However, recent revelations with regard to the potential for Tylenol liver damage associated with taking too much Tylenol over a compressed period—or worse, taking Tylenol in association with other drugs containing acetaminophen—have raised various red flags.
This is especially true in children, given their size and weight. There have been reports of Tylenol liver failure in children, and some deaths have been recorded.
And then, there is the matter of the family cat. Tylenol, it seems, isn't good for her or him either.
The Gazette in Colorado Springs reported on the fate of Mindy the cat, which had been suffering from what appeared to be a cold and was seen to be lethargic. Co-incidentally, the owner's one-year-old child had been exhibiting similar symptoms, but a dose of Children's Tylenol fixed him right up. Would it not fix the family cat up, too?
Not a chance. Mindy was immediately stricken with acetaminophen toxicity, from a single dose of Children's Tylenol, and could not be saved. It should be noted, according to the veterinarian quoted in the Gazette article, that cats lack the capacity of humans for breaking down chemicals in the liver. Thus, a drug that proves helpful in humans can be poison to cats, and can result in Tylenol death.
The fact remains, however, that Tylenol overdose can be problematic to humans as well. New warnings being considered by a working group of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would update product labels to highlight the risks associated with taking too much Tylenol, combining Tylenol with other drugs containing acetaminophen or combining acetaminophen with alcohol consumption. Such warnings would go far to help consumers avoid Tylenol side effects.
In an unrelated matter, Johnson & Johnson subsidiary McNeil Consumer Healthcare had to recently recall 43 million bottles of various Tylenol medications due to manufacturing problems at its facility in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. Recalls tapped J&J for $900 million in 2010.
READ MORE TYLENOL/ACETAMINOPHEN LEGAL NEWS
The pharmaceutical giant is set to release Weldon's total compensation package for 2010, in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, in March. It's enough to make the average American reach for a Tylenol—but mindful to avoid a Tylenol overdose.