Types of Dangerous Drugs Involved in Product Liability Lawsuits
All medications that are on the market today have gone through a rigorous testing and approval process and are generally considered to be safe for use as long as they are prescribed by a doctor and used as intended. However, not all medications are safe for all people, as certain medications are associated with a high risk of addiction, birth defects, and dangerous interactions with other drugs. Below, we'll take a look at some examples of dangerous drugs and the product liability claims involving pharmaceutical drugs currently on the market that have the highest risk of injuring their users.
Opioids are a class of drugs that are prescribed most often as pain relievers and include oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, fentanyl, Vicodin, and others. These types of drugs can be very beneficial when used on a short-term basis to treat severe pain, but they are also highly addictive and can lead to dependence and abuse very easily. Even more serious, prescription opioid abuse can often lead the patient to seek stronger drugs like heroin when the "high" they received from the prescription opioids is not enough for them anymore. We are currently experiencing an alarming opioid epidemic in the United States, as the number of deaths from opioid abuse has quadrupled since 1999, leading to the deaths of an average of 91 people per day in 2015. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends reducing the number of addictive opioids that are prescribed in favor of lower-risk pain relievers as well as promoting the use of state prescription drug monitoring programs.
Ambien is a sedative that is commonly prescribed to treat insomnia. It is an immediate-release tablet that helps the patient fall asleep when he or she first goes to bed. Ambien CR is an extended-release version that contains a second dissolvable layer to help the patient stay asleep through the night. Although most patients who are prescribed Ambien obtain a positive outcome from the medication, one of its major side effects is that it can cause users to engage in activities like driving, eating, making phone calls, and engaging in sexual activity while they are asleep, which the user often has no memory of doing once they wake up. While these behaviors are not necessarily always dangerous, there have been certain incidents involving Ambien users who commit murder, get into car accidents, and use it as a date-rape drug. It is recommended that patients who are prescribed Ambien avoid alcohol when using it and monitor their behavior carefully for the first several weeks of use. If the patient engages in activities that they have no memory of when they wake up, they should stop taking it.
Hormonal Birth Control
Birth control pills prevent pregnancy by stopping a woman's ovulation process. This is most often accomplished through the use of synthetic forms of the hormones estrogen and progestin. These synthetic hormones stabilize the woman's natural hormone levels and prevent estrogen from peaking mid-cycle. Without this estrogen bump, the pituitary gland does not release other hormones that cause the ovaries to release eggs. Some birth control pills contain both hormones (known as "combination" pills), while others contain only progestin (known as "minipills").
Women who take combination birth control pills are at an increased risk for developing blood clots, most notably deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). The risk of developing a blood clot increases with the amount of estrogen the birth control medication delivers, so women who use the birth control patch, which releases more estrogen than the pill, are at a greater risk. Additionally, birth control pills that contain the progestin called desogestrel (like Yaz) increase the risk of blood clots more than pills that contain other types of progestin.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are used to treat a wide variety of psychological disorders, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, and eating disorders. Common brand names include Prozac, Paxil, Lexapro, and Zoloft. They work by restoring the chemical balance in the brain by increasing serotonin levels. However, this can often result in mood swings that can lead to depression and anxiety that are even worse than before the patient started taking the SSRI. While most SSRI patients achieve successful results with them, SSRIs are known to increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in a small number of patients, especially in children and adolescents. A clinical trial conducted by the FDA showed that the rate of suicidal thinking or behavior doubled for patients who took an SSRI compared to those who took a placebo.
Acetaminophen + Alcohol
Acetaminophen, sold under the major brand name Tylenol, is a very safe over-the-counter pain reliever. However, when mixed with alcohol, acetaminophen can lead to severe liver damage and potentially even death. This is because the acetaminophen/alcohol combination causes the liver to work overtime to metabolize both substances, which is often more than the liver can handle. The alcohol metabolizes at a higher rate than acetaminophen, which leaves behind extra toxic enzymes from the acetaminophen in the body's system. This excess of toxins is called "hepatotoxicity" and can lead to acute liver damage or failure. Patients who are taking acetaminophen should not consume alcohol.
Contact a Clearwater Florida, Drug Injury Attorney
When you seek treatment from a medical professional and take prescription medications, you have a right to assume that what you are taking is safe and will work as intended. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and each year, people are injured by defectively manufactured or developed prescription drugs. In some cases, the injury is caused by a medical professional's negligence in prescribing a particular drug. For your prescribed medical injuries contact one of our skilled product liability lawyers and see what they could do for you, Review the work our Zantac lawyers did after the drug was linked to cause cancer and victims needed to file civil Zantac lawsuits to recover compensation.
If you have been prescribed a medication that you believe may have caused an injury, please contact the our product liability attorneys at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA for a free consultation today.
Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 3375
(833) 606-DRUG