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Overdoses Caused by Acetaminophen

Tylenol has made changes to its label after numerous overdoses from acetaminophen and a growing number of personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits.

This latest warning will be printed on each bottle cap and will be out in October of this year. The new label will read: "Contains acetaminophen. Always read the label" in bold red letters. This step was taken to 1) alert consumers of potential liver failure and even death, 2) reduce the number of accidental acetaminophen overdoses that occur each year, and 3) encourage consumers to carefully read labels.

Acetaminophen Overdoses Can Cause Severe Liver Damage

Acetaminophen, a pain reliever, is the main ingredient in Tylenol, as well as in more than 600 over-the-counter products and prescription medications. It has sent thousands of people (up to 80,000) to emergency rooms. Health officials reported that at least 500 people overdosed due to acetaminophen. Consumers should be aware that taking too much acetaminophen can cause poisoning and severe liver damage.

Here are some precautions you can take:

  • Read the label
  • Intake only the allowed dosage
  • Avoid taking acetaminophen with alcohol
  • Inform your doctor and pharmacist about all medications you are taking
  • Practice extra caution when taking “extra-strength” versions

On a final note, most experts agree that acetaminophen is safe when used as directed; this is why it is so important to read the label and to take the allowed dosage. Consumers need to educate themselves and take the necessary steps to prevent problems like liver damage and other side effects, as well as accidental overdose.

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