The lawyers at Kennedy Hodges L.L.P. have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions in response to the overwhelming number of people who have suffered an injury after receiving the wrong prescription, wrong dosage, or incorrect instructions for use from their pharmacy. If you have been injured due to the negligence of another person, read on to learn how to protect your legal rights.
Despite what many people think, depression and overwhelming anxiety are not simple matters that can be controlled by choice. For those who are lucky enough to have never experienced a panic attack or soul-sucking depressive episode, it’s easy to say, “Oh, just suck it up” or “just smile, it’s not that bad.”
The problem is, it is that bad.
Depression is a serious disease that affects over millions of people. In fact, according to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 15.7 million adults aged 18 or older, or 6.7 percent of the adult U.S. population, had at least one major depressive episode in 2014 alone. If not treated, depressive episodes can severely affect brain function, mood, emotional response, physical activity (lack of motivation to do anything), and much more.
When a person suffers from a debilitating mental illness such as depression, physicians sometimes recommend that they take an antidepressant drug as a form of treatment. The most common antidepressants are known as SSRIs (selective serotonin rteuptake inhibitors), and the most commonly prescribed SSRI is Zoloft.
How They Work
SSRIs work by controlling and adjusting the serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter thought to affect mood, sleep, and learning. When serotonin levels are absorbed by the brain, the mood stabilizers cease to work. Since the signals stop, the brain reacts by instigating “lows” or feelings of depression and anxiety. SSRIs block the reabsorption of serotonin in the brain, to ensure that there will be enough serotonin available to stabilize mood.
Although extremely effective for depression, these types of drugs (especially Zoloft) have been known to be linked to potentially serious and life-threatening injuries.
Potential Side Effects
The typical side effects of SSRIs in general—and Zoloft in particular—include minor discomforts such as:
- Dizziness, drowsiness, and fatigue
- Diarrhea or loose stool
- Nausea and abdominal pain
- Decreased libido, delayed ejaculation, and ejaculation failure
Although these side effects can be annoying, most patients are willing to deal with the odd bout of diarrhea or the occasional headache when compared to the alternative of dealing with the effects of depression. However, over the past decade, Zoloft has been found to cause potential chemical imbalances in the brain. As a result, numerous users have reported the following effects:
- Birth defects. Zoloft and other SSRIs were associated with a 200 percent increased risk for pregnant patients to give birth to an autistic child. Other antidepressants had only an 87 percent overall increased risk.
- Serotonin syndrome. As the drug boosts the amount of serotonin in the brain, serotonin levels can quickly become too high. Too much serotonin an cause severe reactions including high blood pressure, hyperthermia (high body temperature), fevers, seizures, and increased heart rate that can lead to shock.
- Withdrawal symptoms. Zoloft has a half-life of about a day and can be completely out of the system within two days. However, once the brain has become dependent on the drug, serious withdrawal effects are likely if dosages are missed. The effects can include feelings of extreme anxiety, restlessness, agitation, aggressive behavior, and suicidal thoughts.
Are You Eligible to File a Claim After a Zoloft Injury?
If you or a loved one took Zoloft and suffered serious side effects as a result, you may be entitled to compensation. However, before filing your claim, make sure you have a strong case to pursue. Drug injury cases are difficult to win, and drug manufacturers have dozens of lawyers on retainer for just such incidences. Therefore, you must be sure that your claim is legitimate before you waste your time and money on a fragile case. Below are a few factors that can help you determine your eligibility.
- Did you take Zoloft to treat depression?
- Did you always take the drug as prescribed by your physician?
- Did you suffer severe side effects that are known to be a result of the drug?
- Did the side effects directly cause severe injury? Can you prove it?
- Did the manufacturer, pharmacy, doctor, or other party fail to provide you with adequate warnings or instructions regarding the use of the drug?
Depending upon your answers to the above questions, you may wish to consider pursuing a legal claim.
Pursuing Your Claim
Assessing whether a person has a claim for compensation after using a dangerous drug requires the guidance of an experienced legal professional. It’s important to act quickly, however, since strict time limitations may apply. Contact our office today at 888-526-7616 when you’re ready to learn more about this unpredictable drug and your legal rights following adverse effects.
Unfortunately, even though the use of laparoscopic power morcellators has known risks, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) continues to stand behind the use of the device in some surgeries. The ACOG notes that the device makes it possible for some women to undergo less invasive procedures in order to spare them longer recovery times and higher mortality rates that are associated with more aggressive treatment. As a result, the device is recommended for women who are at low risk for having an undetected malignancy at the time of the procedure. Manufacturers continue to make the power morcellators in order to meet this need.
6 Considerations Before Undergoing a Procedure Involving a Power Morcellator
Despite the risk of developing a worsened form of cancer as a result of undergoing a procedure with a power morcellator, for some women, careful consideration should still be given as to whether to proceed. Uterine sarcoma is a rare cancer, but it is aggressive. Women with uterine fibroids therefore need treatment in some form. Power morcellation is one option, though it has been shown to potentially spread the cancer if it is present. Women requiring treatment for uterine fibroids should consider the following:
- Ask your doctor about the potential complications, including how often they occur.
- Ask your doctor about the results of his previous surgeries.
- Ask who will be performing the procedure.
- Consider having a hysterectomy or myomectomy without laparoscopic power morcellation instead. This is a more traditional, open surgery.
- Consider whether you are a candidate for a more minimally invasive operation that does not involve the use of the power morcellator.
- Consider a hybrid laparoscopic operation where one of the laparoscopic incisions is widened or a small incision is made through which the uterus is removed.
Women who have already undergone a procedure with a power morcellator that are now facing harm as a result must take the proper steps to protect their legal rights. We are here to help. We encourage you to contact us today for a consultation at 888-526-7616.
For women suffering from pelvic floor issues, transvaginal mesh was in many cases presented as a safe and effective method for treating their condition. Unfortunately, it is now known that the use of transvaginal mesh is associated with risks of potentially serious side effects and complications. Many victims are pursuing claims against the manufacturers of transvaginal mesh as a result.
8 Claims Made Against Manufacturers of Transvaginal Mesh
What are some of the legal claims that are being pursued against the manufacturers of transvaginal mesh? The following is an overview:
- Manufacturers had a legal obligation to ensure the safeness of their products.
- Manufacturers actively and intentionally mislead the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as the medical community, patients, and the public, with regard to the safety and effectiveness of transvaginal mesh.
- Manufacturers failed to conduct the proper tests to assess the risks associated with the use of transvaginal mesh.
- Manufacturers failed to properly research the potential risks of the use of transvaginal mesh designed to treat female pelvic floor disorders.
- Manufacturers failed to establish a safe way for removing transvaginal mesh.
- Manufacturers did not provide adequate warnings of the potential complications and injuries that may result from the use of transvaginal mesh.
- Manufacturers committed fraud in their production and sale of transvaginal mesh.
- Manufacturers intentionally concealed the risk of permanent and debilitating injuries associated with transvaginal mesh.
Pursuing a legal claim against a drug manufacturer requires victims to act quickly in order to protect their legal rights. When you are ready to learn more, we encourage you to reach out at our toll free number, 888-526-7616.
Patients who are suffering from high blood pressure may be described Benicar. Unfortunately, the use of this drug may trigger a complication known as villous atrophy. Villous atrophy is a long-term gastrointestinal problem that can prove to be extremely debilitating for those suffering from the condition. There are many different types of complications that can be triggered by villous atrophy following Benicar use.
Seven Possible Complications Caused by Villous Atrophy Following Benicar Use
What are some of the risks associated with villous atrophy that develops after using the drug Benicar? The following is an overview:
- Hospitalization may be required, sometimes for many weeks or even months. This is due to the inability to properly absorb food and water associated with villous atrophy.
- Benicar users suffering from villous atrophy may suffer severe dehydration.
- Benicar users suffering from villous atrophy may suffer severe malnutrition.
- Benicar users suffering from villous atrophy may suffer from kidney failure.
- Patients may require IV fluids and nourishment that is fed directly into the bloodstream.
- Patients may face rapid weight loss and chronic diarrhea.
- Patients may suffer from iron deficiency anemia.
If you or a loved one took Benicar and suffered complications as a result, we can help. You may have a claim for compensation against the drug’s manufacturers. It is important to act quickly, however, as strict time limitations do apply. When you are ready to learn more, we encourage you to reach out at our toll free number, 888-526-7616.
Like many women, you may have undergone a procedure to remove noncancerous growths from your uterus. During the process, your physician may have used a power morcellator. This device is also used in performing hysterectomies, and certain kidney and spleen surgeries. Regardless of the type of procedure that you underwent, you may have been injured as a result of the use of a power morcellator. This device has been shown to spread or aid in the development of rare and aggressive cancers. With treatment costs high, it is crucial to take the proper steps after you discover your cancer in order to protect your legal rights.
Seven Steps to Take If You Were Injured by a Power Morcellator
If you were injured as a result of the use of a power morcellator during a medical procedure, consider taking the following steps:
- Contact an experienced attorney. If you were injured as a result of the use of power morcellator during a medical procedure, you may have a claim. However, your best chance for success in pursuing this claim is to have the guidance of a knowledgeable attorney in your corner.
- Obtain medical records relating to the procedure in which the power morcellator was used.
- If you developed cancer as a result of the use of a power morcellator, gather all of your medical records relating to this condition. It is important to show that the use of the power morcellator is directly responsible for the development or spread of your cancer.
- Keep records of all of your expenditure relating to the treatment and rehabilitation of your condition following the use of the power morcellator.
- Obtain statements from the doctors and nurses who performed the procedure if possible.
- If you are unable to return to work as a result of your condition, calculate your lost wages.
- Avoid speaking with insurance companies, hospitals, or other parties about your potential legal claim without first consulting your attorney. Actions or statements made without the guidance of your attorney can ultimately harm your claim.
Ready to learn more about pursuing a legal claim? We encourage you to reach out at our toll free number at 888-894-0119.
Like most patients, you may have listened carefully to your doctor and taken his or her advice when he prescribed the drug Benicar for your high blood pressure. As patients, we rely on the knowledge and expertise of our medical professionals when it comes to our health. It is an unfortunate reality, however, that some of the drugs that are prescribed for common medical conditions will ultimately be found to create more harm than good. Studies have now shown that Benicar is one of those drugs. If you have taken Benicar and now suffer from gastrointestinal problems, you may have a claim for compensation against the drug’s manufacturer.
Potential Damages Caused by Benicar
While Daiichi Sankyo, the manufacturer of Benicar, spent approximately $1 billion promoting its drug Benicar as being superior to other drugs in both safety and effectiveness, studies have now shown that the drug can cause severe intestinal issues. These issues are known as sprue-like enteropathy. The drug can also cause villous atrophy. This particular disorder causes the lining of the intestines to lose its texture, making it difficult to absorb nutrients. The effects from either condition can be devastating, and include the following:
- Intestinal damage
- Chronic and severe diarrhea
- Substantial weight loss
As a result of taking Benicar, you may now find yourself facing steep medical bills, ongoing treatment, and an inability to return to work while you attempt to recover from the damage caused by the drug. You also may have grounds for a claim against Daiichi Sankyo for compensation for your losses. It is important to act quickly, however. We encourage you to contact us today for a no obligation case review at 888-526-7616.
- Dangerous Effects of Lipitor
- When Xarelto Is Dangerous
It’s been 12 days since the attack. You were climbing up your stairs when you suddenly felt a sharp pain in your arm. Your vision went blurry and it felt as though someone was sitting on your chest. Fortunately, your daughter was home and called an ambulance. You were rushed to the hospital where you were told that you were having a heart attack. After undergoing emergency surgery (due to a blocked artery), and spending 11 days in recovery, you were finally about to be released. But first you had to have a lengthy conversation with your surgeon.
As part of the discharge process, your doctor explained that you would have to complete some physical therapy, as well as take some treatment medication. He told you that due to the fact that you were taking other medications, instead of prescribing you the blood thinner Warfarin to avoid blood clotting, he wanted you to try Xarelto.
Although you would generally take a doctor’s recommendation without much debate, you had heard rumors about Xarelto’s efficacy. Therefore, before agreeing to take the drug, you made sure to ask him the following questions.
How exactly does it work? How is it different than Warfarin? In his opinion, is it safer than Warfarin, or should you revisit the medication you’re currently taking in order to be able to take the more common of the two drugs?
Inner-workings of Factor X Inhibitor Drugs Such as Xarelto
The management of blood clotting is an extreme concern for doctors, surgeons, and patients alike. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 500,000 people suffer adverse blood clot effects every year. Fatal complications affect an estimated 17 percent of these suffers, or in other words, 100,000 of those who suffer from blood clots will most likely die as a result. Due to these alarming facts, blood thinners (anticoagulants) have become a necessary market for blood clot prevention.
As of five years ago, the most common anticoagulant used was Warfarin (Coumadin). However, due to concerns over the fact that certain medications and foods (those with high concentrations of vitamin K) can disrupt Warfarin’s potency, drug companies have been working on new anticoagulants that prevent clots without disrupting the body’s natural vitamin K production. Not only do these drugs, called Factor X Inhibitors, eliminate concern over medication and food problems, but they also allow doctors more options when prescribing a blood thinner. However, recent investigations into the function differences of these two drug types, has raised whole new concerns over the safety of X Inhibitors.
- Vitamin K antagonist
- Works by slowing down an enzyme within the naturally produced vitamin K (vitamin K1), in order to slow down the adhesion of slow moving platelets (prevent protein within the blood from bonding together and forming a clot)
- Process can be reversed or stopped with the introduction of normal vitamin K
- Factor X inhibitor
- Instead of changing the composition of the body’s vitamin K production, it works by preventing activity from the clotting enzymes prothrombin and thrombin, as well as the factor x clotting enzyme
- Rapid release and rapid response
- Process cannot be reversed or stopped if needed—as there is no antidote or combatant
Balancing Benefits, Risks, and Safety
Although factor X inhibitors have been widely publicized to control clots faster and more efficiently than vitamin K antagonists, the main concern with them is the lack of antidote. Since the drug focuses on the composition of the blood and controls the function of enzymes, instead of just removing a factor, there is no way to reverse the process if needed. This means that if you’re taking Xarelto and accidentally injure yourself, there is no way to stop the bleeding since the drug makes it impossible for clots to form and heal the wound. However, if you were taking Warfarin, the introduction of previously denied vitamin K will reverse the effects and allow the blood to clot and stop the bleeding.
Make sure your family and friends are protected by sharing this page with them via Facebook or tell them to contact us directly to discuss any potential questions or concerns they may have about drug effects. The consultation is free, but knowing your options for the future is worth a lot more than a phone call. Contact us today to see how we can help you and your family get the comfort, support, and compensation you need after suffering the effects of a defective drug.