Injured individuals across the United States have recently filed multiple lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson, the maker of the popular pain reliever Tylenol. The suits arose over allegations that Tylenol causes severe liver resulting in acute liver failure and even death. Tylenol’s active ingredient, acetaminophen, is one of the most commonly used drugs in America but is toxic to the liver when consumed in large doses.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that consumers need to be aware of how much Tylenol they take and that early signs of liver damage are often not immediately apparent. Although the risk of liver injury is low, the FDA has stated that because so many people take products containing acetaminophen, the number of liver injury cases is a “public health concern.”
Several of the lawsuits contend that Johnson & Johnson recklessly disregarded Tylenol’s side effects. Earlier this month, the New Jersey Star-Ledger reported that 187 federal and state plaintiffs have filed liver injury cases against Johnson & Johnson. These suits allege that Johnson & Johnson and other drug makers failed to properly warn the public that taking acetaminophen can lead to severe liver injury and failure.
Acetaminophen is also an active ingredient in Excedrin, Midol, Theraflu, and NyQuil. Symptoms of liver damage and liver failure alleged to be connected with Tylenol or acetaminophen consumption include diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, sweating, irritability, unusual bleeding or bruising, loss of appetite, infrequent urination, jaundice, and low blood sugar. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should contact a healthcare provider as soon as possible. Approximately 500 deaths occur annually due to acetaminophen overdoses, as well as 50,000 emergency room visits.
Filing a Tylenol liver damage lawsuit may enable an injured victim to recover compensation for pain and suffering, past and future lost wages, funeral costs, and medical expenses. If you suffered liver damage or failure after using Tylenol, an experienced DC Tylenol lawyer can determine whether you are owed financial compensation for your damages. Tylenol lawsuits are time sensitive and a qualified DC personal injury attorney will tell you what time limits apply. Filing a Tylenol lawsuit may allow an injured victim to not only pay healthcare and living expenses, but to hold the drug maker accountable.
New Warning about Acetaminophen Risk: Rash, Blister, and Rare Fatal Reactions
Acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol and many other popular pain relievers, can cause serious skin reactions, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned in a August 2013 news release. Consumers who have previously taken medicine with Acetaminophen without a problem could be at risk and there is unfortunately no way to determine who is at risk, according to the FDA. The reactions can also appear even for people who have only taken the product once.
Symptoms can include blisters, rash, and widespread damage to the skin’s surface. In a recent release, the FDA told consumers to stop taking acetaminophen if they develop a rash or other skin reaction while taking the medicine.
Two potentially fatal skin reactions, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), have been linked to acetaminophen. Complications from these two reactions can include blistering, scarring, changes to skin pigment, blindness, internal organ damage, and rashes.
A third serious skin reaction, acute generalized exanthematous postulosis (AGEP), has also been linked to acetaminophen. Unlike SJS and TEN, AGEP symptoms usually resolve within two weeks of ceasing use of the medication that caused the reaction.
“It is extremely important that people recognize and react quickly to the initial symptoms of these rare but serious, side effects, which are potentially fatal,” Sharon Hertz, MD, deputy director for the FDA’s Division of Anesthesia, Analgesia and Addition, said in a statement.
The FDA now requires prescription medicines containing acetaminophen to add warnings about the risk of developing skin conditions. The federal agency is going to coordinate with private companies to get warnings added to over-the-counter medicine.
This isn’t the first time health hazards have been associated with acetaminophen. In 2011, the FDA limited the amount of acetaminophen contained in medicine capsules due to liver injury risks. The FDA also requires prescription medicine with acetaminophen to include a boxed warning on its packaging to call attention to the serious health risks that can be associated with its use.
Ibuprofen and naproxen, two other popular fever and pain relievers, already carry warnings related to the same risks posed by acetaminophen. The FDA said a review of 43 years of data lead to the decision to issue new warnings about acetaminophen.
Contact a DC Acetaminophen/Tylenol Lawyer
If you believe you have been injured by a product containing acetaminophen, contact the experienced product liability lawyers with The Cochran Firm DC. We offer free no-obligation initial consultations and case evaluations. Our seasoned drug recall legal team is reviewing claims due to drug manufacturers’ failure to warn consumers about the risks posed by Tylenol and acetaminophen.