Dangerous and Defective Drugs

Innocent people are often exposed to dangerous drugs all over the United States. At the Philadelphia and New Jersey law offices of Sheridan & Murray, we represent people who have been harmed by dangerous drugs. Our exceptional personal injury attorneys serve victims throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey; if you have been injured by a defective drug, we will review your case free of charge to help you obtain the compensation to which you are legally entitled.

Dangerous Drugs and Recalled Medications

Consumers often take for granted that prescription drugs and other medical treatments are safe and effective. You have a right to expect that your doctors are informed about the medications they prescribe, that drug manufacturers thoroughly test their products, and that government agencies strictly regulate which drugs receive approval. All too often, however, this is not the case. In fact, since 2000, an average of 300 dangerous drugs have been recalled each year. Factors like expedited reviewing procedures, misrepresentative marketing techniques, and unethical business practices can all contribute to the widespread distribution of dangerous drugs.

Here is a list of just some of the potentially harmful drugs that are still on the market or have been recalled:

  • Vioxx® 
    A prescription drug for the treatment of arthritis pain, Vioxx® was the subject of a nationwide drug recall in September 2004. After the FDA issued a public health advisory regarding its use, the manufacturer, Merck Co., pulled the product from the market. Numerous reports linked Vioxx® to an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, intestinal bleeding, liver failure, kidney failure, and sudden cardiac death.
  • Bextra® 
    A popular drug prescribed to treat arthritis pain, has been found to pose an increased risk of heart attack and stroke among users. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requested that Pfizer remove Bextra® from the market “because the overall risk versus benefit profile for the drug is unfavorable.” Concerns include an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, and a potentially fatal skin allergy.
    Popular osteoporosis drugs, including FOSAMAX®, are believed to be linked to osteonecrosis, a serious and irreversible disease that causes jaw bone decay. Symptoms of osteonecrosis include burning, tingling, or localized pain or swelling in the jaw, infection, and irregular sores with exposed bone. Evidence suggests that the manufacturer of FOSAMAX® failed to warn users of the problems associated with FOSAMAX®.
  • OrthoEvra®
    Birth Control Patch Warnings have been issued to women using the popular OrthoEvra® birth control patch. The warning notifies women that the patch exposes them to more hormones than previously believed, and thus they may be at higher risk of suffering from fatal blood clots and other serious side effects. The manufacturer of OrthoEvra® cited company research showing that women using the birth control patch face two times the risk of developing blood clots as those who take birth control pills. Other complications that may be associated with use of this drug are heart attacks, strokes, and pulmonary embolisms.
  • Accutane® 
    Once a popular prescription acne treatment, Accutane® has recently come under heavy scrutiny for the dangerous side effects associated with its use. These include depression, psychosis, suicide, and birth defects like physical deformities and mental retardation. Although it is still available, patients must sign a waiver prior to treatment with the drug.
  • Zyprexa® 
    Zyprexa® has been prescribed to treat illnesses ranging from anxiety to schizophrenia. Use of Zyprexa® has been associated with reported cases of diabetes among users. The most severe problems associated with the use of this drug include coma or death.
  • OxyContin® 
    A powerful and addictive painkiller, OxyContin® is an opiate, like heroin. The drug has received much public attention because its addictive properties make it one of the nation’s most commonly abused prescription drugs. More than 100 deaths have been attributed to its use, many of which were the result of using OxyContin® and alcohol at the same time.
  • Ephedra 
    Ephedra, a common ingredient in several dietary supplements, is a naturally occurring herbal substance that has also been marketed as ephedrine, ma huang, epitonin, and psuedo ephedrine. Although products containing ephedra are not regulated by the FDA, the agency issued a consumer alert in 2003 warning individuals of the herb’s potential danger, and in 2004 the sale of products containing ephedra was banned in the United States. Several studies linked the drug to an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, and seizures.
  • Baycol® 
    Baycol®, a drug that was used by nearly one million patients in the United States, was prescribed for the treatment of high cholesterol. The drug was withdrawn from the market in 2001 by its manufacturer, Bayer Pharmaceutical Division, after it was linked to more than 80 cases of fatal rhabdomyolysis, a condition causing muscle and organ damage. Rhabdomyolysis is characterized by weakness, fatigue, nausea, dark urine, and muscle or joint pain, and anyone who used Baycol® is at a heightened risk for developing the condition.
  • Prempro™ 
    A form of hormone replacement therapy used to treat the symptoms of menopause, Prempro™ was the subject of a long-term study known as the Women’s Health Initiative. The research was cancelled prematurely, however, after use of the drug was linked to increased risk of strokes, heart attacks, and breast cancer in study participants. Although the treatment is now available in a lower dose, patients are strongly cautioned against taking Prempro™ for extended periods because of the potential health risks.
  • Serzone® 
    Serzone®, a popular treatment for depression, has been linked to several cases of liver failure and death. In 2001, the FDA required the drug’s manufacturer, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., to add its most serious warning, a black box warning, to Serzone®’s label. Although the product is still available, patients are urged to use the drug with caution and to contact their doctor if they experience any negative side effects throughout treatment.
  • Vaccines 
    Although vaccines have been used to protect children from various diseases for decades, there is growing concern over the safety and effectiveness of this practice. In rare instances, vaccines can actually cause the disease they were intended to prevent, or cause severe allergic reactions. Additionally, many vaccines utilize thimerosal, a preservative that contains mercury, which some studies have linked to neurodevelopmental disorders in children. As the debate over vaccination safety continues, it is important to be aware of the potential risks of this common medical practice.

Contact Our Attorneys in Pennsylvania and New Jersey

If you or a loved one has been injured due to the use of dangerous drugs, contact the Philadelphia or New Jersey law offices of Sheridan & Murray for an evaluation of your claim today. Serving victims throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, our personal injury attorneys have the training, resources, and experience to protect your rights. Please submit your information online so that the attorneys at Sheridan & Murray can investigate the most appropriate means of protecting your rights. Our legal review is free and there is no commitment.