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Around Our Town...Legally Speaking

When Medications Hurt Instead of Heal

02/01/2006 - In many cases defective drugs have a clearly defined benefit to the patient but the manufacturer has failed to identify or properly warn about serious side effects.

An example of a drug that had such side effects would be Accutane, a prescription drug used to treat serious forms of acne. Accutane was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 1982, and is the brand name for the generic drug Isotretinoin. While there are clear benefits to the use of Accutane, a number of recent lawsuits have claimed a link between the acne drug and depressive or suicidal behavior. Following a series of law suits by family's who have lost loved one's to suicide, the manufacturer of Accutane funded a brochure entitled "Recognizing Psychiatric Disorders in Adolescents and Young Adults: A Guide for Prescribers of Accutane (Isotretinoin)." In the case of Accutane the law suits filed against these manufactures not only exposed possible harmful side effects of this powerful drug but also stimulated stronger warnings by the manufacturer so the public would be better protected.

Vioxx, the trade name of the generic drug Rofecoxib, an anti-inflammatory pain reliever, has been the target of repeated legal actions after it was proven to cause severe cardiovascular problems such as heart attack and stroke in some users. On September 30,2004, the manufacturer of Vioxx, Merck & Co., Inc., announced that it was voluntarily withdrawing Vioxx from the market worldwide due to the health concerns that had been voiced by the medical and legal communities for the users of Vioxx. If you suffer from a cardiovascular problem and were taking Vioxx or its generic counterparts, ask your physician if the use of this drug could have contributed to your heart condition. You may also contact an experienced attorney who can help you explore whether the cause of you heart condition is the negligence of a drug manufacturer you trusted to help you not harm you.

Statistics indicated that persons taking Serzone (generic name Nefazodone) an anti depressant drug, have 3-4 times greater chance of dying from liver failure than the general population. If you experience or have experienced yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes (jaundice); loss of appetite that lasts for several days or longer; abdominal pain (lower stomach); unusually dark urine; or nausea; you could be suffering from liver disease which may have been caused by this drug. At this time a number of legal actions have been initiated by individuals whose loved ones suffered liver toxicity related deaths. The basis of these law suits is based on the negligence of the manufacturer in properly warning doctors and their patients of this side effect.

If you or a loved one have taken or are taking any of the above-mentioned drugs and are experiencing unusual side effects, you should contact a physician for proper medical attention. Your next step should be to contact an experienced attorney who can access and protect your legal rights against drug manufactures whose negligence causes harm instead of heal.

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