Acetaminophen Lawsuits

People who took acetaminophen (brand name Tylenol) or cold products containing acetaminophen and suffered liver damage have filed lawsuits against the makers of Tylenol, Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary McNeil-PPC for failing to properly warn consumers of the risks.

Johnson & Johnson has successfully made Tylenol (acetaminophen) a household name. Tylenol has been a popular over-the-counter treatment for pain and fever-reduction for decades. But over the years, it has also been associated with serious safety concerns, ranging from package tampering to bacterial contamination to inadequate labeling.

In addition to being used as an over-the-counter (OTC) treatment, acetaminophen is used in prescription drugs, such as VIcodin, Percocet, and others. However, consumers taking these combination drugs don’t necessarily realize that their prescription contains acetaminophen. Without this information, consumers can risk acetaminophen overdose when they take Tylenol or other OTC acetaminophens in addition to their prescriptions. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), research studies point to frequent acetaminophen overdoses.

Acetaminophen overdose is can cause serious liver damage. Research has shown that acetaminophen is a leading cause of liver damage in the U.S.

In January 2011, the FDA confirmed a link between Tylenol and liver damage. It directed prescription drug makers to limit the amount of acetaminophen in their products to 325 mg. It also directed them to strengthen warnings about the risk of liver damage by adding a “black-box” warning to their products. The FDA studies showed that consumers often take more than the recommended doses.

Knowledge about the extent of overdose risks suggests that makers of the OTC acetaminophen products should, (like prescription drug makers) be held responsible and take appropriate safety measures.

So many consumers continue to suffer liver injuries, including death, after taking OTC acetaminophen products, like Tylenol. Some filed lawsuits against Tylenol’s maker, McNeil-PPC, and its parent company, Johnson & Johnson.

Acetaminophen is broken down in the liver. It there is too much (high dose) or a person has not eaten enough, liver toxicity and damage occurs. People are at risk for severe liver necrosis and acute liver failure. People who use Tylenol to treat a hangover or flu may not have enough enzymes present to absorb toxins.

People who are injured by OTC Tylenol may experience acute or sudden liver failure, which can lead to hospitalizations, liver transplant and death.

The drug makers have profited from the reputation of Tylenol as a fast-acting remedy that is safe to administer without a prescription. Lawsuits claim that the drug maker’s failed in their responsibility to produce a safe product and adequately warn consumers about risks associated with Tylenol. They also state that they would not have taking Tylenol had they been adequately informed about the hazards. Some suits state that the drug maker inadequately labeled their product and made a “conscious decision” not to re-label or otherwise inform the “unsuspecting consumer public” of its hazards. Once again, putting profit before safety.

If you or a loved one suffered liver damage from acetaminophen use, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. For further information, contact one of our Gacovino Lake attorneys at 1-800-246-HURT (4878).

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