Did You Know?
More Americans die every year from an adverse reaction to a prescription medication than they do from illegal drug use.
Defective Drug Liability
Every year approximately 200,000 Americans die from prescription drug reactions. Manufacturers of drugs, medications, and medical devices have a duty to consumers to provide products that are reasonably safe when used as intended. A product's approval by the FDA alone does not allow a manufacturer to avoid liability.
Companies are obligated to inform the public of a product's risks and the required methods of informing the public vary by the type of product. With non-prescription drugs, proper labeling and enclosures are generally sufficient. However, prescription drugs are used under the supervision of a physician, and as a result, the manufacturing company only has a duty to inform the physician.
Defective Drugs Include:
Cholesterol Reducing Drugs
Steroid Pain Injection
Over the Counter Decongestants
Pharmaceutical Liability cases have been files against these dangerous medical drugs or medical devises including:
Fen Phen Side Effects
In the late 1990's, the drugs known as Fen Phen, Redux, and Pondimin were frequently prescribed to assist with weight loss. In 1996, approximately 18 million prescriptions were written by U.S. doctors for Fen Phen. Fen Phen refers to the simultaneous prescription of fenfluramine (Fen...) and phentermine (Phen...). As many as twenty percent of people who took those drugs suffered heart damage, including:
- Damaged Heart Valves - The drugs Fen Phen and Redux are associated with damage to the heart's aortic and mitral valves.
- Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH) - A condition caused by a narrowing of the blood vessels in the lungs, which can cause high blood pressure and can lead to heart failure. This condition is extremely serious and is usually progressive in nature and can result in death. It has been associated with Fen Phen and Pondimin.
Rezulin Side Effects
This medication proved to be very popular, and of the approximately fifteen to twenty million Americans with this form of diabetes, approximately one million started to take Rezulin shortly after its 1997 approval for public use by the Food and Drug Administration. Even at this time, it was known that Rezulin was associated with liver damage in some users.
Although regular testing was instituted to check Rezulin users for liver health, with tests approximately once per month, some users experienced very rapid onset of liver toxicity, with the condition appearing within the weeks between scheduled tests.
Accutane Side Effects
Since 1982, Accutane has been responsible for one of the highest numbers of FDA reported adverse side effects. The reported Accutane side effects have included serious events, including links to suicidal tendencies. Alongside of the fact that it has been associated to the suicides of 240 people worldwide, there have also been associations to such conditions as inflammatory bowel disease, lupus, psychiatric disorders, and birth defects. These incidences have been serious enough to warrant Accutane labeling changes to occur over twenty times since its approval.
Baycol Side Effects
Baycol was an extremely popular prescription-only drug designed to lower the consumer's cholesterol. First approved for use in the United States in 1997, approximately 700,000 people in the U.S. , and more than six million people worldwide, used Baycol since it was introduced. In August 2001, Bayer Pharmaceutical, the manufacturer of Baycol, withdrew the drug from the market due to numerous debilitating illnesses linked to Rhabdomyolysis, and more than 100 consumer deaths.
Meridia Side Effects
Meridia is a prescription-only weight loss pill designed to manage obesity, where 30+ pounds in weight loss is recommended. Meridia blocks the body's ability to reabsorb Serotonin and Norepinephrine, which tricks a person's brain into thinking the body is not hungry. Since that time, two changes have been made to Meridia's label, warning users of its side effects. In March 2002, a consumer advocate group, Public Citizen, petitioned the FDA to recall Meridia because at least 29 people died while taking the drug. The FDA is currently considering this petition.
Meridia and similar drugs have been linked to increased blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, cardiac arrest, irregular heartbeats and seizures. There is also evidence of pulmonary hypertension and heart valve disease - both of which can be deadly.
Serzone Side Effects
Serzone is a prescription drug manufactured by Bristol-Myers-Squibb to treat depression. Unlike other antidepressant drugs, Serzone was marketed as an antidepressant that was less likely to decrease a user's sexual drive. This marketing claim dramatically increased the product sales.
Since its approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Dec. 22, 1994 , it is estimated that Serzone was prescribed and used by approximately 8.3 million people worldwide. In fact, Bristol-Myers reported worldwide sales of Serzone reached $409 million by 2001.
There have been 109 serious injury cases reported as a result of Serzone use since it first appeared on the market in 1994. Of those 109 serious injuries, 23 resulted in liver failure and 16 resulted in liver transplants. The onset of serious liver damage usually occurs within four months of starting treatment, and cases of liver injury have occurred as early as a few weeks after beginning treatment, or after continuous use for up to 1-2 years. In addition to the serious injuries that have occurred as a result of Serzone usage, there have been 13 deaths attributable to Serzone.
The possible side effects of Serzone include agitation, dizziness, clumsiness or unsteadiness, difficulty concentrating, memory problems, confusion, severe nausea, abdominal pain, unusually dark urine, difficult or frequent urination, fainting, skin rash or hives, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice) or prolonged weight loss or loss of appetite.
Vioxx Side Effects
Heart researchers at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation have found the popular arthritis drug Vioxx may increase the risk of heart attacks and other cardiac side effects. People taking Vioxx are twice as likely to have heart attacks as people who take older anti-inflammatory drugs to treat arthritis. In the current study, Vioxx was compared to the traditional arthritis drug Naproxen, which works in a similar way to aspirin. People using Vioxx were twice as likely to have a heart attack as patients on Naproxen. In a study of 8,000 people, 161 patients had heart attacks and 70 percent of them were taking Vioxx.
Drugs Under Investigation Include :
Aristolochic Acid (Botanical Products)
Baxter Healthcare Dialyzers
Body Building Supplements
Comfrey (Dietary Supplement)
Ephedra, Ephedrine, Ma Huang
Eye Drops and Nose Drops
Hip Replacement Devices
Ortho Evra Patch
Synthroid (levothyroxine sodium)
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