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A Sampling of Dangerous Medications

Some dangerous medications can cause lifelong or life-ending injuries to patients

Approximately 70% of people in the United States take at least one prescription medication. In 2014 (the most recent year for which statistics are available), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received 253,017 reports of serious injuries and 44,693 reports of death from medications and medical devices. Accordingly, it is important to be aware of safety issues connected to specific medications and to be aware of the potential for injury with any medication.

Specific Injuries From Specific Drugs

In recent years, the following medications have been linked to injury:

  • Zofran. Lawsuits alleging injuries from this anti-nausea medication are pending in multi-district litigation as of January 2017. This drug is not approved to treat pregnancy-related nausea, but it was allegedly marketed to pregnant women and it reportedly resulted in birth defects.
  • Xarelto. Xarelto is a blood-thinning drug that does not require regular blood monitoring like other types of blood thinners. However, as of January 2017 there is no FDA-approved antidote if uncontrollable bleeding occurs. Thousands of people hurt by this medication have filed lawsuits, and the first cases are expected be heard in spring 2017.
  • Actos. A multi-billion dollar settlement was reached in 2015 after thousands of people allegedly developed bladder cancer from this type 2 diabetes medication.
  • Low testosterone drugs. Testosterone replacement is sometimes equated to the fountain of youth. It may make men feel and act younger. However, some medications such as AndroGel have had serious, life-threatening consequences. The first AndroGel injury lawsuits are expected to be tried in court during 2017.
  • Granuflo and Naturalyte. Granuflo and Naturalyte were used during kidney dialysis, but they can allegedly cause heart attacks. A multi-million dollar settlement was reached in 2016 for people who were hurt or their survivors.
  • Invokana. Invokana was the first SGLT-2 inhibitor approved for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Since gaining FDA approval in 2013, serious side effects such as ketoacidosis have been reported. In December 2016, Invokana injury lawsuits were centralized in multidistrict litigation.
  • Propecia. Propecia is used to treat male pattern baldness. Unfortunately, it has been linked not just to hair growth but also to cancer and other serious side effects. The first lawsuits about this are expected to be heard in 2017.
  • Benicar. Benicar, a medication used to treat high blood pressure, has been linked to dangerous conditions such as sprue-like enteropathy.
  • Levaquin and other fluoroquinolone antibiotics. Permanent, disabling, and fatal conditions have been linked to fluoroquinolone antibiotics. In July 2016, the FDA changed its warning for these medications and now recommends that the medication not be routinely used to treat less serious infections. Lawsuits have been filed against the drugs’ manufacturers by people who have been hurt and are seeking justice.
  • Fosamax. This osteoporosis medication is supposed to prevent bone loss, but studies have associated it with dangerous conditions such as osteonecrosis of the jaw and femur fractures.
  • Lipitor. Lipitor is a common drug used to treat high blood pressure, but it has been linked to other conditions such as diabetes.
  • Denture cream. Some, but not all, denture creams contain zinc. Too much zinc can result in zinc poisoning which can be dangerous.
  • Oral sodium phosphate. Oral sodium phosphate is used in preparation for colonoscopies. It has been linked to serious kidney conditions.
  • Chantix. Chantix is a medication used to help people stop smoking, but it has been linked to serious emotional and behavioral changes. Lawsuits, filed by people who have been injured, have been settled.
  • Essure. Essure is a form of permanent birth control that can be performed in a doctor’s office. Essure is implanted in a woman’s fallopian tubes and scar tissue forms around it preventing pregnancy. Serious and fatal side effects have been reported, and Essure injury lawsuits have been filed.
  • Gabapentin. Gabapentin is an FDA-approved drug for the treatment of epilepsy and a complication of shingles. However, the drug’s manufacturer allegedly marketed the drug for other purposes and settled a case with the U.S. Justice Department on those allegations. In 2014, it also settled a case with people who allegedly suffered serious injuries from this medication.
  • Parkinson’s drugs. Dopamine receptor agonists used to treat Parkinson’s disease have been linked to compulsive behavior that could significantly impact a person’s health or quality of life.
  • Pradaxa. This blood thinner has reportedly been linked to serious bleeding incidents. Thousands of lawsuits were filed and they were settled for approximately $650 million.
  • Byetta. Byetta was approved by the FDA in 2005 to treat diabetes. After its approval, the drug was linked to serious conditions such as acute pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, and thyroid cancer. Lawsuits have been filed by some patients who suffered these serious side effects.
  • Trasylol. Trasylol was originally approved by the FDA to control bleeding during heart surgery. It has since been taken off of the market due to the serious risks it presented to patients. Lawsuits have been settled.
  • Gadolinium dye. The dye that made your insides easier to view during an MRI or MRA procedure may have caused you to suffer a serious medical condition known as nephrogenic systemic fibrosis. Symptoms typically develop months after the procedure and require a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. Lawsuits have been filed against some makers of gadolinium dye alleging that their product is defective and resulted in injuries.

If you have been hurt by any of these, or any other, medications then Illinois law limits the amount of time that you have to pursue a legal recovery. Recognizing this, our experienced pharmaceutical class action lawyers encourage you to contact us as soon as possible to schedule your free consultation. We are available via this website or phone 365 days a year.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham

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