Defective drugs and over-the-counter medications can cause life-changing side effects. Large pharmaceutical companies often rush new drugs into the marketplace. Some medications are sold despite lack of proper testing or a comprehensive analysis of potential side effects. In some cases, it is discovered that drug companies knew of possible adverse reactions that they did not disclose to the public. As drug manufacturers rake in profits, the consumers are left with serious medical conditions with which they may have to deal for the rest of their lives. When drug companies manufacture and distribute dangerous products, it is important that they are held responsible for their wrongdoing.
Many drugs are allowed in the marketplace despite having known, inherent dangers. Some may even be defective drugs. Drugs that have negative consequences that outweigh their effectiveness are often recalled. In the year 2009, the FDA reported over 1,742 drug recalls. A significant number of those recalls were related to manufacturing lapses, a low quality of raw materials, defective labeling and contamination.
All drugs have the potential to cause harm, but certain popular medications are known for adverse side effects and negative consequences. Some of the most dangerous drugs that have been recently involved in pharmaceutical litigation include:
Accutane: It has long been known that this powerful acne medication can cause liver damage and birth defects, but it has only become apparent in recent years that teenagers on Accutane can suffer psychiatric distress, depression and suicidal thoughts.
Talcum Powder: Talcum Powder is often used as baby powder to prevent rashes and to get rid of moisture and friction in the genital area. However, recent evidence shows that continued use of talcum powder over 4 years can significantly increase one's risk of ovarian cancer. Johnson & Johnson has hundreds of cases brought against them for allowing their dangerous products to continue to be sold.
Xarelto: A blood thinner used to prevent blood clots in the lungs and to prevent strokes. It has several other uses but the side effects have been linked to uncontrollable bleeding causing death in some patients. Once major internal hemorrhaging begins, there is no known cure to fix it, and the bleeding can be fatal.
Zofran: An anti nausea medication that was illegally marketed off label to pregnant women, who gave birth to deformed babies.
Low Testosterone Therapy: Low Testosterone Therapy is administered either by pill or injection, and is used to increase testosterone levels in men to treat symptoms such as depressions, decreased muscle mass, low sex drive, and erectile dysfunction. These treatments however come with a high risk of heart attack, stroke, and blood clots, despite being marketed as safe.
Cipro: Cipro (Ciprofloxacin), along with others in the same class of antibiotics - fluoroquinolones, is often used to treat respiratory and urinary tract infections. However, use of fluoroquinolones has been accompanied by an increased risk of tendinitis and tendon rupture, especially in those who are over 60 or who already have tendon inflammation. The likelihood increases if the patient is on concomitant steroid therapy or has received an organ transplant. The huge influx of tendon rupture reports after taking Cipro pushed the FDA to demand that all fluoroquinolones carry "black box warning" on the packaging about the dangers of tendon ruptures while taking the medicine.
Levaquin: Levaquin, like Ciprofloxacin, is another drug in the fluoroquinolones family. Levaquin also increases the risk of tendinitis and tendon rupture, especially in the achilles tendon. Levaquin has also led to a disorder called "Stevens-Johnson Syndrome," a skin disorder that originally starts with flu-like symptoms, but develops into rashes and blisters when cell death leads to the separation of the epidermis and the dermis skin layers.
Plavix: Plavix prevents the platelets in the blood from clotting and is usually prescribed to patients who have had a recent heart attack or stroke, to prevent their blood from coagulating and causing more health issues. Unfortunately, taking Plavix comes with an increased risk of gastrointestinal and cerebral hemorrhaging, both of which can be life threatening. Plavix also increases the risk of Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura, a disorder where microscopic blood clots form and damage internal organs, often leading to neurological symptoms and kidney failure at the worst.
Reglan: Reglan (Metoclopramide) is prescribed to treat heartburn when other heartburn medications haven't worked. It does this by increasing muscle contractions in the digestive tract, which then helps the stomach empty into the intestines, thereby preventing stomach acid from regurgitating into the esophagus. Reglan also has a potential side effect of causing Tadrive Dyskinesia disorder - a neurological disorder that causes repetitive involuntary movements like eye twitching or sticking the tongue out, as well as rapid arm or leg movement. In some cases, these symptoms persist indefinitely after Reglan use is discontinued.
Zometa: Zometa is a biophosphonate - a class of drug used to treat both high levels of calcium in the blood usually caused by cancer, and osteoperosis for postmenopausal women. Zometa and other Biophosphonates also has a high number of potential dangerous side-effects, including Osteonecrosis of the Jaw (Dead Jaw Syndrome), femur fractures, esophageal cancer, and atrial fibrillation.
If you've been a victim of any of the side effects from these drugs, read on to see if you have a case!
If you've experienced more medical problems from any of the above drugs, you may be able to seek support through pharmaceutical litigation. There are a number of factors that will determine whether or not you have a case:
Were you using the drug as prescribed? Failing to follow the directions listed can hurt your chances of receiving compensation.
Were you taking the medication for the right reasons? Taking a drug for purposes not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) limits your legal options.
Did you experience an adverse reaction that was not noted on the packaging? This is why it is important to ask your doctor about the possible side effects of drugs and to read warning labels before taking a new drug.
Have you suffered financial or physical losses because you took the drug? Have you required medical attention or missed work because of your reaction to the drug? These are the types of losses that can be covered through litigation.
Did the drug company knowingly fail to notify consumers and doctors of the possible side effects? That is a form of negligence that can make them liable for their product.
It is necessary and important to expose drug companies when they knowingly put consumers in danger. Furthermore, pharmaceutical litigation is often the only way for injured victims to receive the justice and financial support they need. Unsafe medications can cause severe medical conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, liver damage, bone density issues and even death. A successful lawsuit against a drug manufacturer can result in financial compensation for all of the resulting medical bills and other related damages suffered by victims and their families.
There are legal options available for victims of dangerous drugs. If you are experiencing unforeseen side effects, please contact your doctor right away. It may be advisable to preserve the remaining prescription drugs and to keep records of the losses you have suffered since becoming ill. Check the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) web site to see if the drug you were given has been the subject of a recall or warning.
The experienced California pharmaceutical litigation lawyers at Bisnar Chase have represented those who have been seriously injured as the result of defective drugs. We have what it takes to fight against large corporations and help injured victims and their families secure fair and full compensation for their significant losses. Please contact us at 949-203-3814 for a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation.