The greatest danger of a Tylenol overdose is liver damage. Tylenol’s active ingredient, acetaminophen, is toxic to the liver in large doses. When acetaminophen is metabolized by the liver, the toxic chemical byproduct, N-acetyl-p-benzoquinone imine (NAPQI), is produced. When taking Tylenol or other over-the-counter medications containing acetaminophen in safe amounts, the liver produces a manageable quantity of NAPQI, which it almost immediately detoxifies and removes from the body in the form of bile or urine.
The Liver Cannot Metabolize Too Much NAPQI
Under some conditions the liver cannot adequately detoxify NAPQI, whether by being overloaded by too much of the toxic chemical, which occurs in the case of an overdose, or by being too weak to handle the normal amount of NAPQI. The liver can become weakened by certain medications, or when a person drinks too much alcohol. Anyone with a compromised liver should check with a physician to ensure that acetaminophen will not interfere with the prescription drugs one might be taking to treat certain conditions. There are many that could possibly impair the liver’s ability to metabolize Tylenol or acetaminophen contained in other over-the-counter medications, such as cold medicine.
The symptoms of liver damage might include:
- Pain and/or tenderness in the upper-right abdominal area
- Dark urine
- Low blood sugar
Anyone who has inadvertently taken an overdose of acetaminophen and is experiencing any of the above symptoms should consult a physician immediately, as liver damage is extremely serious, and often requires hospitalization to effectively treat the condition. In some cases, liver damage can be fatal; patients who have severe liver damage often need a liver transplant in order to survive.
The Rottenstein Law Group Represents Consumers Suffering From Tylenol-Related Liver Damage
The Rottenstein Law Group is a New York-based, national personal injury law firm that represents individuals who have been injured by dangerous prescription, and over-the-counter drugs, and defective medical devices. Our lawyers have over 25 years of collective experience helping plaintiffs obtain compensation for unforeseen medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages.
If you feel you have cause to sue McNeil and Johnson and Johnson, the manufacturers of Tylenol, for injuries suffered from a Tylenol product, our lawyers are here to help. Fill out the confidential contact form, or call 1-888-976-8529 today, to get your claim evaluated free of charge.