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The Danger of Some Prescription Medications

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Dangerous drugs can cause life-changing or even fatal complications

New prescription medications have a significant risk of resulting in serious adverse effects, according to the Harvard University Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics. According to a researcher at the Safra Center for Ethics, one out of every five new prescription drugs that have Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval can cause serious injuries. As a result, some experts recommend that patients try not to use newly approved medications for a few years after approval.

Unfortunately, that isn’t always possible and sometimes patients are hurt by their medications. If these injuries are caused by a pharmaceutical company’s defective drug design, defective manufacturing, or defective marketing, then the pharmaceutical company may be legally responsible for the injuries that result even if the drug had FDA approval.

If you’ve been hurt, then the time to take action is now. The Iowa statute of limitations regulates the amount of time that you have to pursue a legal recovery. When that time expires, so too does your right to recover damages—even if the pharmaceutical company caused them. Accordingly, we encourage you to learn about some specific drugs that have caused injuries in recent years, and to contact our experienced pharmaceutical class action lawyers if you have been hurt by a drug that currently has litigation pending or that has not yet been brought to court.

Examples of Defective Drugs

Some medications that have caused serious injuries in recent years include:

  • Zofran. Zofran has FDA approval for the treatment of nausea from chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. It does not have FDA approval for the treatment of pregnancy-related nausea, but it has allegedly been marketed for that purpose and babies have reportedly been born with kidney and heart defects as a result. As of January 2017, multi-district litigation is pending on the issue of Zofran injuries during pregnancy.
  • Xarelto. The first Xarelto injury cases are scheduled to be heard in spring 2017. Xarelto is an anticoagulant medication. This blood thinner was marketed as being easier for patients because it does not require the same blood monitoring as older types of blood thinners. However, as of January 2017 there is no FDA-approved antidote for Xarelto and serious, sometimes fatal, bleeding may occur.
  • Invokana. In 2013, Invokana received FDA approval as the first SGLT-2 inhibitor for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Since that time this medication has been linked to serious side effects such as ketoacidosis. In late 2016, Invokana injury cases were centralized in multi-district litigation and the cases are still pending in early 2017.
  • Propecia. This medication used to treat male pattern baldness has been linked to serious health concerns such as cancer. The first lawsuits about Propecia injuries are expected in 2017.
  • Levaquin and other fluoroquinolone antibiotics. Serious and permanent damages to tendons, nerves, muscles, joints, and the central nervous system have been reported from fluoroquinolone antibiotics such as Levaquin. Lawsuits have been filed by people who have been injured—and as of January 2017, these cases are currently pending in court.
  • Low testosterone medications. It is alleged that the maker of AndroGel and other low testosterone drugs knew about the risks heart attacks, strokes, and blood clots from these medications and failed to warn patients. The first AndroGel injury cases are expected to be heard in 2017.
  • Essure. As of early 2017, Essure injury lawsuits are pending in court. The lawsuits allege serious and fatal injuries from this form of birth control.
  • Byetta. Lawsuits have been filed by people who have suffered serious injuries such as acute pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer from this diabetes medication.
  • Denture cream. People who have suffered zinc poisoning from denture creams such as Fixodent have filed lawsuits seeking damages for the injuries that they have suffered.
  • Benicar. This medication used to treat high blood pressure has been linked to a serious condition known as sprue-like enteropathy. People who have been hurt have filed legal cases that are pending in multi-district litigation in early 2017.
  • Parkinson’s medications. Compulsive behavior has been reported by patients taking dopamine receptor agonists that are FDA-approved to treat Parkinson’s disease. These compulsive behaviors can have a significant effect on an individual’s life and may be the basis for a pharmaceutical injury lawsuit.
  • Lipitor. Lipitor is a common drug used to treat high blood pressure; however, the medication has been linked to serious side effects and lawsuits have been filed claiming that patients were not adequately warned about the risks prior to taking the drug.
  • GranuFlo and Naturalyte. In 2016, a multi-million dollar settlement was reached on behalf of plaintiffs who suffered heart attacks while using GranuFlo and Naturalyte during kidney dialysis.
  • Chantix. A multi-million dollar settlement was reached on behalf of patients who reportedly suffered psychiatric side effects from this smoking-cessation medication.
  • Gabapentin. This medication was allegedly marketed for off-label uses and resulted in depression and suicidal thoughts for some patients. In 2014, the drug’s manufacturer reached a multi-million settlement with patients who had been injured.
  • Pradaxa. In 2014, a multi-million dollar settlement was reached in Pradaxa injury cases. The cases alleged serious injury or death from uncontrolled bleeding while on this blooding-thinning medication.
  • Trasylol. In 2010, a multi-million dollar settlement was reached between the drug maker and people who had been injured by this medication used to control bleeding during heart surgery.
  • Gadolinium dye. Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis is a serious condition that is allegedly connected to the use of gadolinium dye during MRI and MRA tests. Lawsuits were brought against the makers of gadolinium dye by people who were hurt.
  • Oral sodium phosphate. Oral sodium phosphate, commonly used in colonoscopy preparation, has been linked to acute phosphate neuropathy. It is alleged that sufficient warnings about this risk were not provided to patients before the FDA changed its warning in 2008.
  • Fosamax. In 2013, a multi-million dollar settlement was reached on behalf of plaintiffs who suffered osteonecrosis of the jaw and other injuries from this osteoporosis medication.
  • Actos. Actos is a diabetes medication that has been linked to bladder cancer. In 2015, a multi-billion dollar settlement was reached between the drug’s maker and those who were injured by the medication.

If you have been hurt or if a loved one has died because of a prescription drug that is currently the subject of litigation or that is not yet on this list, please contact our pharmaceutical class action lawyers as soon as possible. We are available to you 24/7/365, and we would be pleased to schedule a convenient, free, no-obligation consultation for you.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham

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