he or she is exceeding the maximum safe dose. If you or a loved one has suffered severe liver damage, liver failure, or other serious side effects that may be the result of your use of acetaminophen, contact Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law to discuss your rights to compensation.
The medical literature began reporting on the relationship between Tylenol/acetaminophen and liver failure years ago. It is well settled that there is a cause-and-effect relationship between Tylenol/acetaminophen and the onset of liver failure. The U.S. Acute Liver Failure Study Group found that 50% of all liver failures are from acetaminophen poisoning. The risk of liver damage is present even in adults taking the recommended dose of Tylenol. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that the maximum dose of Extra Strength Tylenol may be too high and can cause severely heightened levels of liver enzymes, which may indicate damage to the liver. Multiple sources have reported that the manufacturer of Tylenol/acetaminophen failed to warn unsuspecting consumers that even a small amount of acetaminophen taken multiple times can lead to severe liver injury. The manufacturers of the drug have also failed to adequately warn consumers of the risk of combining Tylenol and other over-the-counter pain and cold remedies, which can result in an overdose of acetaminophen and severe liver damage.
Acetaminophen belongs to a class of drugs called analgesics and is used for the relief of fever as well as aches and pains associated with many conditions. The standard oral dose for adults is 325 to 650 mg every 4-6 hours, with a maximum daily dose of 4 grams. According to a clinical study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, even this recommended maximum dose per day could be unsafe. Another study, which was published by Hepatology, concluded that a regular dose of 7.5 grams a day could result in severe liver injury. The research also indicates that those who have pre-existing liver damage or consume a higher volume of alcohol are at an even greater risk of suffering serious liver injury.
One of the liver's main functions is to break down chemicals or toxins. When you ingest acetaminophen, it is metabolized by your liver and broken down into other chemicals. Part of the drug is metabolized into a toxic by-product known as NAPQI. NAPQI is ordinarily broken down into non-toxic chemicals, but the toxic substance can accumulate in your blood to dangerously high levels and cause liver damage or complete liver failure. If acute liver failure occurs, a person either dies or must receive a liver transplant promptly. Liver injury can be hard to identify because the onset may occur slowly over a prolonged period. The symptoms may also be confused with other illnesses, such as acid reflux, dehydration or flu. Symptoms of liver injury may include any of the following:
If you have these symptoms and have taken acetaminophen, you should consult your physician. Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, represents Georgia consumers who have suffered serious liver injuries from their use of acetaminophen. Our team may pursue your claim for acetaminophen-related liver failure by showing that the manufacturer marketed the drug with inadequate warnings or that the drug was defective in its design or manufacturing.
Our experienced Georgia Tylenol injury lawyers are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located we are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.
1 - See Footnotes Below Related Articles
1 From 1998-2003, acetaminophen was the leading cause of acute liver failure in the United States ..." Larson, AM, Polson, J, Fontana, RJ, Davern TJ, et.al., Acute Liver Failure Study Group (ALFSG): Hepatology, 42:1364-72 (2005);
1 A 2007 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) population-based report estimates that, nationally, there are 1,600 cases of acute liver failiure (ALF) each year (all causes). Acetaminophen-related ALF was the most common etilolgy." Bower, WA, Johns, M, Margolis, HS, et.al., American Journal of Gastroenterology, 102:2459-63 (2007);
1 Acetaminophen-Related Acute Liver Failure: ALFSG Update 2010: "Acute liver failure due to APAP - Most common form of ALF in the western world - Outweighs all other drugs combined"; Acetaminophen Scientific Meeting - Nov. 10, 2010, Wm. M. Lee, M.D. (Meredith Mosle Chair in Liver Diseases), UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX.