Acetaminophen, which is the active ingredient in Tylenol, is the number one cause of acute liver failure in America. Acute liver failure is when the cells rapidly fail in a matter of days, usually as a result of the effects of excessive or bad medication. This is in contrast to chronic liver failure, where the cells slowly begin fail over a period of years, usually as the result of a disease, such as Hepatitis or other disease that causes degeneration of the cells.
Tylenol overdose can and frequently does cause acute liver failure. In many cases, Tylenol-caused liver failure can be treated with immediate medical treatment, which usually involves taking an antidote that works best taken within the first few hours of an Acetaminophen overdose. However, in many cases, acute failure caused by Tylenol-cannot be treated and an organ transplant will be required in order to survive. In some cases, acute failure can lead to death. Tylenol overdose can happen in one of two ways. One way is if you take too much Tylenol such that your liver cannot process the amount of Acetaminophen you have taken. The other way is if you drink alcohol while taking Tylenol.
When you take Tylenol, the Acetaminophen is processed through the liver and creates toxic chemicals that can damage the cells of this vital organ. Your body has natural antioxidants than counteract the toxic chemicals. But if you take too much Acetaminophen, your body will not be able to defend against the toxic chemicals and the cells will be damaged and die. When you drink alcohol and take Tylenol together, your body becomes weaker at fending off the toxic chemicals and as a result the Acetaminophen becomes toxic with much lower levels of Acetaminophen than if you had just taken Acetaminophen alone without alcohol. The increased toxicity increases the risk of acute failure.
In fact, in the majority of cases where someone has overdosed on Tylenol, the person had taken Tylenol and alcohol at the same time. It is the position of many Tylenol liver failure lawyers that Tylenol does not contain adequate warnings about the dangerous effects of taking Tylenol with alcohol. This inadequate warning has led to many innocent consumer suffering liver failure and requiring an organ transplant. In some cases, consumers have died from mixing Tylenol and alcohol.
For some people, even without alcohol, Acetaminophen can become toxic and lead to acute liver failure. Studies have shown that healthy individuals who took the maximum recommended dose of Acetaminophen for two weeks had tests that showed toxicity in their liver. It is the position of many Tylenol liver disease attorneys that Tylenol does not contain adequate warnings about the dangerous effects of taking Tylenol regularly for more than one week. The inadequate warning can lead to an innocent patient suffering liver disease and requiring a liver transplant.
The increase of damage to your liver form taking Acetaminophen can dramatically increase with taking caffeine and Acetaminophen together because it increases the level of toxic chemicals created when your liver processes the Acetaminophen. Studies have shown that consuming Acetaminophen with caffeine can greatly increase the risk of acute liver disease. (Some drugs actually contain caffeine and Acetaminophen in the same pill, such as Midol and Excedrin.) It is the position of many Tylenol liver failure lawyers that Tylenol does not contain adequate warnings about the dangerous effects of taking Tylenol with caffeine.
If you or a loved one has suffered failure of their liver or required a transplant as the result of taking Tylenol, an Acetaminophen failure disease attorney at Injury Law Group can help you and your family hold the drug maker, McNeil, accountable for your injuries or loss.