Tylenol Caps Get New Warning
Acetaminophen overdose is top cause of liver failure in US
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Aug 30, 2013 6:17 AM CDT
A bottle of Extra Strength Tylenol bearing a new warning label on the cap alerting users to potentially fatal risks of taking too much of the pain reliever.   (AP Photo/Johnson & Johnson)

(Newser) – Acetaminophen overdose is the top cause of liver failure in the US—and concerns about the widespread pain-relief ingredient have been growing. Starting in October, Johnson & Johnson subsidiary McNeil will stick a new warning on the caps of Extra Strength Tylenol, reading: "Contains acetaminophen. Always read the label," Bloomberg reports. (The label already outlines the liver risk.) Most other types of Tylenol will also soon be capped with the warning, the AP notes.

Acetaminophen overdoses kill some 500 people a year and put 55,000 to 80,000 per year in the hospital, though of the 100 million Americans who take the ingredient each year, less than 1% suffer liver damage. The FDA is currently looking into how much acetaminophen should be allowed in over-the-counter drugs, a rep says. The ingredient is in some 600 products that a quarter of American adults use each week, the AP adds; Sudafed, Excedrin, Vicodin, and Nyquil are among them. But so far, McNeil, which is facing dozens of lawsuits, is the only major company adding the cap warning.

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Showing 3 of 13 comments
Aug 31, 2013 9:22 PM CDT
A true nanny state situation. Love the politically correct, Democratic party approved labeling you see on a lot of products today. Take a container of peanuts or peanut butter. Warning, this product contains peanuts. That's so some mom won't buy peanut butter and give it to her kid who is highly allergic. If that warning was not present on a jar of Jiff Peanut Butter, a mom could sue and win. So what's the deal with Tylenol. It has a compound that can kill in high doses. So can salt or cinnamon. Even drinking too much water can kill you as some fraternities have found in pledge stunts. I buy a bottle of water and it can kill me in the right quantity. Aspirin can do the same. I can tell you where this all came from. It was a parent who's daughter died from an overdose of Tylenol. He blames a lack of warning. He refuses to believe she did it as an act of suicide. Oh no, not my daughter. But how about the hundreds of other daughters who did the same thing. Girls learn that Tylenol can kill, its cheap, and when they die, the parents can blame the company as an accident so its a big win for them, per se.
Aug 30, 2013 7:36 PM CDT
Meanwhile, the lethal tobacco drug KILLS 1,400 addicts and another 180 INNOCENT people (who were exposed to toxic tobacco smoke) in the U.S., EVERY DAY!
Aug 30, 2013 3:49 PM CDT
Acetaminophen: The OTC liver killer and a drug I avoid. I knew a young Vicodin abuser (chronic pain from an accident). One day her vitals crashed. At the ER, they discovered her liver was shot. Lucky her. She was in the California system. They are known for successful liver transplants. Her mother was connected and pulled strings to move her to the front of the transplant line.