Many Americans use prescription and over-the-counter drugs every day to treat various illnesses and medical conditions. We rely on drug manufacturers to have thoroughly tested and determined the safety of their products before putting them on the market.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case with prescription drugs. If a prescription is defective, you may be entitled to financial compensation if the defective product causes you injury. At Portner & Shure, P.A., our experienced drug injury lawyers can help ensure that your rights are protected in the event of an injury.
If you've experienced serious side-effects or any health-related issues from taking a prescription drug, contact us today at 410-995-1515 or 301-854-9000 for assistance in Maryland, 703-734-8790 for service in Virginia, 804-916-1577 in Richmond, and 202-554-1449 in Washington D.C. for your free consultation. Your case may be eligible for mass tort litigation. The mass tort attorneys at Portner & Shure are committed to providing effective, aggressive legal representation to clients from Washington D.C., Baltimore and counties throughout Maryland, Northern Virginia, and Richmond.
In 2012, Benicar was introduced as a prescription to treat high blood pressure. In fact, it was the most widely prescribed blood pressure medication in the country. The medication works by blocking receptors that cause blood vessels to constrict, thereby allowing blood vessels to become dilated. However, in 2013, the FDA issued a warning that the drug can cause spruce-like enteropathy (intestinal problems). Lawsuits quickly ensued following this warning.
Over 1,700 claims have been filed against the manufacturer of Benicar, Daiichi Sankyo, for severe gastrointestinal problems.
The popular blood pressure medication can cause serious gastrointestinal issues, including:
- Villous atrophy (disorder that causes the intestinal lining to lose texture and makes nutrient absorption difficult)
Without proper nutrient absorption, affected persons become malnourished, nauseous, and lose weight. The difficulty with properly diagnosing these side effects is that oftentimes these symptoms reveal themselves as celiac disease, which proves to be incorrect. If this condition goes untreated, a person can starve to death because their body cannot absorb any nutrients from food.
Side-effects caused by the use of Benicar include:
- Chronic diarrhea
- Significant weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- Kidney failure
- Other stomach/intestinal issues
After being introduced in 2013, Invokana became a very popular prescribed diabetes drug, especially as the number of people diagnosed with diabetes rose. Invokana is a drug prescribed to people with Type 2 Diabetes that helps lower blood sugar and improves glycemic control. The drug is designed to lower blood glucose levels by inhibiting some kidney functions. Invokana is the only Type 2 Diabetes drug that uses the kidneys and allows a high level of glucose to enter the kidneys. It works by causing blood sugar to leave the body through urine.
In 2015, the FDA required Johnson & Johnson to include warnings about these serious side effects. Lawsuits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson, the manufacturer of Invokana, arguing that they withheld risks of kidney failure, diabetic ketoacidosis, and heart attacks from users of the drug.
Use of Invokana can cause:
- Kidney failure
- Heart attacks
- Foot and leg amputation
Since it has been on the market, numerous reports of complications and serious side effects have occurred, the most common problem being an accumulation of high levels of acid. You may be entitled to compensation if you suffered kidney failure within 45 days of last use of the drug, diabetic ketoacidosis within 15 days of last use, or heart attack within 15 days of last use.
Taxotere is a common chemotherapy drug used to treat various forms of cancer, including:
- Breast cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Head and neck cancer
- Prostate cancer
Taxotere is the most prescribed drug in its class and is most commonly prescribed for women seeking treatment for breast cancer. Women who have taken the chemotherapy drug Taxotere have suffered permanent alopecia (hair loss). Drug manufacturer Sanofi-Aventis Failed to Warn of the risk of permanent hair loss for those taking the drug.
While a common side effect of chemotherapy is hair loss, that hair loss is just temporary. Users of Taxotere for chemotherapy treatment were left with permanent hair loss. While hair loss may only be a cosmetic injury, for cancer survivors it is an emotional and physical loss that they suffer. It is a constant reminder of their struggle and pain in fighting the horrific disease.
Xarelto is a blood thinner drug that came onto market in 2011 and is prescribed to prevent blood clots in people who suffer from specific ailments. Xarelto’s function is to treat deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which is a type of blood clot that can arise after certain surgeries.
It is commonly prescribed for people suffering from:
- Irregular heartbeat
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Pulmonary embolism
Recently, Xarelto has been connected to many cases of hospitalization for internal bleeding. Xarelto is made by the pharmaceutical giant Bayer and sold in partnership with Johnson & Johnson. Users of Xarelto can suffer uncontrollable internal bleeding that can be fatal. As with other defective drugs, the claims against Xarelto allege a failure to warn of serious side effects. For those suffering from severe bleeding as a result of taking Xarelto, there is nothing that can treat it, whereas other anticoagulant medications that may cause internal bleeding can be treated.
The most serious side effect is uncontrollable bleeding that cannot be treated and often results in death. The scary fact is that currently there is no treatment that can reverse the type of internal bleeding caused by Xarelto. However, other common anticoagulant medications that result in internal bleeding can be treated.
Medications such as Nexium or Prilosec are proton-pump inhibitors (PPI) that are used for the treatment of various gastrointestinal problems. Nexium was developed in 2001 and Prilosec (currently over-the-counter) was developed in 1989 as drugs to reduce the amount of acid in one’s stomach. Nexium and Prilosec are used by more than 15 million people to treat acid reflux and heartburn.
According to studies conducted in recent years, prolonged use of PPIs has been linked to chronic kidney disease and failure. This is a serious medical condition where your body is no longer able to adequately filter its blood as well as manage blood pressure.
Long-term use of proton-pump inhibitors can result in serious side-effects, including:
- Kidney disease
- Renal/kidney failure
- Bone fractures
- Increased risk of heart attack
AstraZeneca, the drug, manufacturer, failed to warn users of these more serious side effects of the drug. In 2014, the FDA required AstraZeneca to include new warnings about long-term use because it was never approved for long-term use.
We have all seen the commercial, “One pill a day, 24 hours, zero heartburn!” These medications are advertised as safe and effective, but there are serious life-threatening side effects that drug manufacturers have failed to warn about for long-term use.
Compensation We Can Pursue
When it comes to defective products, especially medications, our experienced lawyers fight to make sure that you’re taken care of in your time of need. To have a successful lawsuit you must have been using one of the above medications and incurred problems as a result of taking the drug, and suffered physical, emotional, or financial losses. If this applies to you, we can pursue compensation related to:
- Medical expenses
- Rehabilitation bills
- Lost wages from missed work
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral expenses (in the event of wrongful death)
Contact Our Drug Injury Lawyers Today
The experienced drug injury lawyers at Portner & Shure, P.A. Attorneys at Law, want you to know that we take drug injury cases seriously as no one should be hurt trying to receive help with a medical condition. Our experience and knowledge handling cases with dangerous and defective prescription drugs will help us pursue justice and compensation for you. We will fight on your behalf to make sure that you’re compensated fairly for the pain and suffering the dangerous drug caused you.
If you've experienced serious side-effects or any health-related issues from taking a prescription drug, contact us today at 410-995-1515 or 301-854-9000 for assistance in Maryland, 703-734-8790 for service in Virginia, 804-916-1577 in Richmond, and 202-554-1449 in Washington D.C. for your free consultation.