Tylenol is one of the most popular over-the-counter painkillers in North America. It is available without a prescription, in multiple forms, and yearly sales for drug maker McNeil Pharmaceuticals, a division of Johnson & Johnson, are in the billions of dollars. The wide availability and common use of Tylenol may make users believe it’s very safe. But in fact, Tylenol is the most common cause of acute liver failure in the United States, due most often to combining it with other drugs, alcohol or caffeine. In fact, a 2006 study found that even at recommended doses, Tylenol can affect healthy liver function. And more recently, a series of recalls has raised questions about tainted Tylenol, triggering concerns and lawsuits from Missouri Dangerous Drug Lawyers.
Patients can suffer Tylenol-related liver failure after using the drug in ways they might not think of as dangerous. Sometimes, patients exceed the recommended dosage information on Tylenol’s packaging, believing the drug is harmless because it’s available without a prescription. In addition, people taking several over-the-counter drugs may combine Tylenol with other substances containing acetaminophen, creating an unintended overdose. Studies have shown that this risk rises when the patient is using caffeine heavily &mdash: and caffeine is often included in over-the-counter drugs. Heavy alcohol use and fasting also increase the risk by reducing the body’s defenses. And prescription drug abusers may accidentally overdose by combining over-the-counter or prescription Tylenol with prescription narcotics that contain acetaminophen.
Tylenol has also recently come under scrutiny after a series of recalls over the past several years that totaled millions of units of Tylenol, in addition to other Johnson & Johnson products. Most of the recalls were due to a “musty” odor ultimately found to be caused by contamination with a chemical called 2,4,6-tribromoanisole. TBA is not known to have long-term hazards, but it has been blamed for stomach upset in some patients who took the recalled drugs. After the recalls, the FDA launched an investigation and discovered serious manufacturing problems at plants in Pennsylvania and Puerto Rico. The agency temporarily shut down one plant, required Johnson & Johnson to destroy many units of tainted pills and eventually took over three plants with a consent decree.
The FDA has also taken action to warn patients about the risk of liver damage from a Tylenol overdose. In 2009, it required all over-the-counter pain relievers containing acetaminophen, including many forms of Tylenol, to include warnings about severe liver damage from overuse. In 2011, it ordered that prescription Tylenol contain no more than 325 mg of acetaminophen and carry a warning about severe liver injury. These requirements are important, but they come more than five decades after Tylenol was first introduced to the United States market. Those who were hurt by a Tylenol overdose may have a failure to warn lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson and McNeil. Those who suffered an injury or illness after taking tainted Tylenol may also have a manufacturing defects case. Both kinds of patient should talk to a Missouri Tylenol lawyer about their legal options.
Drug manufacturers are no different from any other manufacturer under Missouri state law. All have a legal duty to offer safe products to customers and warn customers about any unavoidable safety risks. At E. Ryan Bradley, we represent clients across Missouri who were seriously injured or fell ill after taking tainted Tylenol or suffering a Tylenol overdose they weren’t adequately warned about. Our Missouri Tylenol lawyers believe patients should be able to trust that their drugs are safe &mdash: and that when manufacturers fail in this duty, they should be held legally responsible. In a lawsuit, clients can claim compensation for their injuries or illness, including any permanent effects on their lives, as well as all of the financial costs of treating and living with the injury.
If your family suffered liver damage from a Tylenol overdose or an injury from tainted Tylenol, you should call E. Ryan Bradley right away to discuss how we can help. For a free consultation, send us a message online or call 314-400-0000.