Many people assume that prescription drugs and medical devices are always tested before they hit the shelves. Unfortunately, this is not always true. In many cases, the FDA may approve a new drug if it has the same mechanism of action, form and strength as an existing drug that has already been approved. Sometimes the drug proves just as safe as its predecessor…but not always. The same can be said for medical devices that haven’t been tested properly, or for an adequate period of time. Read on for more information about dangerous and defective prescription drugs, and how you can avoid the risk of serious injury or death.
The Top Offenders
- Fluoroquinolones are the nation’s most commonly used type of antibiotic; about 33 million people take these drugs annually. Unfortunately, fluoroquinolones may cause multiple serious medical conditions, including peripheral neuropathy, a potentially-permanent form of nerve damage. Cipro, Avelox and Levaquin are the most popular of the fluoroquinolones on the market today. The manufacturers of these drugs – Merck, Johnson & Johnson, and Bayer – are facing a tidal wave of lawsuits from patients who say they weren’t adequately warned about the associated risks. In addition to peripheral neuropathy, fluoroquinolones are linked to aortic aneurysm and aortic dissection, which combined cause approximately 15,000 deaths annually in the United States.
- Anticoagulants are blood-thinning medications used to treat a number of disorders, including atrial fibrillation and deep vein thrombosis. Up until recently, warfarin was the only treatment option. In 2011, Xarelto was introduced as a lower-maintenance alternative, and it quickly grew in popularity along with Pradaxa and Eliquis. Patients being treated with the new drugs have the same risk of excessive and uncontrollable bleeding as those who take warfarin, but with one major difference. There is an antidote for excessive bleeding caused by warfarin. No such antidote exists for Xarelto. As such, the drug’s manufacturers, Bayer and Janssen (a division of Johnson & Johnson), are at the center of thousands of lawsuits claiming serious injury and death. A Boston drug injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured by a dangerous or defective drug.
- Antipsychotics are prescribed by doctors to treat conditions such as schizophrenia, PTSD, and bipolar disorder. However, some antipsychotic medications have recently been linked to disturbing side effects, such as sexual promiscuity, excessive gambling, and breast development in males. Ability’s manufacturers, Otsuka and Bristol-Myers Squibb, are facing a growing number of lawsuits from patients who claim they couldn’t control the urge to gamble or over-eat, or that they developed hyper sexual behaviors. Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed against Risperdal’s manufacturer, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, alleging that the drug caused young men to develop breasts, a condition known as gynecomastia.
- Patients with type 2 diabetes need help regulating their blood sugar levels. Invokana is a popular and effective medication for lowering blood sugar and improving glycemic control for these patients. Unfortunately, it’s also linked to several life-threatening medical conditions. The most serious conditions associated with Invokana use are kidney failure, amputations, and a potentially-fatal condition called Ketoacidosis. As a result, Invokana’s manufacturer, Janssen, is facing multiple lawsuits alleging that the company failed to warn physicians and patients of the serious side effects linked to its drug. A MA drug injury lawyer can help you determine how to recover damages if you’ve been injured by a dangerous or defective drug.
If you are currently taking any of these drugs, it is in your best interest to discuss the risks with your physician. Continue reading