Tylenol’s parent company McNeil currently faces over 100 cases in federal court in Philadelphia alone. Acetaminophen carries with it a growing risk. The more a user takes, the more at risk they are for causing damage to their liver.
For years, watchdogs have cried out for some action from the Food and Drug Administration to recognize the risk of acetaminophen overdose. Acetaminophen is present in a large number of products available both over the counter and by prescription. This wide availability is part of what makes the drug so dangerous.
“The dangers of acetaminophen overdose are very real,” commented Megan McBride, an attorney with the Levin, Papantonio law firm who practices in the areas of product liability and personal injury. “Recent lawsuits are seeking to provide some justice to the people that have been injured by the lack of transparency from the manufacturers.”
Each year over 78,000 people go to an emergency room for treatment for an acetaminophen overdose. Due to the seriousness of the resulting liver damage, a regrettably high number of people that suffer from acetaminophen overdose die or are left permanently injured.
The thin margin of safety for the product compounds the dangers associated with acetaminophen and alcohol use further increases that risk.
In 2011, the FDA updated its recommendation on the amount of acetaminophen per pill to 325mg and asked manufacturers to be in compliance by January 14, 2014. According to Philly.com, as of that deadline only half of manufacturers had come into compliance with the recommendation.
“Acetaminophen manufacturers have often been among the last to respond to information of their products posing a threat to the health of consumers,” Ms. McBride added. “But the patients taking the drugs shouldn’t have to wait for the company to get its story straight. Without adequate warning, consumers are suffering from injuries that would otherwise be prevented.”
Joshua is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. You can follow him on Twitter @Joshual33.