The attorneys at Ward Black Law are presently investigating potential Tylenol® lawsuits in North Carolina and across the U.S. If you or a loved one has suffered from liver failure as a result of a Tylenol® overdose, you deserve to know your rights. Contact a Tylenol® lawsuit attorney at Ward Black Law of N.C. today.
Tylenol® is currently the most popular painkiller in the United States. In fact, according to MedicineNet.com, Americans consume roughly 8 billion tablets or capsules of Tylenol® per year. The active ingredient in Tylenol® is called acetaminophen. Acetaminophen belongs to a class of drugs called analgesics, which are often used to reduce fever, aches and pains. Many other pain relievers and fever reducers contain acetaminophen as an active ingredient, including medications such as Excedrin®, Midol®, NyQuil® and TheraFlu®, just to name a few. While Tylenol® is considered by most physicians to be a relatively safe over-the-counter medication, overdosing on acetaminophen is actually easier than you might think.
Unintentional overdoses of acetaminophen are currently the most common cause of acute liver failure in the United States. While Tylenol® users most at risk of acetaminophen overdose often suffer from depression, chronic pain or alcohol/narcotic abuse, many unrelated reports of liver failure have also surfaced, often in cases where the medication is taken as directed by the manufacturer. In fact, in 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration advocated lowering the maximum daily dosage of acetaminophen from 4,000 mg to 2,600 mg and limiting the per-pill dosage to 325 mg for this very reason.
A high dosage of acetaminophen can lead to liver failure when the liver is performing its primary role – to purify and clear the body of harmful toxins. When an individual takes Tylenol®, the liver attempts to metabolize and break down the acetaminophen drug into other non-toxic chemicals. However, when the liver attempts to metabolize large amounts of acetaminophen it also creates a potentially harmful toxin known as NAPQI. Some patients are able to break down this toxic by-product quickly without causing lasting harm to the liver; however, others may be unable to metabolize the NAPQI fast enough, causing acute liver failure.
It is currently believed that Tylenol® users who are malnourished or fasting are most at risk for unintentional acetaminophen-related liver failure, as they are more likely to have difficulty metabolizing the drug than other users. Patients taking other drugs containing acetaminophen are also at greater risk for an overdose. This often happens because patients are unaware that they are taking another drug containing acetaminophen, such as prescription medications like oxycodone (Percocet), hydrocodone (Vicodin), and codeine (Tylenol® with Codeine).
Many victims of acetaminophen-related liver failure (and their families) have filed lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson and other acetaminophen drug manufacturers alleging that these companies failed to warn the general public that even an as-directed dosage of Tylenol® or other acetaminophen-containing drug can cause liver failure. If you or a loved one has used Tylenol® or acetaminophen and suffered from serious injury, such as liver damage or liver failure, you may be entitled to pursue a claim against the manufacturer for damages.
For a free, confidential case evaluation, contact the pharmaceutical litigation attorneys at Ward Black Law. Please call our office at (336) 333-2244 or 1-877-256-1214 (toll-free). You may also reach Ward Black Law by email or online inquiry.