SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

August 30, 2013

New warnings to alert Tylenol users of dangers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Bottles of Tylenol sold in the U.S. will soon bear red warnings alerting users to the potentially fatal risks of taking too much of the popular pain reliever. The unusual step, disclosed by the company that makes Tylenol, comes amid a growing number of lawsuits and pressure from the federal government that could have widespread ramifications for a medicine taken by millions of people every day.

Johnson & Johnson says the warning will appear on the cap of new bottles of Extra Strength Tylenol sold in the U.S. starting in October and on most other Tylenol bottles in coming months. The warning will make it explicitly clear that the over-the-counter drug contains acetaminophen, a pain-relieving ingredient that is the nation’s leading cause of sudden liver failure.

“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.

Overdoses from acetaminophen send 55,000 to 80,000 people in the U.S. to the emergency room each year and kill at least 500, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration. Acetaminophen can be found in more than 600 over-the-counter and prescription 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.

Tylenol is the first of these products to include such a warning label on the bottle cap. McNeil says the warning is a result of research into the misuse of Tylenol by consumers. The new cap message will read: “CONTAINS ACETAMINOPHEN” and “ALWAYS READ THE LABEL.”

The move comes at a critical time for the company, which faces more than 85 personal injury lawsuits in federal court that blame Tylenol for liver injuries and deaths. At the same time, the Food and Drug Administration is drafting long-awaited safety proposals that could curtail the use of Tylenol and other acetaminophen products.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Nation/World

Local News
  • Peabody police report continued drop in crime

    PEABODY -- Since 2010, crime in Peabody has decreased by 22 percent, according to the latest report from the police department. And interim police Chief Robert St. Pierre hails it as a sign of success. Figures just released by St. Pierre show total c

    April 25, 2014

  • Marblehead selectmen reject CPA

    MARBLEHEAD -- The Board of Selectmen has voted thumbs down on a proposal to have the town adopt the Community Preservation Act. Town Meeting will have its say on May 5, but four selectmen are urging that the CPA not be adopted, and a fifth member, w

    April 25, 2014

  • Hirshon Farm Turkey Board of Health rules chickens, turkeys in Peabody neighborhood must go

    PEABODY -- A flock of hens and a couple of turkeys have ruffled the feathers of some of the Hirshons' neighbors since the birds first arrived in the family's backyard in 2012. The Peabody Board of Health upheld an order to revoke the Hirshons' turkey

    April 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Father held in attack on baby DANVERS -- A Dorchester man is being held without bail, charged with grabbing his 1-year-old daughter's face so hard that he broke the skin and pinning her down under his legs. The incident occurred during a visit at the Danvers hotel where she and h

    April 25, 2014

  • 140421_SN_DLE_MARATHON39 Spotting a champ SALEM -- When Boston Marathon winner Meb Keflezighi arrived in San Diego from war-torn Eritrea in the late 1980s, he found himself in Dick Lord's physical education class at Roosevelt Junior High. The seventh-grader didn't know it, but his life was a

    April 25, 2014 8 Photos