Tylenol A Leading Cause of Acute Liver Failure
“… We believe this to be a serious public health threat requiring urgent attention.” — Dr. Michael Wolf, Journal of General Internal Medicine, May 2012
Tylenol products can be found in countless households across the country. Americans take them for everything from headaches to sinus colds to serious pain from injuries or surgery. They contain an analgesic called acetaminophen — a painkiller that is toxic to the liver.
This toxicity can make Tylenol fatal in some instances, even in doses users think are safe. After all, you can buy Tylenol right off the shelf. Yet it is the leading cause of acute liver failure in the U.S.
It may take no more than 2 or 3 doses of certain medications containing acetaminophen to trigger acute liver failure, a serious medical emergency. This can occur when people mix different medications designed to treat different symptoms without realizing they all contain acetaminophen. In certain people, even the recommended dose may be harmful.
If Tylenol products have caused acute liver failure in you or a loved one, we want to help you. Compensation may be available for your medical expenses and your suffering. Contact us today to learn what our attorneys can do to help you get it.
More Than 600 Different Medicines Contain Acetaminophen
Chances are you have taken an over-the-counter Tylenol medication at some point. Despite the dangers it poses to the liver, Tylenol has been aggressively marketed as safe for decades. You may have even had acetaminophen in a prescription combined with another painkiller. According to Johnson & Johnson, which owns the Tylenol brand, acetaminophen is found in more than 600 medications. Some common versions of Tylenol include:
- Extra Strength Tylenol
- Tylenol PM
- Tylenol Sinus Congestion & Pain
- Tylenol Arthritis Pain
- Tylenol Cold Multi-Symptom
The amount of the drug in a dose can range from 250mg or less to as much as 1,000mg in one medication that is no longer produced, but may still be sitting in your medicine cabinet. If you are taking a liquid medication, the dose may be even larger if you do not measure it accurately.
- According to the National Institutes of Health, liver damage can occur after 2,600mg of acetaminophen in healthy individuals. Alcohol can lower this threshold considerably, to as low as 1,000mg.
- According to doctors at the University of Washington, acute liver failure can occur in those sensitive to the drug “even by taking the recommended dose on the container, or less.”
- The difference between a recommended dose and a dangerous dose of Tylenol is substantially lower than most over-the-counter drugs.
Tylenol Ingredient Responsible for 70% of Acute Liver Failures
According to the University of Washington, acetaminophen is responsible for 70% of acute liver failure incidents. Many of these people did not intentionally overdose on medication – they likely mixed drugs designed to treat different ailments, unaware that they contained the same ingredient.
Acute liver failure typically develops in a week to a month. Its symptoms are very serious and can lead to death unless a liver transplant surgery is performed. Symptoms include:
- Low blood pressure
- Cerebral edema
If you or a loved one suffered acute liver failure as a result of taking Tylenol products, you need to speak with an attorney today. You should not have been put at risk. Liver failure is a life-threatening condition. The ailments Tylenol is designed to treat are not. Compensation may be available for your medical expenses and your suffering.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation by calling 1 (800) 514-5906 or filling out the form on this page to learn how we can help. The law limits the amount of time you have to file a claim for compensation, so act now.