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FDA warns of rare, fatal acetaminophen skin reaction

Acetaminophen is a very common ingredient in many medications, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines. Acetaminophen is the active ingredient in brand-name Tylenol medications, and is used in many medications to relieve pain, allergy and cold symptoms. 

With acetaminophen so commonly used by U.S. consumers, the finding that acetaminophen is linked to a rare but sometimes fatal skin reaction may shock many people. Due to the serious health risks linked to acetaminophen, the Food and Drug Administration recently issued a warning to U.S. consumers about the potential risks of taking this drug. 

The FDA said there is a link between acetaminophen, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and a toxic skin reaction that can cause serious and even fatal health complications. The FDA said that between 1969 and 2012, there were 107 cases of skin diseases caused by acetaminophen use. Of those 107 cases, 67 patients were hospitalized and 12 patients died.

The agency said that anyone who takes acetaminophen may be at risk to develop the skin reaction. They said that in most cases, individuals developed rashes and blisters that can turn into painful and widespread damage to their skin. They said that many patients also had flu-like symptoms that were followed by skin reactions.

The FDA said that individuals who have taken acetaminophen who develop a rash or skin reaction should seek medical attention immediately to prevent any serious or fatal side effects from occurring. The FDA said fatal skin reactions after taking acetaminophen are rare but they still want the public to be aware of the symptoms and what precautions to take.

People who have taken acetaminophen or other medications and have suffered serious health complications or side effects may be able to pursue legal action against the manufacturer of the medication. Product liability lawsuits can be complex so it is best to consult a personal injury attorney to discuss your specific case.

Source: News Inferno, "FDA Warns of Rare But Serious Acetaminophen Risk," F.A. Kelley, Aug. 2, 2013

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