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

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  • 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.

  • Should I contact an Illinois class action attorney if I’ve been hurt by an antibiotic that was approved by the FDA and taken by many people? Can I sue?

    Yes, you may be able to sue if you have been hurt by an FDA-approved antibiotic drug that was safely taken by many other people. Some families know firsthand about the significant complications from at least one common antibiotic. Last year a study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine that surprised many people. The study found that a five-day course of azithromycin (also known as Zithromax or Z-Pak) resulted in a higher risk of fatal cardiac complications than other types of antibiotics (such as amoxicillin) that could be used to treat the same bacterial infections.

    Now, the FDA has issued a warning letter to doctors and the public and approved a change to Z-Pak labels that explain the risk of cardiac problems. While the information is important, it was not always available. The risks were not well known prior to May 2012, and in 2011 alone more than 55 million prescriptions were written for the drug in the United States. It has been reported that some people died from heart complications caused by the Z-Pak medication.

    If you have been hurt—or if you have lost a loved one—because of the side effects of an FDA-approved antibiotic or other medication, then you may be able to sue for damages even if that drug was taken safely by millions of other people.

    For more information about your individual rights and to speak with an experienced Illinois class action lawyer about your possible recovery, please call us today at 1-800-800-5678 for a free consultation.

  • 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.

  • How is the Medtronic INFUSE Bone Graft Treatment different from other bone grafts?

    Bone grafting is a surgical procedure in which bone or a bone-like material is placed into the spaces around an injured bone to encourage new bone growth. Traditional bone grafts use bone from the patient’s own body. The bone is usually surgically removed from the patient’s hip. Sometimes donated bone is used.

    INFUSE Bone Graft Treatment is different. INFUSE is a genetically engineered protein that encourages bone growth. INFUSE is manufactured by Medtronic, Inc. and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of bone loss in the jaw, shin fractures, and degenerative disc disease. IINFUSE is commonly used for off-label purposes, especially spine and neck surgery.

    The advantage of using INFUSE is that allows doctors and patients to avoid the painful surgery required to harvest bone from the patient. However, INFUSE is associated with a number of side effects.

    Complications associated with INFUSE Bone Graft Treatment

    • Allergic reactions to INFUSE
    • Excessive scarring of the bone
    • Severe or chronic pain
    • Bleeding
    • Breakage of implants
    • Migration or loosening of implants
    • Failure of bone to fuse
    • Fractures
    • Abnormal or excessive bone formation
    • Damage to tissue surrounding the bone
    • Nerve damage
    • Infection at the bone graft site
    • Gastrointestinal complications
    • Bladder or bowel complications
    • Sexual dysfunction in males
    • Male sterility caused by retrograde ejaculation
    • Cancer
    • Paralysis
    • Death

    When INFUSE is used for neck surgery, complications may include severe swelling of the neck or of the throat and difficulty with speaking, swallowing, and breathing.

    INFUSE continues to be used for both approved and off label purposes.

    If you have suffered a serious reaction after surgery with INFUSE bone graft, you may have a Wisconsin INFUSE injury claim. Our Green Bay pharmaceutical injury attorneys can determine if you are eligible for compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. To learn more, contact Hupy and Abraham at 1-800-800-5678 and ask to schedule a free confidential consultation with a Wisconsin INFUSE injury lawyer.

  • 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.

  • I’m confused. My doctor recommended combined hormone replacement therapy and, while my menopause symptoms were less severe while I took the medication, I am now sick. My doctor says that my condition was caused by my hormone replacement therapy. What should I do?

    You have already taken an important first step by consulting with a trusted doctor who identified the cause of your illness. Of course, you and your doctor will need to make important treatment decisions so that you can protect your health and recover to the extent possible, or remain comfortable in the time that you have left.

    At the same time, you want to make sure that your potential legal rights are protected. If the pharmaceutical company that made the drug was negligent and failed to exercise a reasonable duty of care in manufacturing the hormone replacement therapy and warning doctors and patients of the risks associated with the hormone replacement therapy then you may have the right to file a legal action against the company. An experienced Milwaukee drug injury attorney can help you understand your rights.

    In some cases you may be able to file a class action lawsuit together with other patients who have been injured by the same drug. To find out if you might have a potential pharmaceutical class action case, please call our Milwaukee pharmaceutical class action lawyers today for a free consultation about your legal rights and possible recovery. We can be reached via this website or by phone at 1-800-800-5678 or 414-223-4800.

  • I recently got really sick. I take daily medications with grapefruit juice every morning and I just heard on the news that could be dangerous. I want to know the truth about what happened to me. What should I do?

    A recent study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that a rising number of new medications have a toxic effect when combined with grapefruit juice. Currently there are more than 85 drugs that could have unintended interactions when taken with grapefruit juice or when a patient eats grapefruit or certain other citrus fruits even hours before taking the medication.

    The problem occurs because the citrus fruit contains furanocoumarins which inhibits an enzyme that breaks down certain types of medications. The result can be that a higher—and potentially dangerous—concentration of the drug in a patient’s body compared to a patient who did not drink grapefruit juice or consume certain citrus fruits.

    If you have been hurt, or if you have lost a loved one, due to a dangerous pharmaceutical drug then you may have the right to recover damages. For example, you may have a cause of action if the drug manufacturer did not adequately test the medication or warn doctors and patients of the potential interaction of the drug with grapefruit and other citrus fruits.

    For more information about your legal rights and potential recovery, please contact an experienced Milwaukee class action lawyer today. Other people may have suffered similar injuries. You do not have to suffer alone. Instead make sure that your rights are protected by contacting a Milwaukee pharmaceutical class action attorney today at 1-800-800-5678 or 414-223-4800.

  • Can Accutane cause Crohn’s disease?

    The acne drug Accutane has been linked to inflammatory bowel disease, including ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease. In fact, a 2010 study conducted at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill found that patients who took Accutane or its generic form isotretinoin were four times more likely to develop UC than patients who did not take the acne drugs.

    Like ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease a form of inflammatory bowel disease and an autoimmune disorder of the digestive system. However, Crohn’s disease can affect all or any portion of the digestive tract from the mouth to the rectum while UC affects only the large intestine.

    Symptoms of Crohn’s disease include:

    • Weight loss
    • Fatigue
    • Night sweats
    • Changes in menstruation
    • Fever (low-grade, but persistent)
    • Prolonged diarrhea
    • Abdominal pain
    • Swelling or redness near the mouth or eyes
    • Ulcers
    • Rectal bleeding
    • Urgent bowel movements

    Over time, swelling and scarring of the affected tissue can cause a narrowing or obstruction of the intestines. This can cause additional symptoms, including:

    • Gurgling or other sounds in the stomach
    • Bloating after eating
    • Cramping
    • Constipation
    • Impacted bowels

    There is no cure for Crohn’s disease. Treatment focuses on managing symptoms and improving the patient’s quality of life through medication and dietary restriction. Treatment is not always effective. For many patients the discomfort of Crohn’s disease lasts a lifetime. In cases of severe damage, parts of the digestive tract may need to be surgically removed.

    More than 6,000 lawsuits have been filed against the Roche Group, the maker of Accutane, by patients suffering from Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. If you are suffering from Crohn’s disease caused by Accutane use, you also have a right to seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering through an Accutane class action lawsuit. To learn more, contact the Milwaukee pharmaceutical injury attorneys at Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678.

  • I live in Wisconsin and I was taking an SSRI drug to treat my depression. I believe that I have suffered a serious side effect. What should I do?

    We are sorry to hear that you have experienced medical problems. Of course, the first thing that you should do is see your doctor for treatment of your conditions. The most important thing that you can do is to protect your health.

    We understand, however, that protecting your health is not always easy or inexpensive. Your condition may cause you to incur significant expenses now and in the future which may include medical costs; rehabilitation costs; out-of-pocket expenses; lost income; physical pain; and emotional suffering. Accordingly, it is also important to protect your future.

    You may be able to protect your future by contacting our experienced Milwaukee pharmaceutical class action lawyers. If you have suffered an SSRI side effect, then you may be entitled to compensation for past, current, and future injuries related to that SSRI side effect. A class action lawsuit may be a financially feasible way for you to get the recovery that you deserve.

    For more information, we encourage you to contact our Milwaukee pharmaceutical class action law firm today to learn more about how we may be able to help you and what your possible recovery may be like. You can reach us directly by filling out the contact us form on this page or by calling us at 1-800-800-5678 or 414-223-4800. We would be pleased to answer your questions and to help you during this difficult time.

  • My father was one of the 400 people who contracted fungal meningitis from contaminated steroid injections. He was in the hospital for some time and experienced a stroke related to his illness. He now has difficulty with speech and will be unable to return to work. Is it possible to get compensation for his hospital bills and ongoing medical care?

    More than 400 Americans have contracted fungal meningitis after receiving injections of a contaminated steroid manufactured by the New England Compounding Center in Framingham, Massachusetts. At least twenty-nine have died.

    The steroids were found to contain at least three types of fungus. Exserohilum rostratum is a common mold found in soil and on plants, Rhizopus stolonifer is a common bread mold, and Rhodotorula laryngis is a common yeast. The outbreak is linked to E. rostratum. When E. rostratum is injected into a body it can cause inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord.

    Early symptoms of fungal meningitis include headache, fever, irritability, sensitivity to light, vomiting, nausea, stiff neck, and fast heartbeat. Anyone suffering these symptoms should seek immediate treatment. Meningitis quickly destroys the brain, and a delay in treatment can lead to serious complications including hearing loss, altered mental state, hallucinations, speech problems, seizures, coma, brain damage, hydrocephalus, stroke, and even death.

    In order to diagnose infection with fungal meningitis, doctors must test the patient’s spinal fluid using a lumbar puncture or spinal tap. Mild cases can be treated with an oral anti-fungal medication. Advanced cases must be treated in the hospital. The intravenous antifungal drugs used in the hospital can potentially cause damage to the liver and kidneys.

    If you or a loved one has been sickened by the contaminated methylprednisolone acetate injections, you have a right to be angry. You were following your doctor’s advice and it isn’t fair that the negligence of a drug company almost cost your life. You deserve accountability.

    The Illinois pharmaceutical injury attorneys at Hupy and Abraham can help you take part in a pharmaceutical class action lawsuit against New England Compounding Center. If you contracted meningitis from contaminated steroids, you may be eligible for compensation for you medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, lost wages, and ongoing medical care. To learn more about how you can get compensation for your fungal meningitis injury case, contact Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678.