(NEW YORK) — Johnson & Johnson is telling customers to quit popping so much of its most popular pain reliever, Tylenol.
While that might seem like a counter-intuitive marketing strategy, the company is concerned that Americans are ignoring health warnings that too much acetaminophen, the drugs main ingredient, can trigger liver failure, especially when mixed when alcohol.
Therefore starting in October, bottles of Extra Strength Tylenol will bear the following message on every cap: “CONTAINS ACETAMINOPHEN ALWAYS READ THE LABEL.”
Johnson & Johnson has good reason to issue the warning since the company faces over 85 personal injury lawsuits alleging Tylenol use led to liver failure and death.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that as many 500 deaths a year can be blamed on acetaminophen overdoses.
Meanwhile, hospital emergency rooms see anywhere between 55,000 to 80,000 people each year who take too much Tylenol or similar products.
When used as directed, Tylenol is safe. That means about up to 4,000 milligrams daily or the equivalent of eight Extra Strength Tylenol pills.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Josh Friesen, Idaho State Journal
Karen Lehr, KIVI
Susan Scutti, CNN