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Tylenol – Acetaminophen

McNEIL-PPC, the manufacturer of Tylenol and other medications that contain Tylenol’s active ingredient, acetaminophen, has undergone considerable scrutiny for the potential of acetaminophen to cause liver damage and even death when taken in large doses. McNEIL-PPC insists that Tylenol products are effective relief for mild to moderate pain, and are safe when taken in the correct dosage. However, the dosage issue is a complex one since acetaminophen is an ingredient in more than 600 brand name drugs or combination drugs, according to the NIH—the National Institute of Health.

A recent study reported that increases in ALT (an enzyme found in the blood that originates predominantly from liver cells) were observed in subjects taking the maximum daily dose of acetaminophen (4 grams). Elevated liver enzyme levels sometimes may be—but are not always—a sign of poor liver health. The NIH report supports the finding of the study: taking too much acetaminophen can cause liver damage, sometimes serious enough to require liver transplantation or cause death.

In fact, acetaminophen causes three times as many cases of liver failure as all other drugs combined, and is the most common cause of acute liver failure in the United States, accounting for 39% of such cases, according to an article in a peer-reviewed science/legal journal. With extensive experience representing victims of other defective drugs such as Motrin and other NSAIDs that have been linked to liver failure, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis, the Philadelphia drug injury lawyers at Messa & Associates are well prepared to litigate Tylenol and acetaminophen cases.  Our attorneys are equipped with the necessary resources, including  medical professionals on our staff, to understand and master the intricacies of drug injury cases involving commonly used over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol and Motrin, as well as their prescription and children’s strength versions.  

People who take Tylenol and other medications containing acetaminophen are largely ignorant of the safe dosages or the need for caution. You might accidentally take too much acetaminophen if you do not follow the directions on the prescription or package label carefully, or if you are not aware that you take more than one product that contains acetaminophen. The following symptoms may indicate an overdose of acetaminophen:

  •                     nausea
  •                     vomiting
  •                     loss of appetite
  •                     sweating
  •                     extreme fatigue
  •                     unusual bleeding or bruising
  •                     pain in the upper right part of the stomach
  •                     yellowing of the skin or eyes
  •                    flu-like symptoms

Other more common side effects associated with acetaminophen include rash, hives, itching, swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs, hoarseness, and difficulty breathing or swallowing.

The issues of potentially dangerous side effects and acetaminophen overdosing have been overshadowed of late by the scandal surrounding what has been called the “phantom recall” of foul-smelling product, as well as a general string of recent recalls of most notably children’s medicines by McNeil, a division of Johnson & Johnson. Foreign materials due to an equipment-cleaning problem allegedly contaminated some of the products, while other recalls involved a musty odor coming from the product.

The Philadelphia drug injury attorneys at Messa & Associates are well-versed in the dangers associated with Tylenol use. The firm’s defective drug lawyers are currently representing the estate of a two-year-old boy who died after taking Very Berry Children’s Tylenol from a tainted batch manufactured at McNeil’s plant in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania.  The child suffered liver failure and died within a few days of taking the tainted Children’s Tylenol.

The recent recalls cost Johnson & Johnson a total of approximately $900 million in lost sales just in 2010, with further drastic losses expected. The McNeil plant in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, was closed for retooling of its manufacturing and quality processes. A similar recall problem with Motrin products manufactured at that same site has resulted in personal injury lawsuits from users who have suffered ill consequences from taking the drug.

If you believe you or a loved one has been injured or suffered a severe side effect from the use of Tylenol or Children’s Tylenol, you may be entitled to compensation. A free consultation is available with a Philadelphia defective drug attorney at Messa & Associates at 1-877-MESSALAW. Our team of Pennsylvania injury attorneys and paraprofessionals, which includes medical professionals, has the experience specific to complications associated with prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications.

Whether you are in Philadelphia, Cherry Hill or outlying counties of southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the Philadelphia drug product injury attorneys at Messa & Associates give you the legal guidance you need and can help you get the compensation you deserve. We have extensive resources to help prepare a case, and we will access the necessary experts to get results. We are responsive to your needs and will keep you informed throughout the litigation process, whether by settlement or trial.

Click here for more information about problems with acetaminophen toxicity and a complete list of pharmaceutical products containing acetaminophen.

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