Prescription drugs have been a benefit to mankind in the prevention and treatment of numerous illnesses, diseases and conditions. Fortunately, most prescription drugs are safe when used as directed, and any side effects from use of those drugs are relatively minor. However, there have been a number of drugs developed and manufactured over the years which have been prescribed for various ailments, the use of which have had serious and, in some cases, deadly side effects. Patients who have used these drugs and their families have suffered needlessly because of the manufacture and distribution of these drugs, and, in some cases, the failure of the drug companies to adequately and properly test these drugs, and their failure to report some of the more serious side effects that were discovered during the development of these drugs. The Stealey Law Firm is currently evaluating cases involving a number of prescription medications. We work in association with other firms through the country which are nationally recognized in handling these cases. Larger firms have the staff and the expertise to process these claims and stand up to the big drug companies and their insurance companies. But, it is good to have a local lawyer with whom you can communicate concerning your claim, who has contacts within these firms, and who will make sure that the claim is being handled properly and as expeditiously as possible. Hiring the Stealey Law Firm to represent you in one of these cases will not cost you more in fees, as the attorneys’ fees are divided between The Stealey Law Firm and any other firm to whom a referral is made. You should know that there are a number of lawyers advertising nationally for these drug cases. Many of these lawyers do nothing more than refer cases to another law firm. Once they do that, they are totally out of the picture. Why not speak to someone in your community who can be your local contact and who will be available throughout the course of your case for consultation and assistance, rather than some lawyer who is located 500 or 1,000 or more miles away from you and who may not be available to you if you need help? Call the Stealey Law Firm today about any of these prescription drug cases.
Actos (also known as pioglitazone) is an oral diabetes medication made by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company. Actos is prescribed to treat type-2 diabetes in patients whose condition is not adequately controlled by diet and exercise alone. Serious concerns have been raised regarding the safety of Actos. In June 2011, the FDA issued a warning that using Actos for longer than one year may cause bladder cancer. Currently, the FDA is recommending that doctors not use pioglitazone in patients with active bladder cancer and is continuing to scrutinize the data of several Actos safety studies.
Spiriva, also called Spiriva HandiHaler, is in a class of medications known as anticholinergic bronchodilators. This daily single-dose medication is approved for long-term treatment of bronchospasm associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Some patients who had pre-existing cardiac disorders who then took Spiriva for COPD, had an eightfold increase in the risk of death. Additionally, it may increase the incidence of heart attack, stroke, a-fib, TIA and cardiac arrhythmia.
Multaq, also known as dronedarone, is a drug manufactured by Sanofi-Aventis that is prescribed to treat persons with cardiac arrhythmia, or irregular heartbeat. Multaq was approved by the FDA in July, 2009 to reduce the risk of cardiovascular hospitalization in patients who have episodes of irregular heart rhythms. A 2005 clinical trial showed that Multaq doubled the risk of death and could actually worsen existing heart failure. In January, 2011 the FDA mandated that a warning be added to Multaq’s label after Sanofi-Aventis reported that two patients on the drug experienced liver failure. Most recently, an FDA Safety Announcement of July 21, 2011 warned that Multaq may increase the incidence of several cardiovascular problems including heart failure, heart attack, stroke and systemic embolism.
YAZ, YASMIN, OCELLA BIRTH CONTROL PILLS
Yasmin and Yaz are birth control pills manufactured by Bayer Healthcare. The generic form of these drugs, Ocella, is a brand marketed and distributed by Teva Pharmaceuticals. The Yaz group of drugs contains a compound created by Bayer called drospirenone, which is a “fourth generation” progestin. Drospirenone is believed to elevate the levels of potassium in the blood stream. Elevated levels of potassium in the blood can lead to a condition known as hyperkalemia, which can cause heart rhythm disturbances. Side effects of drospirenone and/or elevated potassium include heart attack, stroke, blood clots (including deep vein thrombosis, intracardiac thrombus, and pulmonary emboli), damaged kidneys, damaged gallbladder, damaged pancreas resulting in pancreatitis, abnormal heartbeat, and even death.
FOSAMAX, ZOMETA AND AREDIA – THE BISPHOSPHONATE DRUGS
In order to balance the loss of bone density caused by disease, aging, or osteoporosis, many doctors prescribe a class of drugs known as bisphosphonates. These medications are commonly marketed as Fosamax, Aredia, Zometa, Boniva and Actonel. The most common recipients of these types of drugs are women in their late 40′s and older who have reached menopause and have begun to experience loss of bone density due to the aging process. In addition, some chemotherapy treatments for cancer that has advanced into the bones include bisphosphonates. Use of these medications has been linked to cases of jaw bone decay or osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ). ONJ or “dead jaw” is a rare bone disease in which the jaw bone deteriorates and dies.
Additionally, multiple studies have concluded that long term Fosamax use increases the risk of spontaneous fractures, particularly in the femur (thigh bone). After prolonged use of Fosamax, these fractures often result from non-traumatic everyday activities, such as washing dishes, walking down stairs, walking the dog, bending down to pick something up, etc. These fractures almost always require serious orthopedic surgery that includes insertion of metal rods and screws, in order to help mend the fractured femur(s).
GADOLINIUM - MRI DYE OR CONTRAST AGENT
Omniscan (gadodiamide) is a gadolinium containing contrast agent (MRI dye) commonly used by physicians in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and/or magnetic resonance angiography (MRA). Other gadolinium based contrast agents (MRI dyes) are Magnevist, MultiHance, OptiMARK and ProHance.
On June 6, 2006, GE Healthcare issued a safety advisory for Omniscan, warning certain physicians that the use of the Omniscan contrast medium (dye) in an MRI or MRA on a patient with pre-existing renal (kidney) issues may lead to that patient developing a very serious medical condition involving the skin called Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis (NSF), which is also known as Nephrogenic Fibrosing Dermopathy (NFD) (hereinafter referred to as NSF and NFD). NSF/ NFD has thus far been observed almost exclusively in patients with kidney disease or renal dysfunction. NSF/NFD leads to thickened, rough and/or hard skin, which can sometimes lead to limbs becoming difficult or even impossible to move. In some instances, NSF/NFD is a progressive disease that can also lead to death.
SSRI ANTI-DEPRESSANT DRUGS
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) such as Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, Lexapro have been found to cause an increase in the risk of infant birth defects. Studies previously established that babies born to mothers taking anti-depressant drugs during pregnancy have a significantly increased risk of being born with birth defects affecting the respiratory system, such as Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension or PPHN.
Evidence has surfaced linking SSRI intake during pregnancy to birth defects such as Autism,
Cerebal Palsy, Cleft Lip and/or Cleft Palate and Heart Defects.
TYLENOL OR ACETAMINOPHEN - LIVER FAILURE
Data and studies reveal that Tylenol (generic names acetaminophen and paracetamol) is associated with acute liver failure and death. Liver damage from Tylenol or acetaminophen occurs when the enzymatic pathways of the liver are blocked or overtaxed by too much of acetaminophen’s poisonous molecular remains after being metabolized. This toxic molecular residue or remains after Tylenol usage accumulates in the liver and causes damage and instances of liver failure.