Articles Posted in Pharmaceuticals

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently issued a warning indicating that benzocaine, an anesthetic commonly used in over-the-counter teething gels for infants as well as liquid medications, can cause serious injuries and even death. Commonly found in products like Anbesol or Baby Orajel, the local anesthetic has in some cases led to a serious condition known as methemoglobinemia. This condition reduces the quantity of oxygen that travels through the patient’s bloodstream. Parents who have products containing benzocaine are promptly advised to stop using them on children younger than two and should seek a consultation with a health care official immediately.baby

In many instances, parents and other consumers presume that products marketed as homeopathic remedies are safe and pose fewer risks than pharmaceuticals and similarly derived products. A maker of such products, Hyland’s, which offers a benzocaine teething product, announced that it has discontinued making such products. According to a statement, the company stopped manufacturing the products due to the FDA’s warning. Major international drug store Walgreen’s has also discontinued its offering of products containing benzocaine.

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doctors with patientA substantial number of breast cancer patients in the U.S. have received treatment using a drug called Taxotere, which is manufactured by a company called Sanofi. Unlike other cancer drugs that required weekly appointments, Taxotere required treatment only once every three weeks. For cancer patients who are still busy juggling other commitments, this was an appealing option. In addition to being used to treat breast cancer, the drug has also been employed to treat stomach cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, neck cancer, head cancer, and metastatic prostate cancer.

Soon after the drug became a popular treatment, numerous reports surfaced from patients claiming that they suffered permanent hair loss as a result of taking the drug. According to the slew of lawsuits that were filed after the reports became widespread, the plaintiffs largely alleged that the drug maker failed to provide appropriate warnings and disclosures regarding the drug’s potentially disfiguring side effects. Other allegations included failing to conduct appropriate investigations into the safety and potential side effects of the drug, concealing information from consumers, and failing to fully and accurately communicate the severity of the dangers that could arise from taking the drug.

In addition to the adverse reaction reports that surfaced, studies have shown that nearly 10 percent of breast cancer patients who took Taxotere suffered alopecia that persisted for 10 years or more. This caused a variety of injuries and consequences, including emotional distress, pain and suffering, social anxiety, and disfigurement.

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bottle with pillsThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently issued a new warning increasing the cautions associated with fluoroquinolone-based medications, concluding that this class of antibiotics may be too strong to address bronchitis, sinus infections, and urinary tract infections. The FDA has received a number of complaints regarding the drugs and has concluded that dangerous side effects include disabling and potentially irreversible tendon, muscle, joint, nerve, and central nervous system pain. The warning label for these drug products has been updated to reflect these new risks.

The agency also stated in its warning that fluoroquinolones should only be prescribed to patients who have no other medical recourse for acute bacterial exacerbation of chronic bronchitis, uncomplicated urinary tract infections, or acute bacterial sinusitis. More specifically, health care professionals should immediately stop prescribing these medications for patients who have any of these conditions and support any serious adverse reactions as soon as possible. The current Boxed Warning for fluoroquinolone medicines applies to a number of conditions like tendon rupture, myasthenia gravis, and tendinitis, as well as peripheral neuropathy and a variety of other conditions.

Patients who have been injured as a result of taking dangerous pharmaceuticals can file a product liability or negligence claim against the drug manufacturer. The FDA requires drug manufacturers to comply with extensive regulations regarding the development, testing, approval, and marketing of new drugs. In many instances, companies that manufacture and sell dangerous pharmaceuticals have failed to comply with some of the testing requirements or even hidden information from the FDA about adverse side effects associated with the drugs when seeking approval.

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risperdal box pillsA Philadelphia jury recently returned a verdict awarding a 16-year-old teenager who suffered injuries after taking Risperdal $70 million in compensation. The manufacturer of the drug is Johnson & Johnson, a major international pharmaceutical and health care products company. According to the teenager’s complaint, Johnson & Johnson failed to provide appropriate warnings with the drug that it could cause him to grow breasts, referred to in the medical community as gynecomastia. According to his complaint, the plaintiff started taking Risperdal when he was five years old to address a psychiatric disorder.

The plaintiff also alleged that Johnson & Johnson intentionally prevented doctors and health care professionals from seeing the adverse results of a study about Risperdal that showed it could cause abnormal breast growth in boys.

Risperdal is an antipsychotic medication used to treat a number of mental disorders like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and irritability in autism patients. Signs of gynecomastia include puffy nipples, enlarged nipples, painful breasts, nipple discharge, and breast growth. The results of gynecomastia in boys can be devastating, resulting in serious emotional and mental pain while also frequently requiring a mastectomy to remove the breast growth.

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boxes of nexiumMoll Law Group has filed its first lawsuit against the maker of Nexium, AstraZeneca, on behalf of a Tennessee resident who suffered severe and life-threatening injuries after being prescribed and taking the drug Nexium. Filed in the Western District of Tennessee, the complaint alleges that the defendants knew or should have known that Nexium poses a serious risk of kidney injuries and that the drug maker failed to provide adequate instructions regarding the potentially life-threatening consequences that could result from the use of the drug.

The plaintiff started taking Nexium in 2003 and continued using it until 2008, when he was diagnosed with a severe and drug-induced case of Acute Interstitial Nephritis following a biopsy. As a result of his condition, he was required to undergo dialysis three times a week and is awaiting a kidney transplant.

Nexium is a type of proton pump inhibitor (PPI) that is used to decrease the amount of acid that the stomach produces. This type of drug is commonly used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and peptic ulcer disease (PUD). Originally approved under the name Losec in 1988, Nexium is a second-generation PPI drug and was intended to be an improvement on the first-generation version, commonly referred to as Prilosec.

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hand with pillsRecently, a rash of cases has sprung up involving fluoroquinolone (FQ) antibiotics. Marketed under a variety of names like Cipro, Levaquin, or Avelox, these drugs are used to treat a wide variety of infections. Some sources estimate that roughly 26 million Americans are prescribed FQ antibiotics each year for a wide range of ailments, including pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and more.

According to a Consumer Report, the drugs may cause some serious side effects like aortic aneurysms, nerve damage, or dissections. As the largest blood vessel in the human body, damage to the aorta can cause serious implications for a patient’s health, such as strokes or heart attacks and even death in some serious cases. A dissection happens when the aortic walls deteriorate, which permits blood to seep into the outer layers of tissue. An aneurysm, on the other hand, is a bulging or enlarged part of the aorta. In many situations, these aneurysms have no symptoms and are incredibly difficult to identify. It is often not until the aneurysm bursts that the victim can tell something is wrong. Once it bursts, the victim has a 50 percent chance of surviving the event. For either an aneurysm or an aortic dissection, surgery is often required as well as a lifetime of additional medical treatment and observation.

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gavel on deskThe first batch of cases in the Xarelto multi-district litigation are set to go forward in early 2017. Situated in the Eastern District of Louisiana, the multi-district litigation includes numerous cases from plaintiffs alleging that they suffered serious injuries as a result of taking Xarelto, an anti-coagulant drug manufactured by Johnson & Johnson. A multi-district litigation, or MDL, is similar to a class action in that multiple claims are grouped together when there are sufficient similarities. Unlike in a class action, however, the plaintiffs in an MDL maintain their status as separate cases, and each plaintiff must still prove his or her individual case. Damages are not awarded to the class in general but are awarded to each plaintiff depending on the strength and merit of each individual case.

In early 2017, about four so-called bellwether cases will be tried. A bellwether case is a term used in MDL actions to describe the initial test cases that are litigated in the action. These cases typically represent common factual scenarios and damages suffered by the broader group of cases in the MDL. The outcome of these bellwether cases will serve as guidance for the parties as they negotiate a global settlement of the claims. The first two cases will be tried in Lousiana, with the third trial taking place in Mississippi and the final bellwether trial for 2017 taking place in Texas during late spring 2017. These dates are tentative and could be revised or canceled during the coming months as the parties perform discovery and prepare for the trials.

The drug was intended to serve as an alternative to Warfarin and was initially prescribed in cases involving patients who received knee surgeries or hip replacements. It was also prescribed as a way to fend off deep vein thrombosis and to prevent strokes in patients experiencing atrial fibrillation. A number of reports quickly arose indicating that patients suffered serious complications after taking Xarelto. As a result, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued multiple black box warnings for the drug.

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purple zyprexa boxEarlier this month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration made an announcement regarding the safety of using a number of mental health drugs. According to the statement, Zyprexa, Zyprexa Zydis, Zyprexa Replrevv, and Symbyax may cause patients to develop serious complications, such as facial swelling, swelling in the lymph glands, and fevers accompanied with a rash. These symptoms are referred to as Drug Reaction with Eosinophilia and Systemic Symptoms, or DRESS.

A patient experiencing DRESS may first identify a rash on his or her body that begins to spread. Swelling in the face or lymph glands occurs due to a higher-than-average reaction of infection-fighting white blood cells to the situation. This is called eosinophils.

So far, there have been 23 known reports of patients who have experienced DRESS while taking these drugs, which are olanzapine-based. The first product containing olanzapine was approved by the FDA in 1996. The drug has been prescribed to treat mental health conditions like bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. While Zyprexa, Zyprexa Zydis, Zyprexa Relprevv, and Symbyax are the common names under which olanzapine is sold, there are also generic brands for the drug.

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elderly woman dementiaA new study released last month concluded that the class of medications referred to as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) can lead to cognitive decline disorders like dementia. The study involved patients who took PPIs like Prilosec, Nexium, and Prevacid between 2004 and 2011. The full range of pharmaceuticals covered in the study includes raberprazole, esomeprazole, pantoprazole, omeprazole, and lansoprazole.

Roughly 73,600 patients were involved in the study. The patients were over the age of 75 years and did not show signs or a history of dementia at the time the study commenced. At the conclusion of the study, the researchers determined that patients who regularly took PPI medications “had a significantly increased risk of incident dementia compared with patients not receiving PPI medication.”

Until recently, lawsuits filed against AstraZeneca, the maker of Prilosec, Nexium, and Prevacid, have involved allegations that the patients who took the prescription drugs suffered from kidney diseases and heart attacks. This new research provides another potential basis for obtaining recovery from AstraZeneca. If you or a loved one took one of the prescription drugs covered in the study and developed dementia, you may be entitled to compensation.

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604px-Nurse_administers_chemotherapy_(1)A recent study has provided further evidence demonstrating a link between the diabetes drug Actos and bladder cancer. The findings were published in The BMJ and involve a study of roughly 146,000 patients treated for diabetes and bladder cancer between 2000 and 2013. According to the Canadian researchers who performed the study, consuming Actos increases the risk of developing bladder cancer by 63 percent.

The study also reported that the risk of developing bladder cancer increases if the patient takes Actos for two years or more, or if the patient consumes a minimum of 28,000 milligrams throughout their life. The researchers have also found a link between patients who have taken Avandia (rosiglitazone), another prescription drug used to treat diabetes that is within the same class of medicines as Actos.

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