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Johnson & Johnson to Place Warning on Extra Strength Tylenol Products

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Dangers of Acetaminophen Overdose are Real

Some people seem to think they can pop as many Tylenol pills as they want without consequence.  However, acetaminophen overdose is linked with some milder, and more serious consequences including abdominal pain, appetite loss, convulsions, coma, nausea, sweating and several other symptoms.  Without the proper treatment for acetaminophen overdose, a person can go into liver failure and die within a few days.  The makers of acetaminophen-based painkillers have already placed warnings on regular bottles of Tylenol, for example, but Johnson & Johnson is taking it a step further to make sure consumers know the dangers of taking too many painkillers.

Acetaminophen Overdose Most Common Cause of Liver Failure in U.S.  

Acetaminophen overdose is the most common cause of liver failure in the U.S. and just a few years ago the FDA placed a regulation on acetaminophen tabs that the amount they contained could not exceed 325 mg.  However, Extra Strength Tylenol tablets contain 500 mg per pill and the company will recently stated that they would place an additional warning label on their product beginning in October.  The unusual step comes in the footsteps of a growing number of lawsuits and pressure from the federal government.

Thousands of Patients Go to ER Every Year for Liver Failure

Unfortunately, between 55,000 to 80,000 people go the emergency room every year for acetaminophen related overdoses, and at least 500 of those people die.  Acetaminophen can be found in many OTC products used by nearly 1 in 4 adults every week.  The federal government is particularly concerned about the use of extra strength products.  Doctors say that although regular and even extra strength tabs pose no problems if dosage is properly followed, some people take more than they should, putting themselves in harm’s way.  The federal government also questions the number of pills that come in one bottle (typically over 300), making it very easy for a consumer to continuously pop pills throughout the day.  Furthermore, extra strength versions of acetaminophen have become so popular, that many pharmacies don’t even carry regular strength anymore.  Consumer groups have pressed J & J for years to change their labeling practices, without much success.  Now that the company faces in excess of 80 lawsuits, it has finally decided to make a move.