Commonly Asked Questions—and Answers—About Wisconsin Pharmaceutical Class Actions

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  • I know that traditional birth control pills can increase a woman’s risk of heart attack and stroke. Is the NuvaRing safer?

    Many women are aware of the potential dangers of birth control pills. Oral contraceptives are associated with an increased risk of blood clots, heart attack and stroke—even in young women. These women like the convenience and effectiveness of the pill, but they want a safer alternative. Some choose hormonal contraceptive devices like NuvaRing because they believe that the steady, low dose of hormones is less risky. But recent research shows that NuvaRing may be even more dangerous than many birth control pills.

    Studies show that women who use NuvaRing have a 50 to 90 percent greater risk of blood clots than women who use birth control pills. NuvaRing has also been linked to pancreatitis, gall bladder disease, and liver tumors.

    Possible NuvaRing Side Effects

    • Toxic shock syndrome (TSS)
    • Increase in blood pressure
    • Blood clots
    • Thrombophlebitis (painful swelling of a vein)
    • Deep vein embolisms (DVE)
    • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
    • Retinal thrombosis (a blood clot in the eye)
    • Pulmonary embolism (a blood clot in the lung)
    • Stroke (a blood clot or broken blood vessel in the brain)
    • Heart attack
    • Pancreatitis
    • Gall bladder disease
    • Liver tumors
    • Death
       

    NuvaRing was approved for use in 2001. Since then, the FDA has received more than 5,000 reports of adverse effects in NuvaRing users. NuvaRing has been associated with more than 40 deaths.

    If you have suffered a blood clot while using NuvaRing, we encouraged you to discuss your condition with our pharmaceutical injury attorneys. You may qualify to take part in a NuvaRing injury lawsuit. Contact Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678 to learn more.

  • What are some of the different hip implants that are currently under scrutiny and subject of pharmaceutical class action lawsuits?

    Modern medicine is simply amazing. The ability to implant products inside of our bodies to substitute for broken down body parts is great. It is great as long as the company providing the implanted device has taken all appropriate steps to ensure the object is safe for long-term use.

    We’re sad to say that some hip implants have become notorious for failing that long-term reliability test.

    Hip implants have come to be routinely used for people whose natural hip joints have been ravaged by time, injury, or disease. Unfortunately, a number of hip implants have been shown to cause problems for those who use them. A hip implant that is defective can cause a great deal of pain, sickness, and complications.

    Hip implants that are currently causing problems include:

    • Depuy hip implant. Two Depuy hip implants have been recalled, the ASR Hip Resurfacing System and the ASR XL Acetabular System. The implants have caused patients to suffer from pain and other symptoms that required a surgery to fix the implant. It also caused metal poisoning due to the metal-on-metal design.
       
    • Stryker hip implant. The Stryker hip implant is being subject to scrutiny due to two metal hip components that could fret or corrode. This can cause the patient to experience pain, swelling, and inflammation in the tissue surrounding the implant. Stryker implants have also been linked to metal poising that can lead to heart, nervous system, and thyroid problems.
       
    • Biomet hip implant. Like other metal-on-metal designs, the Biomet implant has been linked to metal toxicity. It has also been known to cause problems due to implant failure. The bone and tissue surrounding the implant can also suffer.
       

    Defective implants almost always require additional surgery to remove and replace the bad device. This surgery is risky and often leaves the patient with some amount of permanent disability.

    If you have been the victim of a pharmaceutical or medical device defect, you may be entitled to compensation. Call 800-800-5678 today for a free case evaluation.

  • I’ve suffered a horrible side effect from a drug that my Milwaukee doctor prescribed. I’m hesitant to go back to the doctor. I don’t want to get worse or take another drug that could harm me. Who can I trust now?

    It can be frightening, painful, and dangerous to suffer a side effect from a drug that was prescribed to you by a trusted Milwaukee physician. However, it is important that you get medical attention. Your doctor may not have been aware of the side effects of the medication that was initially prescribed. However, your doctor or another physician whom you chose to see may be able to help you recover from those side effects and treat the medical condition for which you were taking the drug.

    Once your immediate medical needs have been taken care of, it is also important for you to get legal attention. If you suffer a serious side effect from a drug that was prescribed a Wisconsin doctor, then you may be able to recover damages for your injuries in some cases. For example, you may be able to recover damages if the pharmaceutical company that made the drug knew—or should have known—about the side effect risks.

    Thus, it is important that you find both a doctor and a Milwaukee class action lawyer whom you trust if you have been hurt by a prescription drug. For more information and to schedule an initial consultation, please contact one of our Milwaukee class action attorneys today at 800-800-5678.

  • What are the signs and symptoms of a NuvaRing blood clot?

    NuvaRing is a combined hormonal contraceptive vaginal ring. Women insert the ring once a month, and it releases a low dose of progestin and estrogen over a three-week period. NuvaRing is very convenient, especially for women whose busy schedules prevent them from using low-dose oral contraceptives.

    However, clinical studies have found that NuvaRing increases the risk of blood clots at least 2.4 times compared to low-dose oral contraceptives.

    Blood clotting is the body’s way of repairing injured blood vessels, but a blood clot can also be dangerous and potentially fatal. A blood clot in the vein of an arm or leg can cause a condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Signs and symptoms of DVT include:

    • Pain
    • Swelling
    • Redness
    • Warmness

    The blood clot can dislodge and move to an artery. This prevents the blood from getting to the bones, tissues, muscles, and organs. Arterial blood clots can cause pulmonary embolism, heart attack, and stroke.

    Blood clots that develop in the eyes may cause blindness.

    Signs and symptoms of a NuvaRing blood clot injury

    • Pain or numbness in an arm or leg
    • Severe abdominal pain
    • Blurred vision
    • Sudden change in the amount of urine produced
    • Dark-colored urine
    • Jaundice or yellowing of the skin or eyes
    • Coughing up blood
    • Slurred speech
    • Confusion
    • Sudden, severe headache
    • Weakness on one side of the body
    • Unusual fatigue
    • Lethargy
    • Chest pain, heaviness, or difficulty breathing
    • Dizziness or fainting

    Women who experience any of the signs and symptoms associated with a NuvaRing blood clot should seek immediate medical care.

    Thousands of women have reported NuvaRing blood clots to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Almost 2,000 women are suing Merck, the maker of NuvaRing, for injuries associated with the contraceptive.

    If you suspect that you have a NuvaRing injury claim, your first step should be to schedule a free, confidential consultation with a Des Moines drug injury lawyer. To learn more about Iowa NuvaRing lawsuits, contact Hupy and Abraham at 888-807-2752.

  • An undisclosed ingredient in a prescription drug I took caused me to suffer a serious allergic reaction that has affected my health. Can I join a class action lawsuit in Wisconsin?

    It depends. In order to join a class action lawsuit in Wisconsin, or elsewhere, you need to form a “class” of plaintiffs. The class of plaintiffs must have suffered a similar injury, for the same reason and from the same drug. In other words, if there are other people out there who also suffered an allergic reaction because of the undisclosed ingredient in the drug that you took, then you might be able to file or join a class action lawsuit.

    It is important to find out whether or not you may be part of a class so that you know how to pursue your legal rights. Joining a pharmaceutical class action case may allow you to recover for your injuries in an affordable way. You will split the costs of litigation with other similarly situated plaintiffs. However, if you are not eligible to join a class action and you have been hurt by a prescription drug, then you may still be able to recover damages in an individual lawsuit.

    For more information about your rights and about whether a Wisconsin pharmaceutical class action is right for you, we invite you to contact our experienced Milwaukee class action lawyers today at 800-800-5678 for a FREE consultation about your rights, about your legal options and about your possible legal recovery.

  • What is a Cox-2 inhibitor and why are these drugs dangerous?

    COX-2 inhibitors are a class of pain relief medications that target the COX-2 enzyme, a molecule that is involved in causing inflammation. Unlike salicylate medications such as aspirin, these drugs do not affect COX-1 enzymes, so COX-2 inhibitors don’t cause ulcers, stomach upset and other gastrointestinal side effects.

    Examples of COX-2 inhibitors include:

    • Celebrex (Celecoxib)
    • Vioxx (Rofecoxib)
    • Bextra (Valdecoxib)

    These drugs were originally approved for the treatment of pain due to arthritis, menstruation, and general causes.

    Both Vioxx and Bextra were pulled from the market after studies found that long-term use of COX-2 inhibitors significantly increased a patient’s risk of heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular side effects. When these drugs suppress the COX-2, they also suppress the production of prostacyclin, a hormone that dilates blood vessels and reduces blood clotting. This increases the risk of dangerous blood clots that can cause both heart attack and stroke.

    Celebrex is still prescribed, but the FDA has required that the drug carry a black box warning. A black box warning is used when there is a possibility that the risks of taking a drug will outweigh the benefits. A black box is the strongest level of warning that can be required by the FDA.

    Pfizer, the maker of both Celebrex and Bextra, is currently the subject of a pharmaceutical class action lawsuit.

    If you or someone you love suffered a heart attack while taking Celebrex or Bextra, you may be able to join a Wisconsin class action lawsuit against Pfizer. Please contact the Appleton pharmaceutical injury lawyers at Hupy and Abraham for more information, (800) 800-5678 .

  • What are the signs of Samsca liver injury?

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently warned that the diuretic drug Samsca (tolvaptan) may cause liver problems in certain patients. The FDA recommended that the drug should not be used by patients who have underlying liver disease, including cirrhosis. The FDA also recommended that Samsca should not be used by any patient for longer than 30 days, because the medication may cause liver problems, including liver failure.

    Samsca is currently approved only for the treatment of hyponatremia, a condition in which unusual water retention causes low levels of sodium in the blood. The increased risk of liver injury was discovered in a recent clinical trial that was evaluating the use of Samsca for treatment of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD).

    The FDA has required the drug’s manufacturer, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Company, to revise the Samsca drug label to include new restrictions on its use.

    The FDA has warned healthcare providers that treatment with Samsca should be stopped immediately if a patient develops any signs of liver disease. Signs of liver disease include:

    • Loss of appetite
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Unusual fatigue
    • Fever
    • Itching
    • Yellowing of the skin
    • Yellowing of the whites of the eyes
    • Darkening of the urine
    • Pain or discomfort in the right upper stomach area

    Anyone experiencing these side effects is encouraged to see a physician immediately. Patients who suffer Samsca liver damage should contact the FDA at www.fda.gov/MedWatch/report.htm or at 800-332-1088.

    If you have suffered liver damage or liver failure as a result of using Samsca, you may be eligible to take part in an Illinois class action lawsuit against Otsuka Pharmaceutical Company. To learn more about how a Samsca class action lawsuit can help you get compensation for your medical bills, lost income and other damages, contact the Gurnee drug injury lawyers at Hupy and Abraham by calling 800-800-5678.

  • I live in Milwaukee and I take several medications to manage my health. Is it valuable for me to do a web search about potential side effects for the medications I take, or any new ones my doctor suggests, or should I just take what the doctor tells me to take?

    While you should follow your doctor’s directions and never start or stop a medication without the advice of a licensed physician, there may still be benefits to conducting your own web search. The main purpose of the web search is to give you the information that you need to have an informed conversation with a doctor whom you trust.

    Researchers recently found that Internet searches performed by patients can be valuable in figuring out potentially dangerous interactions between different drugs. Drug interactions can be difficult for an individual doctor to determine. However, when many patients search for or ask the same questions, more accurate information could be obtained. Of course, there are potential problems with this method of data collection and other, more traditional, studies and surveys must also be used.

    The side effects of or interactions between prescription drugs can be significant and may result in serious medical problems or death. If you have been hurt—or your loved one has been killed—as a result of a taking a prescription drug, then it is important to understand your legal rights and possible recovery. We encourage you to contact an experienced Milwaukee prescription drug class action attorney today to learn more. We can be reached via this website or by calling (800) 800-5678 today.

  • My Quad Cities doctor prescribes Z-Pak for me when I get sinus infections, bronchitis, or other infections. I’ve taken it many times. Have people really been hurt by this drug?

    Yes, people have reported fatal injuries after taking Zithromax or Z-Pak. According to a recent FDA warning, this type of antibiotic can interfere with the electrical activity in the heart, disturb normal heart rhythm, and result in a fatal heart injury.

    The people with the highest risk of suffering this type of injury are those who:

    • Are elderly.
    • Have an abnormally low heart rate.
    • Have low levels of magnesium or potassium.
    • Already take drugs for abnormal heart rhythms.

    In March 2013, the FDA issued a letter to doctors and approved a new warning for the Z-Pak drug label. The FDA advises patients not to stop taking Z-Pak without speaking to a doctor. Alternative antibiotics may treat a patient’s underlying condition but those antibiotics may also carry risks.

    If you typically take Z-Pak to treat bacterial infections, or if your doctor is suggesting a Z-Pak, then it is important to talk to your doctor about the potential risks.

    Additionally, it is important to know your rights if you have a loved one who suffered a serious or fatal heart injury while taking Zithromax. For more information about your family’s potential rights and recovery, we encourage you to contact an experienced Quad Cities pharmaceutical class action lawyer today via this website or by calling us directly at 1-800-800-5678 for a free consultation.

  • What is nephrogenic systemic fibrosis?

    Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF) is a rare medical condition that was first identified in 1997. It only occurs in patients with moderate to severe kidney disease.

    Symptoms

    NSF causes fibrosis of the skin and connective tissues throughout the body. Fibrosis is a medical term for the formation of extra tissue. It is similar to the formation of scars. In NSF, the fibrosis usually starts in the skin on the feet and legs. As the skin thickens and hardens, it becomes difficult to bend the feet, ankles, and knees. There may be shortening of the muscles in the joints. The fibrosis can also occur in the eyes and in the internal organs, especially in the diaphragm and lungs where it can affect breathing. NSF gets worse over time and can result in death.

    There is known cure for NSF. Treatment focuses on slowing the progression of symptoms. Physical therapy can help prevent stiffness, but the best therapy is improving kidney function.

    Causes

    It is believed that NSF may be caused by exposure to gadolinium-based contrast agents during an MRI. Contrast agents are chemicals that are given either intravenously or orally to help with imaging. For most patients, MRI exams with contrast agents are very safe. After the procedure, the contrast agent is filtered out of the body. However, it believed that patients with kidney disease aren’t able to filter all the gadolinium out of their bodies. The gadolinium stimulates the formation of a type of cell known as a circulating fibrocyte. Normally these cells help to heal wounds, but when improperly activated a fibrocyte can cause fibers to grow in otherwise healthy cells.

    In 2006, the FDA alerted doctors that use of gadolinium-based contrast agents may not be appropriate for patients with kidney disease. However, this warning came too late for hundreds of patients suffering from NSF.

    If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with NSF, you have a right to seek accountability from the drug companies that caused the condition. To learn more about Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis lawsuits, contact the Wisconsin pharmaceutical injury lawyers at Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678.