Tylenol Liver Damage - Acetaminophen Side Effects Spark Lawsuits
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Tylenol Liver Damage

male patient in hospital gownAnyone who has suffered Tylenol liver damage as a result of acetaminophen overdose surely feels a sense of betrayal and mistrust. Given the fact that Tylenol and other acetaminophen-containing drugs are in virtually every American’s medicine cabinet, it should come as no surprise that most people operate under the assumption that such medications are exceedingly safe.

However, the startling truth is that acetaminophen is actually the leading source of liver failure in the United States, and dangerous overdoses occur with shocking regularity.

At The Sanders Firm, our Tylenol lawyers understand the devastating impact liver damage can have on victims and families alike, and for that reason, we are committed to pursuing compensation from those responsible for negligent manufacturing and their failure to properly warn consumers of the risks their products pose.

Acetaminophen overdose risk

Because it is such an over-the-counter staple, Tylenol is a drug that countless individuals take on a nearly regular basis for the treatment of aches, pains and fevers. Acetaminophen, Tylenol’s active ingredient, is also found in a wide array of other medications, including cold medicine and prescription pain killers.

Unfortunately, inadvertently taking too much of a good thing can lead to severe consequences, including liver failure, extended hospitalization and even death. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has estimated that acetaminophen overdoses account for no less than 450 fatalities per year and prompt at least 25,000 hospitalizations. The Sanders Firm attorneys take these numbers very seriously and stand prepared to aggressively fight for the rights of those who have suffered Tylenol liver damage.

Causes of Tylenol liver damage

Serious harm results from ingesting excessive amounts of acetaminophen because small amounts of the ingredient can be converted to a toxic metabolite called NAPQI that binds together with proteins in the liver to cause injury to cells therein. The seriousness of the liver injury that results from an overdose is largely determined by the amount of metabolite actually produced and the individual liver’s ability to remove it prior to bonding with liver proteins. One reason for serious acetaminophen injury is the fact that the drug itself has a relatively narrow margin of safety.

Even taking a small amount more than the recommended limit of 4 grams per day can present serious risks. In 2011, the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology published a study suggesting that taking just slightly more Tylenol than recommended over a span of a few days could cause a fatal overdose. Regrettably, many individuals are unaware of this danger and also lack knowledge of the fact that other drugs they are taking also contain acetaminophen. The ubiquitous nature and Tylenol has lulled countless individuals into a false sense of the drug’s safety, resulting in serious consequences for many.

Adding to the serious nature of acetaminophen overdoses is the fact that the symptoms of serious harm can often take several days to emerge, by which time it may be too late to reverse the effects.

Some of the most common symptoms of Tylenol liver damage include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Stomach pain
  • Yellow skin or eyes
  • Flu-like feeling

Anyone experiencing these symptoms after taking significant doses of products containing acetaminophen must seek medical attention immediately.

FDA and manufacturer responses to acetaminophen risk

When research linking acetaminophen to acute liver failure began to emerge in the 1990s, the FDA initiated a series of actions intended to bolster public safety with regard to the drug. Most significantly, in 2009, the FDA issued a regulation strengthening labeling for all acetaminophen-containing drugs sold over the counter. Specific wording pertaining to potential injury to the liver, how alcohol increases the risk of harm and the importance of taking only one acetaminophen product at a time was to be included on all OTC products. The agency also imposed an acetaminophen limit of 325 mg on prescription drugs in order to help prevent patients from inadvertently taking dangerous combinations of drugs.

2011 saw Johnson & Johnson reduce the recommended maximum daily dose of Tylenol from 4,000 to 3,000. In August of 2013, following a wave of new lawsuit filings alleging liver failure due to Tylenol use, the drug maker announced its decision to modify labeling on its products to include warnings about potential fatalities from Tylenol overdoses that were to be rendered in bold red lettering.

Why file a Tylenol liver damage lawsuit

Those who have suffered serious, potentially life-changing harm as a result of an acetaminophen overdose often feel confused, angry and afraid. Fortunately, the law provides them with the ability to seek full and fair compensation from the injuries they have sustained. The Sanders Firm has more than 46 years of experience pursuing financial recovery on behalf of individuals harmed by dangerous drugs that can often include payment for:

  • Present and future medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Reduction in earning capacity
  • Emotional distress
  • Pain and suffering
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Wrongful death

Because dangerous drug lawsuits are complex matters requiring sophisticated evidence and testimony, it is important for victims to enlist the help of attorneys with a track record of securing sizable settlements and jury verdicts. The Sanders Firm has established itself as one of the most reputable injury firms in the country and has built an impressive network of medical experts, case investigators and support staff, all of whom share the goal of obtaining justice to those harmed by negligent drug manufacturers.

Our product liability lawyers offer extensive experience litigating dangerous drug cases, and are best suited to undertake your Tylenol lawsuit, as we understand the type and scope of evidence necessary to establish key allegations that may include:

  • Tylenol represents an unreasonably dangerous drug
  • Tylenol’s liver damage risks were known to the manufacturer for years
  • Warning labels and instructions on Tylenol packaging were insufficient relative to the risks
  • Medical professionals were poorly trained and instructed on safe use of Tylenol
  • Tylenol product testing was inadequate

The Sanders Firm has litigated dangerous drug cases for decades and has never been afraid to do battle with the world’s pharmaceutical giants. While our practice has grown exponentially since the firm’s inception, we have always held tight to our commitment to providing personalized, honest and diligent representation to each and every client we serve.

Individual Tylenol lawsuits are being filed across the country by a broad array of plaintiff, and their numbers are only expected to grow. Cases filed in federal courts have been consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. A group of six representative, or “bellwether” cases are set to be selected in mid-2014.

These cases are chosen due to their representative fact patterns and for their ability to predict how juries are likely to respond to evidence, expert testimony and legal arguments. The outcomes of these cases are likely to be influential in subsequent settlement discussions with Johnson & Johnson and its McNeil Consumer Health Care subsidiary.

Legal assistance from Tylenol lawyers

If you or a loved one has suffered debilitating side effects stemming from acetaminophen overdose and Tylenol use, you may feel as though you have nowhere to turn. The attorneys at the Sanders Firm want to reassure you that you are not alone. We stand ready to provide the type of comprehensive, zealous approach necessary to maximize your chances for recovery. Not only do we pledge to fight for every dollar of compensation you deserve, but to do everything possible to hold accountable the drug makers who negligently place the public at risk.

To schedule a confidential, no-cost initial consultation, contact us at 1-800-FAIR-PLAY. Our team of attorneys can be reached at any time, day or night to begin the process of assessing the facts of your case and explaining your legal options.


  1. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Acetaminophen and Liver Injury: Q&A for Consumers, http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm168830.htm 

  2. CNN, FDA: Acetaminophen doses over 325mg might lead to liver damage, http://cnn.com/2014/01/15/health/fda-acetaminophen-dosage/ 

  3. U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Acetaminophen Overdose and Liver Injury - Background adn Options for Reducing Injury, http://www.fda.gov/downloads/advisorycommittees/committeesmeetingmaterials/drugs/drugsafetyandriskmanagementadvisorycommittee/ucm164897.pdf 

  4. Forbes, Too Much Acetaminophen Can Cause Liver Damage, FDA Warns, http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2014/01/16/fda-warns-high-doses-of-acetaminophen-can-lead-to-liver-damage/