You’ve probably seen a cliché television commercial referencing “dangerous” or “potentially harmful” drugs – but what you may not know is that these types of situations are fairly common. Illness, injury, and other life-altering outcomes are frequently attributed to a medical device or medication meant to better an ailment. Unfortunately, the medication outcomes are not always as expected.
In recent months, there have been numerous instances of litigation with the topic of medication dangers. Three of those medications attributed to physical dangers include:
- Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics: while antibiotics are known to have significant side effects, fluoroquinolones have been attributed to specific harm to consumers. Levaquin, Avelox, and Cipro are common fluoroquinolone medications prescribed in years past. In fact, Levaquin was the highest selling U.S. antibiotic in 2010. These medications have been linked with over 3,400 lawsuits and possibly 5,000 deaths from 1996 until 2010. Unfortunately, the FDA only recently began warning consumers and doctors of the possible dangers associated with these medications, so many people were likely exposed unnecessarily.
- Zofran: approximately 250 lawsuits have already been filed in the Zofran multidistrict litigation that was formed in the fall of 2015. The original intent of Zofran was to decrease nausea as a side effect of surgery and chemotherapy. Although it was never tested for use in pregnant women, GlaxoSmithKline improperly promoted the use of Zofran to help battle morning sickness and vomiting while pregnant. Further investigation revealed that the medication has the potential to cause birth defects, such as a cleft palate or heart defect, if used by a pregnant mother.
- Risperdal: Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, manufactured Risperdal originally to be used for adults with schizophrenia, autism, or bipolar disorder. It is an anti-psychotic that can make symptoms of these diseases more bearable. The medication began being sold in the U.S. in 1994, but Janssen soon requested approval from the FDA for a pediatric indication. The FDA did not approve this 1997 request, but Janssen marketed and promoted Risperdal for use in adolescents and children regardless. Adverse effects of the medication in children included the development of breasts in male, as well as gynecomastia. In 2013, charges were settled for $2.2 billion – but about 1,750 additional claims have been filed against the company.
Jones & Swanson is currently investigating Mass Tort medication legal claims such as these, so if you believe you or a loved one was negatively affected by one of these drugs please contact our office today. We aim to bring justice for those adversely affected by companies looking to make a profit without properly determining the dangers associate with medications prior to launching them on the market.