Beginning this October all new bottles of Extra Strength Tylenol will state (in red) that the over-the counter medicine contains acetaminophen, alerting consumers to the fact that taking too much could lead to potentially dangerous complications including liver failure.
In fact the CDC reports that overdoses from acetaminophen, which is included in more than 600 commonly sold OTC and prescription products, including Sudafed sinus tablets, Excedrin and Nyquil, etc., is responsible for as many as-80,000 emergency room visits and at least 500 fatalities each year.
"We're always looking for ways to better communicate information to patients and consumers," says Dr. Edwin Kuffner, vice president of McNeil Consumer Healthcare, the Johnson & Johnson unit that manufacturers Tylenol.
Extra strength Tylenol is the first product to issue the warning labels, a critical move in light of the fact that Johnson & Johnson is currently battling more than 85 personal injury lawsuits filed in federal court claiming that Tylenol was responsible for damaging plaintiffs’ livers injuries and resulting deaths in some cases.
It should also be noted that the FDA is currently developing proposals that could limit the use of acetaminophen products including Tylenol.