Articles Posted in Dangerous Side Effects

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TylenolThe dangerous drug lawyers at Pintas & Mullins report on two recent injury cases centering on popular over-the-counter children’s painkillers. Both lawsuits were filed against Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer of Tylenol and Motrin Children’s products.

The first case concerned the death of an 11-year-old boy who was given liquid Children’s Tylenol in 2011. Hours after taking the drug, the boy was rushed to the hospital with pneumonia, which eventually led to sepsis. The boy died of septic shock just a few days later.

Pneumonia is most commonly caused by bacteria and viruses; once it was confirmed her son had suffered bacterial pneumonia, his mother, Kindra Robertson, researched the potential sources of infection. She soon realized the batch of Children’s Tylenol she gave her son had been recalled for bacterial contamination. She had the bottle tested, and it was found to be positive for bacteria.

Robertson filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson after her son’s death, claiming it knew harmful bacteria was present in batches of its Children’s Tylenol and sold it anyway. Bacterial pneumonia can turn into sepsis if the bacteria can resist the effects of antibiotics. Sepsis is incredibly dangerous in children and the elderly; as it worsens, it impairs blood flow to vital organs, leading to death in vulnerable patients like Robertson’s son.

The case has been subject to a grueling legal battle between Robertson and Johnson & Johnson, which is vigorously denying wrongdoing. The most recent development came on January 26, 2016, when a California jury concluded it could not decide the case for either side, and the judge declared a mistrial. We will continue to report on this tragic case as it proceeds.

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome from Children’s Motrin

Our dangerous drug lawyers previously wrote about a seven-year-old girl from Massachusetts who suffered a severe, devastating reaction to Children’s Motrin. One of the drug’s little-known side effects is Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS), a rare but life-threatening skin condition that causes extensive, permanent damage to the body. The most severe cases of SJS are diagnosed as toxic epidermal necrolysis, or TEN.

The little girl in Massachusetts developed TEN after taking Children’s Motrin. She lost 90% of her skin, which sloughs off as if it has been burned, lost 80% of her lung capacity, and is permanently blind. Her parents filed a lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson, saying Motrin’s labels did not sufficiently warn customers about the risk of SJS/TEN.

The jury agreed, awarding the family $63 million in 2013. Johnson & Johnson appealed to the Massachusetts Supreme Court, which rejected its argument. The deep-pocketed company then brought their argument to the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to review the case.

Because Johnson & Johnson spent three years appealing the jury award, the family is now entitled to interest on the original $63 million. The family will now receive $140 million once interest is included.

Hundreds of over-the-counter and prescription drugs can cause SJS/TEN. If you or someone you love was seriously injured by a contaminated or dangerous drug, contact our firm immediately. Our Stevens-Johnson Syndrome lawyers provide free case reviews to individuals and families nationwide.

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ambulanceA man in Florida started using Testim and AndroGel in 2005 for diminishing testosterone levels, or “Low T.” Over the next two years, Michael Seaburn suffered two heart attacks and has since filed suit against the gels’ manufacturers. The testosterone therapy lawyers at Pintas & Mullins detail this lawsuit and others like it we are currently handling.

Dubious Marketing for a Contrived Condition

You have undoubtedly seen commercials for men with “Low T,” a made-up condition describing the decline in testosterone all men experience with age. These commercials describe the natural effects of aging in men – changes in sexual function, increased body fat, reduced muscle strength, less energy, and sleep disturbances – and bill them as symptoms of Low T. Companies market their testosterone gels and products like AndroGel and Testim as cures to Low T, as the ultimate anti-aging formula.

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spilled pillsThe FDA recently added new warnings to the type 2 diabetes drugs Invokana and Invokamet, citing the increased risk of bone fractures. This comes only about six months after the FDA warned about a dangerous blood problem called diabetic ketoacidosis, which can be fatal. Our team of Invokana lawyers is currently accepting claims related to diabetic ketoacidosis and kidney damage from this drug.

The risk of bone density loss and fractures was already included on Invokana and Invokamet’s labels. After new clinical trials and reports from clinicians, the FDA decided to strengthen the warnings. The agency noted that fractures occur more frequently and earlier than previously believed. New data confirms that fractures can occur as early as 12 weeks into treatment.

Further, fractures often occur from minor incidents, like falling from standing height. Areas of the body most likely to break include the lower spine and hip.

This new data was from a clinical test the FDA required the drugs’ manufacturer, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, to conduct. The test analyzed changes in bone mineral density over two years of drug treatment in more than 700 elderly patients.

Diabetic Ketoacidosis

As stated, we are currently accepting clients who developed diabetic ketoacidosis from Invokana or Invokamet. This serious blood condition involves elevated levels of acids called ketones, which are released when the body burns fat instead of sugar for energy. The body prefers to use sugar for energy, however, drugs like Invokana and Invokamet cause the body to eliminate all sugars through urination. Once there is no more sugar left to use, the body must use fat, producing ketones.

Too many ketones in the blood eventually become toxic, leading to severe symptoms, hospitalization, months of recovery, and in some cases, death. Symptoms of this condition include excessive thirst, abdominal pain, weakness or fatigue, shortness of breath, confusion, and nausea or vomiting.

The Reality of Type 2 Diabetes Drugs

Type 2 diabetes is a serious disease affecting more than 29 million people in the United States. That is an enormous number, and very attractive to Big Pharma. There are dozens of diabetes medications on the market, and many patients assume these drugs are safe and will manage their conditions with minimal effort. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Type 2 diabetes medications can be extraordinarily dangerous and even fatal, and far too many patients underestimate the significance of lifestyle in managing and in some cases reversing their condition.

In a recent study, researchers looked at 30 type 2 diabetes drugs and found that none had rigorous proof of reducing heart attack, stroke, blindness or amputations. Further, these drugs were directly linked to at least 3,300 deaths and 20,000 hospitalizations since 2004.

Many doctors, more than you would think, are paid by Big Pharma to advocate for their drugs and change medical thresholds of diabetes and pre-diabetes so more patients can be prescribed their drugs. What these doctors may not tell you is that exercise, eating a plant-based diet, and cutting down on other unhealthy habits drastically reduces your risk and severity of type 2 diabetes. Even patients who do not see any marked improvement in fitness or weight loss show significant health benefits once they start exercising.

One exercise-training trial compared the effects of different types of exercise in patients with type 2 diabetes. Participants who were previously sedentary took part in aerobic training, combination training, or resistance training for nine months. Researchers found that the best exercise regimen was a combination of aerobic and resistance training. They also found that patients who did not see an improvement in their fitness did show marked improvements in blood sugar control and other important medical statistics.

The Invokana and Invokamet lawyers at Pintas & Mullins offer free case reviews to concerned patients nationwide.

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white pillsFor decades, statins like Lipitor and Crestor were the first line of treatment to help regulate cholesterol levels. Two drugs in a new class of cholesterol medicines called PCSK9 inhibitors were recently approved by the FDA. As we saw with statins causing type 2 diabetes, drugs meant to benefit patients in one way often end up harming them in a completely different way. The question facing doctors, patients and the medical industry now is, will these new drugs do more harm than good?

The first line of debate has centered on how much these new drugs – Praluent and Repatha – cost. The first drug approved, Praluent, showed in studies to reduce LDL cholesterol by up to 60%, which is significantly higher than statins. Despite this, there is not any data showing Praluent actually reduces heart attacks, strokes and heart disease. The studies measuring these real-life outcomes are not expected until 2017.

The companies that manufacture Praluent and Repatha announced the drugs would cost upwards of $14,000 per patient per year, which is double the cost in Europe. This is exorbitantly high, considering most patients are put on cholesterol-lowering drugs for the rest of their lives.

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PregnancyThe Zofran lawyers at Pintas & Mullins are currently accepting cases of birth defects in children whose mothers took this anti-nausea drug during pregnancy. Many patients are surprised and angry to learn that Zofran has never been approved to treat morning sickness; it is only FDA-approved to treat nausea and vomiting in patients undergoing chemotherapy, radiotherapy or after surgery.

Zofran and Zuplenz work by blocking serotonin in the area of the brain that triggers nausea and vomiting. Zofran was the first drug of its kind to be approved, in 1991, and is manufactured by Big Pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Nausea from chemotherapy and other treatments is not a large market, so GSK quickly recognized it needed to expand its target patient to those outside cancer centers. Who else suffers from consistent and sometimes debilitating nausea? Pregnant women.

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Bottle pileIn June 2014, a team of researchers discovered that men who had ever taken Viagra were at an increased risk of developing melanoma, compared to those who never took the drug. There is currently no warning on Viagra’s labels suggesting this risk. Our team of Viagra lawyers is currently investigating cases of skin cancer development from this drug.

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newbornOur team of Zoloft lawyers report that Pfizer is currently in talks with the FDA to update the drugs’ labels to include the risk of heart defects in infants born to mothers took the drug during pregnancy. Pfizer is facing hundreds of birth defect lawsuits filed by women who took Zoloft while pregnant, assuming the drug was safe.

Zoloft’s new labels would state that there is an increased risk of congenital cardiac defects – and specifically septal defects – in women who took the drug during their first trimesters. Meanwhile, Pfizer is arguing in court that there is not enough research to suggest that taking Zoloft during pregnancy can lead to birth defects.

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spilled_pillsThe FDA recently issued a safety warning that certain type 2 diabetes drugs – such as Januvia, Janumet and Onglyza – can cause disabling joint pain in patients.  These drugs are in a class called DPP-4 inhibitors, and are also linked to heart failure, pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. Our team of diabetes drug lawyers details this warning and the types of diabetes drug cases we are accepting.

DPP-4 inhibitors, also known as gliptins, are used alongside lifestyle changes to lower blood sugar in patients with type 2 diabetes. The FDA noted that patients taking these drugs reported severe joint pain beginning from the first day of taking the drug to years after they started taking it. Joint symptoms ended after stopping the medication, typically in about one month.

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newbornThe Depakote lawyers at Pintas & Mullins are currently accepting cases involving spina bifida in children born to mothers who took the anti-seizure drug Depakote during pregnancy. Here, we report on a Depakote injury lawsuit filed by an Ohio woman and her daughter, who was born in 2004 with numerous birth defects.

The mother, Pamela Rheinfrank, filed suit against Depakote’s manufacturers, Abbott Laboratories and AbbVie Inc, under claims of: defective design, negligent misrepresentation, failure to warn, fraud, breach of warranty, and unjust enrichment. The federal judge assigned to her case, U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott, preserved only her warranty and failure to warn claims.

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3003880273_bfd6a655d2Eliquis is one of four new anticoagulant, or blood thinning, drugs on U.S. markets. These drugs (Xarelto, Pradaxa, and Savaysa) are marketed as replacements to warfarin. Warfarin has been the first line treatment for blood thinning since the 1960s. Our team of Pradaxa and Xarelto lawyers examines these new anticoagulants and the false claims their manufacturers are making.

Pradaxa (dabigatran), Eliquis (apixaban), Savaysa (edoxaban), and Xarelto (rivaroxaban) are medically referred to as novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs). Eliquis is the only one of these drugs that claims to reduce deaths in patients with an irregular heartbeat. However, experts at the FDA and elsewhere question the validity of this claim.

In the clinical trial to approve Eliquis, researchers concluded that patients receiving the drug were 11% less likely to die from any cause compared to those receiving warfarin. Very important data was missing from this trial, however, most notably data involving patient deaths.

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