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Free & Goss Attorneys

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The Food & Drug Administration has pulled a popular painkiller, which has been on the market for more than half a century, because of serious heart risks, the New York Times reported.

Medical malpractice lawyers frequently report on the health risks associated with dangerous or defective pharmaceuticals. As was the case with the controversial diabetes drug Avandia, the government has known of complaints regarding propoxyphene for years. Sold under the Darvon and Darvocet brands, the painkiller is used by 10 million Americans each year.

Only now is the government taking action –ending 32 years of dispute over the drug, which has been on the market for 53 years. The FDA is urging doctors to switch patients to alternative painkillers, specifically Extra Strength Tylenol or acetaminophen.

Not only has Propoxphene been shown to have very little effect on pain, it has a narrow margin of safety between the recommended dose and a harmful or fatal dose. Still, despite being an addictive opioid, it was the 38th-most prescribed generic drug last year, with 17.5 million prescriptions written.

Sales had declined last year amid renewed safety concerns. But it had remained popular in the United States, despite actions taken by consumer safety agencies oversees amid widespread evidence of the health hazards.

It was banned in Britain in 2005 and by the European Union last year. Those bans were based partly on deaths reported in Florida, where medical examiners do more toxicology work.

The FDA voted 14 to 12 to ban the drug nearly two years ago. It had first considered banning the drug in 1978.

Dr. Sidney M. Wolfe, of the Health Research Group of Public Citizen, which petitioned for the drug’s ban, told the Times that the FDA’s delay was inexcusable.

“I would have praised them if they had done this six years ago,” Dr. Wolfe said, “but it’s hard to praise them when there have been 120 million more prescriptions filled since 2005 and conservatively 1,000 to 2,000 more deaths. It’s inexcusable.”

An increasing number of cases involving dangerous pharmaceuticals has made it clear that neither drug companies nor government regulators can be relied upon to safeguard the public in a timely manner. Consulting an experienced law firm is the best course of action to protect you and your family in cases where a dangerous drug is suspected of causing the serious injury or death of a patient.

Dangerous Drugs

[ Tuesday, February 8, 2011 ]

When you take a drug prescribed by a doctor, it is usually assumed that the drug will help you recover from an illness or aid in the treatment of some medical condition. Some drugs, however, have dangerous side effects that can cause many more problems than they solve.

When a drug is developed, it is tested to make sure it does not cause dangerous side effects. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may still approve the drug as long as the dangerous side effects do not occur too often.

After a drug is released to the public and people begin to take it, it is sometimes found that the drug causes more medical problems than predicted. Just because a drug is approved by the FDA does not mean the drug is safe.

Sometimes, the manufacturers recall dangerous drugs because the side effects are too dangerous for people taking them. However, some dangerous or defective drugs are not recalled allowing the individuals to suffer serious side effects.

Side effects from the use of a dangerous drug can be devastating. Here is a small list of some of the more common serious side effects associated with dangerous drugs:

  • Stroke
  • Heart Attack
  • Psychological Problems
  • Birth Defects
  • Kidney Failure
  • Cardiovascular Problems
  • Stevens Johnson Syndrome
  • Death

There has been an increase of dangerous and defective drugs on the market recently because large drug manufacturers choose to release some drugs to the market, hoping to gain profit regardless of the people who are injured in the process. Here is a list of some of the drugs that have potentially serious side effects:

  • Bextra
  • Celebrex
  • Darvon and Darvocet
  • Fen Phen
  • Fosamax
  • HRT
  • Hydroxycut
  • Lotronex
  • Meridia
  • Ortho Evra
  • Paxil
  • PPA
  • Reglan
  • Rezulin
  • Serzone
  • SSRI
  • Strattera
  • Viagra, Levitra, Cialis
  • Vioxx
  • Zelnorm