Articles Posted in Prescription Drugs

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A Canadian study has revealed that the popular smoking cessation drug, Chantix, increases the risk of heart problems in smokers who take the medication.

In the study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, researchers concluded that the drug’s long list of dangerous side effects also includes heart attacks and irregular heartbeats.

Prior to this study, patients reported that the drug caused changes in behavior, hostility, agitation, depressed mood, and suicidal thoughts or actions. Our South Carolina injury attorneys have been reporting on the drug’s side effects for years.

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An 18-year-old college student died of cardiac arrest in September after she took YAZ to treat her acne. The student’s mother has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Bayer, the maker of YAZ, also known as Yasmin or Ocella.

The lawsuit alleges YAZ is a “dangerous prescription drug sold without adequate warnings about the risks of serious and fatal injuries..

Following two studies, the British Medical Journal last month published findings that drugs containing the hormone drospirenone were 2-3 times more likely to increase the risk of serious blood clots than earlier-generations of oral contraceptives. YAZ contains drospirenone.

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Bloomberg Business Week reports the largest drug maker in the U.K., GlaxoSmithKline (Glaxo), has agreed to pay $60 million in the first settlements of lawsuits over their drug, Avandia. This diabetes drug has been cited as causing heart attacks and strokes in some of the users.

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Chantix is an anti-smoking drug made by Pfizer and approved by the FDA on May of 2006. Since that time many users have reported serious side effects such as depression, suicidal thoughts and other psychotic episodes. According to the FDA, blackouts and unconsciousness leading to car accidents have also been linked to Chantix use.

Due to the reported problems from Chantix users, the FDA sought a “Black Box” warning for the drug. This warning is required for any drug that can cause a serious threat of significant or life-threatening side effects.

If you have used Chantix and have suffered some of the dangerous side effects caused by this drug, you have the option to seek justice for your pain and suffering, states a recent press release.

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AstraZeneca, the U.K.’s second-largest drug maker, faces over 14,000 lawsuits claiming its antipsychotic drug Seroquel causes diabetes.

A U.S. District Judge said she will recommend sending all the cases back to their home courts for trial. AstraZeneca wanted the judge to send only 60 cases back to their home courts for trial as test cases in order not to needlessly burden other judges across the country.

The lawsuits allege the London-based company downplayed the diabetes risks of Seroquel. AstraZeneca has spent $623 million to date in legal defense costs defending Seroquel, the company’s second largest selling drug after Nexium. The judge also ordered attorneys for both sides to meet with a mediator to seek the possibility for a settlement.

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A Philadelphia jury has awarded $75 million in punitive damages to an Illinois woman who developed cancer after taking one of Pfizer’s menopause drugs. The punitive award is about 20 times greater than the $3.7 million awarded in actual damages.

More than 6 million women have taken Prempro, a hormone replacement drug used to treat symptoms such as hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings during menopause. A study in 2002 by the Women’s Health Initiative suggested women who use hormone replacement drugs are at higher risk for developing breast cancer.

According to news reports, the Illinois woman took Prempro for five years before she developed breast cancer in 2002. Since the lawsuits against Pfizer’s Wyeth unit began in 2006, the company has lost five of the eight cases with 33 more scheduled for trial.

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After the story broke this week about a North Carolina factory tied to bacteria-tainted syringes that killed five patients, criminal investigators revealed a startling fact — the company’s “chief microbiologist” was a teenage high school dropout.

The case raises a glaring question: As this pharmaceutical tragedy was taking shape, where was the FDA, the agency charged with protecting U.S. citizens from deadly medicines?

Tainted Syringe Story

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With the increasing reports of suicidal thoughts and other serious neuropsychiatric symptoms tied to the anti-smoking drug Chantix, the drug’s maker has launched a new ad that does not even mention the product by name.

Consumer Reports says such ads are known as “help-seeking” ads come in handy for drugs “that have a particularly nasty list of side effects..

Chantix became available August 2006. Since that time, over 6 million people have been prescribed the drug. In the last quarter of 2007, Chantix had the most serious incidents of any drug during that time – a total of 988. The director of the Health Research Group at Public Citizen has warned people not to take the drug until there is more information about its safety and the increased psychiatric adverse events connected with taking this medication.

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A New Jersey jury has awarded nearly $13 million to three acne drug users who developed severe inflammatory bowel disease after taking the medication.

The three plaintiffs are Florida residents who used the drug to treat adolescent acne. All three developed bowel disorders, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

If you or someone you care about was seriously injured by a prescription drug, you should speak with a South Carolina pharmaceutical litigation attorney at the Louthian Law Firm as soon as possible. We have won justice for South Carolinians since 1959, and recovered millions of dollars to help sick and injured people heal and move on. For a free consultation, call us today at 1-866-410-5656.

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