Anapol Schwartz has developed a national reputation for the handling of pharmaceutical liability claims.
The Philadelphia defective drug attorneys at Anapol Schwartz are constantly on alert to protect our clients from potentially harmful drugs. Call us at 866-735-2792 if you believe you have been harmed by a prescription medication. Our drug liability department investigates cases involving dangerous drugs such as Actos, Fosamax, NuvaRing, SSRI Antidepressants, Topamax and Zithromax. These drugs have caused injuries and even death in patients and many are no longer prescribed to patients or sold OTC.
Actos (pioglitazone) is one of several medicines that are prescribed for patients with type II diabetes. Actos, as well as certain other related drugs, is known to cause or worsen congestive heart failure, and both physicians and patients have long been warned about that possible side effect. However, in 2011, the FDA warned that patients who take Actos for more than one year appear to have an increased risk of bladder cancer. A class-action lawsuit over this issue is currently underway.
Fosamax is used in the treatment of osteoporosis (loss of bone mass after menopause) and a few rare bone ailments, such as Paget’s disease. Recent research indicates, however, that Fosamax and related medicines can injure bone tissue. In 2006, the American Association of Endodontists reported that the class of drugs that includes Fosamax can lead to decaying jaw bones, a condition called osteonecrosis of the jaw. This condition can include severe jaw pain, disfigurement, and infection. More recently, evidence has begun to accumulate that women who take alendronate for several years may develop brittle bones, resulting in sudden fractures of the femur, or thigh bone.
NuvaRing is a transparent flexible ring available by prescription for birth control. NuvaRing shares some increased risks of health complications with other forms of estrogen-based birth control. Perhaps the most prominent of these risks are dangers to the circulatory system and heart. Some researchers link NuvaRing to a significantly greater chance of thrombosis (blood clot) in the legs, brain, heart, or lungs, potentially causing strokes or heart attacks. Other complications that have been associated with this medicine include gallstones, jaundice, and liver tumors.
This entry encompasses a major class of drugs used to treat depression: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Among the brand-name pharmaceuticals included here are Zoloft, Prozac, Celexa, Symbyax, Lexapro, Paxil, and Effexor. These medicines by altering the levels of chemicals (neurotransmitters) that allow nerve cells to communicate. Unfortunately, most SSRIs have been linked to a significant risk of birth defects in newborns when women take these medicines while pregnant. Studies suggest that these drugs can cause high blood pressure in the fetus during development (called persistent pulmonary hypertension), which in turn causes other potentially serious heart and lung problems. Other infant ailments that have been linked to the mother’s use of SSRIs include autism spectrum disorders, clubfoot, and oral cleft.
Topamax is a brand name for topiramate, an anticonvulsant drug prescribed to treat some types of epilepsy, to prevent migraine headaches, and a few other “off-label” psychiatric uses. Topiramate has now been marketed long enough that its patent has expired, so it may be purchased in generic form. In 2011, the Food and Drug Administration warned that cleft palate and cleft lip birth defects can result for infants whose mothers took Topamax or its generic forms during pregnancy. Anecdotal evidence also linked the drug to other birth defects. Lawsuits followed. Topiramate has also been linked to osteoporosis, secondary angle closure glaucoma, renal impairment, and kidney stones.
Zithromax, a brand name for azithromycin, is an antibiotic related to erythromycin. Doctors prescribe Zithromax to fight a variety of infections caused by bacteria, including skin and ear infections, respiratory infections, and sexually transmitted diseases. Azithromycin is often encountered as a “Z-Pak” of calibrated doses to fight chest infections. Recent medical studies suggest that taking azithromycin may involve serious heart risks, including increased danger of death from a cardiac event. Azithromycin has also been identified as a trigger for Stevens–Johnson syndrome, an often-fatal condition in which the body’s skin sloughs away.
The federal Food and Drug Administration also has the responsibility to review health care equipment, implants, and medical devices before they can be sold. Because many of these tests are funded by the medical equipment industry, the FDA has been accused of allowing unsafe medical devices to be marketed—and of refusing to recall defective items quickly enough. More than a million people have adverse events each year due to medical device defects. Anapol Schwartz keeps an eye out for these risky products that can cause serious discomfort or life-threatening injuries.
If you or someone you know has suffered catastrophic injuries from taking unsafe drugs, our pharmaceutical litigation lawyers can assist you in evaluating your case.