The Tylenol injury lawyers at the Drug Law Center represent individuals who suffered serious injury from the pain-relieving medication.
Tylenol is a pain-relieving medication prescribed by doctors to reduce fever. The drug is available in prescription and nonprescription formulas and often used to treat muscle aches, headaches, arthritis, cold, toothaches, fevers, and backache. Interactions with alcohol can occur, and pregnant women should ask their doctor first before taking the medication.
The History of Tylenol
Tylenol in its generic form, acetaminophen, was first marketed to consumers in 1953. However, the first notations of the substance appeared in 1878 report in France where doctors were using the synthetic medication to treat patients suffering from intestinal parasites. The drug was first synthesized using coal tar.
In the years ahead, the prescription analgesic became the brand name Tylenol in 1955 by a family’s small pharmaceutical manufacturer Robert McNeil as an elixir for children. The McNeil Laboratory recategorized the product is an analgesic in the late 1940s. Soon afterward, McNeil thought the drug was both efficient and safe based on in-house research.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of acetaminophen in 1951. By 1956, the drug showed up on British pharmacy shelves for sale. It was not until the mid-1970s and 1980s that the popularity of Tylenol took off.
Today, more than 600 prescription and nonprescription drugs contain acetaminophen. Just a few include over-the-counter products like Alka-Seltzer, DayQuil, NyQuil, Excedrin, Theraflu, Vicks, Vanquish, Formula 44, Contac, Anacin, Goody’s Powders, St. Joseph Aspirin-Free, and all of their store brands. In addition, Oxycodone, Percocet, Vicodin, Hydrocet, Tramadol, Phenaphen, Hydrocodone bitartrate, and their generic versions.
Today, millions of individuals worldwide take the over-the-counter pain drug on a routine basis to alleviate a lot of common symptoms including aches and pains.
There are contraindications for both the prescription and over-the-counter brands of Tylenol and in the generic form acetaminophen. Individuals that should avoid taking Tylenol or those that have a variety of conditions that include:
- Hepatitis C virus-related acute liver inflammation
- Liver problems
- Acute liver failure
- Severe renal impairment
- Acetamide-drug overdose
- Poor nutrition
Individuals who consume alcohol should discuss taking acetaminophen or Tylenol with their doctor prior to taking the medication. This is because the drug is known to cause severe side effects including liver problems. Any individual experiencing chills, fever, swelling, joint pain, excessive weakness, or tiredness, itching, skin rashes, bruising or bleeding, loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, or yellowing of the skin might be having a major drug interaction with Tylenol.
It is important to discuss these conditions with your doctor who might adjust the dosage or perform specialized tests to ensure the medication is safe. In addition, individuals taking herbs and vitamins should talk about their supplements with the doctor before taking Tylenol.
Major problems can occur when taking Tylenol in combination with other drugs that include:
- Vitamin D3
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B12
Tylenol Side Effects
Every over-the-counter drug and prescription medication have mild side effects. However, some drugs are known to have severe side effects. The mild side effects involved with taking Tylenol (acetaminophen) include:
- Dark urine
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach pain
However, Tylenol, both prescription and over-the-counter versions can cause serious side effects that include:
- Acute liver failure
- Giant hives
- Decreased white blood cells
- Decrease blood platelets
- Acute pustular skin eruptions
- Drug-induced hepatitis
- granulocyte white blood cell deficiency
- Toxic epidermal necrolysis
- Stevens-Johnson syndrome
- Allergy -related skin inflammation
- Discolored skin spots
- Skin redness
- Fever with or without chills
- Cloudy urine
- Unusual bruising or bleeding
- Yellowing of the skin or eyes
- Unexpected sore throat
- Mouth or lip ulcerations/white spots/sores
Symptoms of overdosing on Tylenol include:
- Stomach pain or cramps
- Vomiting or nausea
- Diminished appetite
- Excessive sweating
- Tenderness, pain, or swelling of the stomach or upper abdomen
Tylenol and Stevens-Johnson syndrome
Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) is a life-threatening, severe reaction to different drugs, including Tylenol (both prescription and over-the-counter acetaminophen). The condition appears as though the skin has been burned from the inside out. Sufferers often display severe rashes, skin lesions, and blisters. Some cases escalate in severity where skin lesions appear on 30 percent or more of the body. Exacerbated Stevens-Johnson syndrome is often referred to as TENS (toxic epidermal necrolysis).
In 2013, the Food and Drug Administration warned consumers that Tylenol (acetaminophen) has the ability to cause a deadly, rare skin disorder (Stevens-Johnson syndrome). At that time, dozens of reports have been filed documenting adverse events where some consumers taking Tylenol needed to be hospitalized. Others died from taking the medication.
Due to the high volume of Tylenol lawsuits filed by plaintiffs who suffered serious to mild injuries after taking the medication, federal judges consolidated many cases into a Tylenol multidistrict litigation (MDL) case in 2013. As a result, many cases that have originally been filed in numerous U.S. District Courts were instead merged and transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Centralizing multiple lawsuits help reduce repetitive discovery of the same evidence and avoid conflicting rulings from judges across the nation. Not only does this serve to provide convenience to the plaintiffs and defendant, it also helps reduce court costs and the need for expert witnesses.
Handling Tylenol as multidistrict litigation allows the consolidation of evidence in the determination of how individual juries will respond while still allowing every plaintiff to file an individual lawsuit.
The first Tylenol lawsuits were filed decades ago, including the October 1994 case, were a suburban Virginia federal court jury awarded a plaintiff who lost his liver $8.8 million in compensatory and punitive damages. The plaintiff had been taking the popular pain reliever during dinner on a regular basis while drinking wine.
The 39-year-old Virginian who had worked for President George H. W. Bush received $7.855 million to cover his damages and an additional million dollars in punitive damages. Defendants in the case included McNeil consumer products company and the Tylenol manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson. Both pharmaceutical companies said they would be appealing the verdict.
- Tylenol Liver Damage Claims the Life of a Three-month-old Baby
November 2013 – It was just 10 years ago that a Louisiana child slipped into a coma after her hospital doctors recommended she be given OTC (over-the-counter) Tylenol (one teaspoon every four hours) to treat her fever and cold. However, the recommendations by the doctors turned out to be an accidental Tylenol overdose resulting in tearing the child’s liver apart, causing her death. Before she died, doctors tested her liver enzymes. Test results revealed she had 200 times the expected enzymes, meaning the only option left was a liver transplant. However, the child was not breathing on her own, which is a qualification for transplant. The child succumbed to her injuries a few days later.
Since then, the grieving mother filed a Tylenol lawsuit against McNeil, seeking financial compensation to cover her monetary losses and intangible damage including pain, suffering, anxiety, grief and emotional distress.
- FDA Warns of the Potential Liver Damage When Taking Extra Strength Tylenol
September 2014 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued warnings to consumers, healthcare providers and doctors of the potential danger of using and prescribing extra strength Tylenol plus. The FDA warning revealed the link of liver damage or failure after taking the pain-relieving acetaminophen medication. As a result, many victims and/or their surviving family members are filing Tylenol liver damage lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson, the drug manufacturer. In addition, there may be potential Tylenol class action lawsuits filed by many more victims in the future.
In January 2014, the FDA stated that they are “recommending healthcare professionals discontinue prescribing and dispensing prescription combination drug products that contain more than 325 milligrams of acetaminophen per tablet, capsule or another dosage unit.” The FDA also says that “limiting the amount of acetaminophen per dosage unit will reduce the risk of severe liver injury from inadvertent acetaminophen overdose, which can lead to liver failure, liver transplant, and death.”
The popular pain relieving medication continues to be marketed as a safe over-the-counter drug even though there are reported incidents of liver damage and death caused by liver failure all throughout the United States. Records indicate that overdoses involving Tylenol (acetaminophen) are responsible for thousands of individuals being hospitalized and hundreds of deaths associated with taking the medication.
- J & J Facing Another Tylenol Liver Lawsuit
October 2013 – Johnson & Johnson, the pharmaceutical giant, is facing one more Tylenol liver damage lawsuit, this time filed by a Georgia plaintiff who alleges he sustained serious injuries to his liver after taking Tylenol, the popular over-the-counter medication. The plaintiff made an additional claim that his acute liver failure was exacerbated because he was prescribed Vicodin in combination with Tylenol.
Lawsuit documents reveal that the plaintiff was hospitalized in June 2011 where doctors diagnosed him with acute liver failure. At that time, the plaintiff had been taking Vicodin and Tylenol according to the specific instructions detailed on the bottles. The plaintiff claims that he remained in consultation with his doctor to make sure that he was to take both medications at the same time.
As a result of his injuries, the Georgia man filing a Tylenol lawsuit against the pharmaceutical company claiming that at no point did the makers of Tylenol inform him or his doctors of any potential side effects in taking the drug combination he alleges are responsible for causing liver failure. The plaintiff states that had he been made aware he would likely not have taken the drug and probably chosen a different form of treatment to alleviate his pain and discomfort.
Were You Injured by Tylenol?
If you have suffered an injury or lost a loved one due to Tylenol, you are likely feeling hopeless of moving forward with your life and helpless of how to fight large pharmaceutical companies and medical personnel. However, there is no need to be disheartened. Our attorneys can fight aggressively on your behalf to obtain compensation while lending a compassionate ear on how the unexpected events changed your life.
The Tylenol injury case attorneys at the Drug Law Center can provide legal representation to assist you in pursuing justice if you have been injured or lost a loved one after taking the pain reliever. Our legal team is comprised of board-certified lawyers, paralegals, support staff and medical consultants needed to successfully resolve your case.
Contact us today for a free initial consultation. Speaking with our Tylenol injury law firm is always free of charge. In addition, we accept these cases on contingency, meaning payments for our legal services are accepted only after we have successfully negotiated a settlement on your behalf or one a jury award at trial.