FAQ's: Your Questions Answered
Pharmaceutical Malpractice FAQs
Despite all of the supposed comprehensive testing, defective drugs still get on the market. These drugs have been known to have devastating effects on the patients who actually take them, and those of patient’s families. There have been numerous recalls of prescription drugs in recent years. And there have been other prescription drugs which have had problematic safety records. Here are some of the prescription drugs which fall into those categories. Although this list is not exhaustive by any means, it will give you a sense of how many drugs, that at one time were thought to be safe and beneficial, had severe side effects that far surpassed the supposed therapeutic benefits they were put on the market to provide.
Accutane. Treatment for acne. Increased occurrence of suicide, birth defects, and fetal death. Accutane has also been linked to inflammatory bowel disease and lupus.
Avandia. In May 2007, a New England Journal of Medicine report states that the diabetes drug Avandia may pose risks to the heart. In response, the FDA has issued a health alert to consumers.
Fosamax. Produced by Merck, Fosamax is prescribed for osteoporosis. Studies suggest Fosamax increases the risk of osteonecrosis (ONJ), an infection and eventual rotting of the jawbone.
Darvocet & Darvon. Xanodyne. Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is cooperating with the FDA in recalling Darvocet and Darvon, their versions of the painkiller propoxyphene. Darvon, which is also sold as Darvocet (with acetaminophen added), can cause serious and potentially fatal heart rhythm abnormalities, according to clinical data reviewed by the FDA. The recall occurred in November 2010.
Gadolinium. Gadolinium is a contrast dye used in certain (MRI) and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) procedures. Gadolinium has been linked to nephrogenic systemic fibrosis/nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy (NSF/NFD), a disease that can lead to death in patients with kidney disorders, along with liver disorders.
Ketek. Ketek is an antibiotic used for bacterial infections in adults. Ketek has been linked to dozens of cases of severe liver injury, been the subject of a series of increasingly urgent safety warnings, and sparked two Congressional investigations of the FDA’s acceptance of fraudulent safety data submitted by its manufacturer, the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis, and inappropriate trial methods when it reviewed the drug for approval.
Ortho Evra. Ortho Evra is a hormonal contraceptive skin patch. Ortho Evra releases progestin, a synthetic hormone, and estrogen. On May 8, 2008, the Public Citizen Health Research Group filed a petition on behalf of 80,000 consumers urging the FDA to recall Ortho Evra within six months, pointing to problems with the birth control patch which result in greater variations of estrogen entering the bloodstream. On average, the Ortho Evra birth control patch delivers 60% more estrogen than the birth control pill, which could lead to twice the risk of serious blood clots, which can lead to heart attack or stroke.
Paxil. Along with the companies that produce several other antidepressants, Paxil manufacturer SmithKline Beecham was required by the FDA to put a warning on its label about the risk of suicide. Paxil may also increase the risk of birth defects if taken during pregnancy. Serious physical Paxil withdrawal symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sweating, motor system disturbances, fever, chills, tremors, sleep disturbances, gastrointestinal problems, flu-like symptoms, vertigo, and the feeling of “electric zaps” throughout the body. Paxil withdrawal symptoms can also cause serious psychological symptoms such as confusion, anxiety, irritability, panic attacks, uncontrollable moods, depression, suicidal ideations, and aggressive thoughts and actions.
One of the most serious Paxil withdrawal symptoms is a condition known as akathisia. This condition is marked by extreme agitation and motor restlessness.
Trasylol. Bayer Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of the anti-bleeding drug, Trasylol, is facing many lawsuits in the U.S. The FDA ordered sales of Trasylol suspended in the U.S. when a Canadian government study was stopped for ethical reasons because Trasylol was causing too many deaths. A major 2006 Trasylol study concluded an estimated 22,000 people died from Trasylol use between 2006 and November 2007.
Yaz® and Yasmin®. These are combination birth control pills made by Bayer Healthcare. These are the most widely prescribed birth control pills in the world, with Yaz® alone generating sales of more than $600 million in 2008. There can be serious side effects associated with their use, including heart attack, stroke, kidney damage, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis, gallbladder disease, and sudden death.
Rezulin. a drug prescribed for blood sugar control in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Rezulin has been recalled due to liver toxicity.
Actos. Another drug prescribed for patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Actos has recently been pulled from the shelves in Germany and France based on an increased likelihood of bladder cancer.
Baycol. a drug designed to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Baycol was voluntarily recalled because of a number of instances where usage of it caused rhabdomyolysis- a rare condition in which serious muscle damage results from the release of muscle cell contents into the bloodstream.
Fen-Phen. Fen-phen is a combination of fenfluramine and phentermine. Fen-Phen had been approved for many years as an appetite suppressant in the management of obesity. The trouble with this drug combo is that it has been found to cause heart valve disease.
Celebrex. A Cox-2 inhibitor approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis and later approved as a drug treatment aimed at reducing the number of intestinal polyps in patients who have familial adenomatous polyposis. Now there are concerns that Celebrex usage may increase the risk of heart attack or strokes in some people who take it.
Viox.: a treatment for osteoarthritis, menstrual pain, and management of acute pain in adults. As with Celebrex, there are concerns that the use of Vioxx might increase the risk of heart attack or stroke.
OxyContin. A strong narcotic pain reliever. OxyContin has been linked to patient deaths, addiction, and suffering.
Meridi.: diet pills which have been known to cause serious and sometimes fatal side effects. Meridia can cause PPH (primary pulmonary hypertension) as well as cardiac valve dysfunction.
Prempro. Hormone replacement therapy. Studies have shown that use of Prempro increases a healthy woman’s risk of heart attack by 29%, breast cancer by 24%, stroke by 41%, and blood clots by 200%.
Propulsid. A drug approved for patients with severe heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux. When taken in combination with other drugs, Propulsid can cause irregular or abnormal heart rhythms.
Serzone. An oral anti-depressant which is used to treat moderate to severe symptoms of depression. The FDA has determined that usage of Serzone can increase the risk of liver failure by 3-4 times.
Zithromax. A highly popular but very potent antibiotic used to treat mild to moderate infections. Zithromax has been known to cause liver damage, jaundice, liver failure, and even deaths.
Zicam. – Zicam is an over-the-counter homeopathic cold medicine that is supposed to reduce the duration and symptoms associated with the common cold. This medication is now being linked to anosmia which is a condition marked by a total loss or impairment of the sense of smell.
PPA. Phenylpropanolamine is an ingredient in over a counter cough and cold medicines (Has in the past been an ingredient in such products as Robitussin and Alka-Seltzer). Usage of PPA can result in hemorrhagic stroke in some patients who use it.
Do you feel that you, or a loved one, have been exposed to a drug that is defective and has put you at risk of actual or potential harm? If so, call Dan Newlin Injury Attorneys for a free consultation. New drugs that, at one time, were thought to be safe are being found to cause harm to those who take them. You need a dedicated and resourceful attorney to help determine if you have been a victim of pharmaceutical malpractice and what you can do to protect your rights and receive all the compensation you may be entitled. Call us now at 800-257-1822. It is a call you will be glad you made. The call is free, and you owe us no fees or costs unless we get you compensation. What do you have to lose? Call us today.