Tylenol warnings: Tylenol, the popular pain relieving drug manufactured by Johnson and Johnson, is set to receive heightened warnings in light of growing lawsuits and concerns over potentially fatal overdoses of the drug taken by millions every day, reports NewsMax Health on Aug. 29.
The patent warning, written in red, will appear on Tylenol’s cap and will alert users to the presence of additional information on the bottle regarding the misuse of acetaminophen. The new cap message will read, in all caps: "CONTAINS ACETAMINOPHEN" and "ALWAYS READ THE LABEL."
Users of Extra Strength Tylenol sold in the U.S. will see the new label this October; other Tylenol products will follow suit soon thereafter.
"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 makes Tylenol.
The overuse or misuse of acetaminophen is a leading cause of liver failure. According to the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration, upwards of 55,000 and as many of 85,000 users are sickened every year by an overdose of the drug, with approximately 500 killed annually.
“Acetaminophen can be found in more than 600 common over-the-counter products used by nearly one in four American adults every week, including household brands like Nyquil cold formula, Excedrin pain tablets and Sudafed sinus pills,” says the NewsMax report.
Tylenol maker Johnson and Johnson is currently facing 85 lawsuits alleging personal injury and death over the ill-informed dangers of overusing the pain medication.
Still, most experts agree that the drug itself is not to blame, since it is widely used and completely safe when taken at the clearly recommended daily dosage limits. It’s the “freewheeling” misuse that endangers individuals.
“The argument goes that if you take acetaminophen correctly you will virtually never get into trouble,” says Dr. William Lee of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Lee has studied acetaminophen toxicity for four decades. “But it's the very fact that it's easily accessible over-the-counter in bottles of 300 pills or more that puts people in harm's way.”