Acetaminophen, either in its generic form or in name-brand drugs like Tylenol, has long been a staple in many U.S. medicine cabinets, and it was once even regarded as a safe drug to give to women who were pregnant. However, recent information and lawsuits have brought to light several dangers associated with the drug. This is what you should know.
Acetaminophen overdose can lead to liver failure.
As little as 10 grams of acetaminophen can cause an injury to your liver—which is bad news for consumers. Many people take Tylenol and its generic counterparts regularly, simply because they don't realize the dangers that they face. Their perception of the drug as being "safe" can lead to overdoses very easily, which might be why acetaminophen is the leading cause of toxic drug ingestion in the U.S., leading to around 100 deaths each year.
This serious danger was only recently acknowledged. In 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration took the unusual step of asking pharmacists not to fill prescriptions for painkillers that contained more than 325 milligrams of acetaminophen. Even though the FDA had issued an earlier warning about the dangers, some doctors continued to prescribe high-dose acetaminophen products anyhow.
Acetaminophen use during pregnancy can lead to behavior problems in your child.
Recent studies indicate that the use of drugs containing acetaminophen during pregnancy can cause both attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or hyperkinetic disorder (HKD). Since more than half of pregnant women use acetaminophen to relieve discomfort, these findings could affect a huge number of children.
According to the study, the children of women who used acetaminophen during pregnancy were 29% more likely to develop ADHD and 37% more likely to develop HKD by age seven than children whose mothers didn't use the drug.
Acetaminophen products can also contain impurities and incorrect dosages.
There have also been a number of lawsuits in recent years related to manufacturing defects by the makers of Tylenol and other acetaminophen products. Bacterial contamination is blamed for at least one infant's death in 2010. In another case, a toddler received a dose of Tylenol that had too high of a concentration of acetaminophen in it, leading to liver failure.
You can file a lawsuit to recover for your injuries.
If you believe that you or your child has been injured due to acetaminophen use, it may be possible to hold the manufacturer of the drug responsible. If the medication was prescribed by a physician after warnings were issued, the physician may also bear some responsibility for your injuries. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area to discuss your case.