A proposed class action claims over-the-counter Tylenol cough medicines are falsely labeled as “non-drowsy” given that they contain an ingredient known to cause drowsiness.
According to the 23-page case, the Tylenol cough medicines at issue—which include Tylenol Cold + Flu Severe, Tylenol Cold MAX and Tylenol Cold + Mucus Severe, among others—contain the active ingredient dextromethorphan hydrobromide (DXM), a common side effect of which is drowsiness.
The lawsuit claims defendant Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. has intentionally misled consumers by touting its products as “non-drowsy” while failing to disclose on the items’ packaging that the medicines do, in fact, cause drowsiness.
“Defendant labeled the products this way because it intended consumers to rely on the labels and to believe that the products would not cause drowsiness, so that consumers would buy more products or pay more for them,” the complaint alleges.
The lawsuit explains that DXM, an ingredient commonly found in cough medicines, is knowntocausedrowsiness even at recommended dosages. Per the suit, it is “false and misleading” to label the Tylenol products as non-drowsy given a reasonable consumer would be led to expect that the medicine will not cause drowsiness, or that drowsiness is not a common side effect.
“Tylenol’s labeling does not contain any language that a reasonable consumer would understand to qualify these representations, or that would otherwise put a reasonable consumer on notice of the fact that the Non-Drowsy Tylenol Products actually cause drowsiness,” the filing reads.
According to the case, whether an over-the-counter cough medicine causes drowsiness is an important consideration for consumers, who in certain situations may be looking to purchase a product that will allow them to remain awake and alert. Moreover, a medication that causes drowsiness can be dangerous when taken before driving or any other activity that requires alertness for safety reasons, the suit says.
The lawsuit looks to represent anyone in the U.S. who purchased a Tylenol product labeled as “non-drowsy” and that contained DXM within the applicable statute of limitations.
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