The makers of Tylenol will soon be debuting new red warnings on all bottles of the product sold in the U.S. Johnson & Johnson took the unusual step under pressure from the government amid a growing number of lawsuits involving overdoses.
The new warning will appear in October on the cap of every bottle of Extra Strength Tylenol and on most other Tylenol bottles within the coming months. It is designed to get the attention of people who do not read the warnings that are located in the fine print of the product’s label. The warning will make it clear that Tylenol contains acetaminophen, a pain-relieving agent that is the nation’s leading cause of liver failure, and one that is taken by millions of people every day.
55,000 to 80,000 people are treated in the emergency room every year for acetaminophen overdoses, and 500 of those will die, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
The new cap message will read: “CONTAINS ACETAMINOPHEN, ALWAYS READ THE LABEL”. Research into the misuse of Tylenol has resulted in the product becoming the first of the more than 600 over-the –counter products containing acetaminophen, to bear such a warning label.
Presently, there are more than 85 personal injury lawsuits in federal court alleging that Tylenol is responsible for liver injuries and deaths.
Much is at stake for a company that reported $1.75 billion in sales last year of acetaminophen-based products as the FDA drafts long-awaited safety measures that could curtail the use of Tylenol and other such products.
Most experts agree that acetaminophen is safe when used as directed; however, safety experts are concerned about “extra strength” doses of acetaminophen making it easy to exceed the 4,000 milligram/day recommended dosage.
Johnson & Johnson parent company, McNeil, has updated safety warnings on the product periodically over the years, and has voluntarily adopted changes recommended by FDA-assembled expert panels, but has not embraced the FDA’s recommendation to eliminate Extra Strength Tylenol altogether.
Acetaminophen overdoses occur when the liver is overwhelmed by too much of the drug, producing a toxic byproduct and killing liver cells. When most cells are no longer able to function, liver failure occurs and most patients have 24-48 hours to live without a liver transplant.
About half of the 500 annual acetaminophen deaths are considered accidental. Still, there are cases of liver damage in patients who have stayed well within the 4,000mg/day safety threshold.
These lawsuits alleging that the company risked lives by making “conscious decisions not to redesign, re-label, warn or inform the unsuspecting consuming public” have been consolidated under a single federal judge in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania near McNeil’s headquarters in Ft. Washington, PA.
Tylenol Lawsuit Attorneys
If you or someone you love has had liver damage or liver failure after taking Tylenol, it is important to know your legal options. The national Tylenol lawsuit attorneys at Phillips Law Firm can help. We represent patients across the United States who have been injured or hurt after taking a dangerous drug. If you are interested in learning more about your legal options, call us at 1-800-708-6000. We are waiting to assist you 24/7, offering a free case evaluation. Remember our no fee promise. If we do not recover anything for you, you do not owe us an attorney fee.