Were you injured by a prescription or over-the-counter drug?
Direct-to-consumer marketing for pharmaceutical drugs has exponentially increased over the last several years. This is especially evident with all of the pharmaceutical commercials airing during primetime television and with detailed full-page and multi-page print advertisements in popular magazines.
Along with the increase in advertising, there is also an increase in drug injury lawsuits. More and more consumers are finding out that even though they are being encouraged to ask their doctors about many of these new medications that proudly tout their FDA approval, these medications may not be as safe as advertised.
Patients taking over-the-counter and prescription drugs of any kind are aware that certain side effects may develop from the drug’s use. However, many put their ultimate trust and faith in the drug companies to ensure that these risks are reduced.
Statistics themselves paint a picture of how widespread drug injuries are over any given time. Doctor and emergency room visits by patients who suffered severe side effects or complications from the use of drugs are estimated at about 4.5 million per year. This number is likely on the low side, as there may be unreported visits, as well as visits where a drug reaction was not identified as the main cause.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury from a prescription or over-the-counter drug, you may qualify to file a drug injury lawsuit. Contact the experienced attorneys at McDonald Worley today for a FREE case evaluation.
COMMON TARGETS OF DRUG INJURY COMPLAINTS
Certain medications have had more than their share of drug injury reports. Individuals taking many of these medications have gone on to file drug injury lawsuits against the manufacturer, alleging that the drug was defectively designed, defectively manufactured or defectively marketed, or the manufacturers did not adequately warn doctors and patients about potentially serious side effects.
Most drugs warn of mild to moderate side effects on their labels, such as dizziness, headaches, nausea, dry mouth, rashes or itching, fatigue, and other tolerable side effects. Many of these side effects will disappear once the body gets used to the medication or once the patient stops taking the drug.
However, many patients taking a variety of drugs have not been properly informed by drug makers of the potential serious side effects that they should be on the lookout for. Many times, patients claim that the drug marketing materials and conversations with drug reps do not highlight these severe side effects. Additionally, many of these severe warnings may not adequately appear on drug labels or on drug summaries provided to patients by the drug makers.
Some common drugs that are the target of drug injury lawsuits include:
- Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid and other Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs): These common heartburn drugs, available by prescription or over-the-counter, have been linked to kidney damage and kidney failure in patients who use the drug on a long-term basis.
- Depakote: In addition to treating epileptic seizures, Depakote is also used to treat bipolar disease and migraines. It has been linked with a variety of birth defects in children born to mothers who had taken the drug during pregnancy, such as spina bifida, cleft lip and palate, heart defects and more.
- Zoloft, Paxil: Zoloft and Paxil are antidepressant drugs used to treat symptoms of depression. Some pregnant women taking these drugs had babies that were born with birth defects including skeletal malformations, abdominal defects, clubfoot, cleft lip and palate, spina bifida, and more.
- Zofran: Zofran is an anti-nausea drug that has been prescribed to countless pregnant women to treat severe cases of pregnancy nausea known as “morning sickness.” A number of women who took this drug to ease their nausea found that their babies were born with a variety of birth defects, such as cleft lip and palate, heart defects, musculoskeletal abnormalities, and others.
- Risperdal: Risperdal is used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder. Some young men who have used this drug have developed a condition known as gynecomastia, where they grow breasts similar to those of a female. Gynecomastia is not reversed in most cases after stopping the drug, and men typically need surgery in order to remove the excess breast tissue.
- Xarelto, Pradaxa: As new blood thinner alternatives to the warfarin, the industry standard anticoagulant drug for the last 60 years, Xarelto and Pradaxa promised greater ease of use and increased efficacy. However, along with the supposed improvements came many reports of excessive internal bleeding (in particular, intracranial hemorrhage and gastrointestinal bleeding), which was fatal in a number of cases due to the lack an of antidote to reverse bleeding in patients. Pradaxa had no antidote for the first five years it was on the market, and Xarelto still lacks an antidote to reverse excessive bleeding.
- Taxotere: Many breast cancer patients are prescribed Taxotere as part of their intravenous chemotherapy treatment. Many women who have had this drug administered have suffered permanent hair loss, with their hair not growing back at all months or years after the chemotherapy treatment stopped.
- Granuflo: This dialysis treatment drug has been linked to deadly side effects, including cardiac arrest and other heart problems. Wrongful death lawsuits have also been filed against the manufacturer by loved ones who claim the drug killed their family members.
- Essure: Women who have used the permanent sterilization device Essure have reported unintended pregnancies with complications, autoimmune diseases, unrelenting migraine headaches, severe pain, organ perforation, device migration, excessive bleeding during menstruation, and other side effects as a result of the implementation of this device.
- Viagra: This popular erectile dysfunction drug has been linked to an increased risk of melanoma skin cancer.
- IVC Filter: Inferior Vena Cava Filters, also known as IVC filters, are small web-like devices placed into the inferior vena cava (the large vein that travels from the lower region of the body to the heart). IVC Filters are supposed to break up blood clots to prevent injuries such as a pulmonary embolism. However, patients have suffered complications from these devices, including IVC thrombosis, deep vein thrombosis, filter migration, caval penetration, and IC filter fracture.
- Hernia Mesh: It is common practice to use hernia mesh devices to repair hernias during surgery, but some mesh devices are reportedly defective and have led to serious infections and other complications, which often require additional surgeries to repair.
DRUG INJURY LAWSUITS
If you or a loved one has been injured by any of the aforementioned drugs, or any other drug, you may be eligible to file a drug injury lawsuit against the manufacturer in order to recover compensation. A drug injury lawsuit can help recover costs related to medical expenses, lost wages, physical and emotional pain and suffering, as well as loss of spousal companionship that has resulted from the complications caused by the drug.
In addition to recovering damages related to personal injury, other damages may also be sought. Punitive damages designed to punish the manufacturer are often sought in drug injury cases. Not only does this compensate the plaintiff, but it also sends a strong message to the product manufacturer that consumers are demanding safety and transparency of products.