Defective Drugs

Onglyza

Purpose Of The Drug

Along with diet and exercise, Onglyza is designed to help control high blood sugar in people with Type 2 diabetes who do not suffer from diabetic ketoacidosis- a condition where increased ketones are present in the blood or urine.

Warnings

There are some reports that highlight a possible increased risk of pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) and pancreatic and thyroid cancer.

In April 2015, an FDA panel said that Onglyza should carry a warning about the increased risk of heart failure. Data from the SAVOR study involving 16,000 patients found that people who took Onglyza had a 27 percent greater risk of heart failure hospitalizations than those in the control group.

The agency also warned Onglyza could cause severe joint pain in September 2015.

Side Effects

In addition to the more severe side effects of pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer and heart failure, Onglyza also carries the risk of various other side effects, including diarrhea, headache, nausea and vomiting, stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, upper respiratory tract infection, urinary tract infection, low blood sugar, as well as swelling or fluid retention.

Despite countless pending lawsuits and wrongful death claims alleging Onglyza was responsible, the drug continues to see strong sales and the manufacturer has failed to provide current and prospective patients with thorough information regarding the potential risks associated with taking the drug. Hundreds who took Onglyza as well as their loved ones have filed lawsuits against the drugs makers after they developed pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer, claiming they were not properly warned of the risks.

We are facing a ticking time bomb and patients who have taken Onglyza or loved ones who took the drug and encountered some of the potentially life-risking reactions to the drug have to respond immediately. The greatest concern is that we still don't know the full gamut of risk associated with Onglyza, but we do know that the incidence of developing a life-threatening condition is high, so you need to take immediate steps to protect yourself and your loved ones.

If you or someone you know has taken Onglyza and developed any adverse side effects, you must seek legal representation immediately.

Xarelto

Purpose Of The Drug

The FDA approved Xarelto in 2011 for use in patients who have had knee or hip replacement surgery to reduce the risk of blood clots, reducing the risk of stroke in people with atrial fibrillation (AF). Following a fast-track regulatory review, the FDA approved the drug for general treatment of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE).

Warnings

In a Phase III study intended to examine the drugs safety, 73 percent of the 16,041 participants who took at least one dose of Xarelto experienced side effects. Some of the most prominent serious side effects were anemia and bleeding events. People who took a higher dose were more likely to suffer from bleeding.

The FDA has issued several warnings regarding the usage of Xarelto including two black box warnings, the strictest warnings that the FDA can attach to a drug short of recalling it, meaning there is a reasonable risk of harm associated with the drug in question. The FDA also indicated that patients taking Xarelto were at an increased risk for developing blood clots. Xarelto also has an extensive list of drug interactions that can cause serious problems.

Side Effects

One of the most severe side effects of Xarelto is uncontrolled bleeding, and when it occurs near a major organ, such as the brain, lungs or kidneys, blood flow to that organ is interrupted, causing it to lose some or all of its functionality. Also, pools of blood may form within the body and can cause other severe health risks. Because Xarelto prevents clotting, the hemorrhaging will continue until the drug is flushed out of the system.

As there is currently no known antidote to stop incontrollable bleeds and the drugs manufacturers have not released information for doctors on how to treat this problem, this has lead to a number of fatalities.Bleeding is one of the most dangerous side effects associated with Xarelto. As there is currently no known antidote to stop uncontrollable bleeds and the drugs manufacturers have not released information for doctors on how to treat this problem, this has lead to a number of fatalities. Blood clots are also a serious side effect of the drug, with patients who have had hip or knee replacement surgery at the highest risk, and possibly triggering strokes or heart attacks if they travel to the brain. Patients who have spinal injections or other procedures are also at increased risk for developing blood clots in the spine that can cause permanent paralysis.

In addition, Xarelto's side effects include abdominal bleeding, brain hemorrhage, abnormal liver function and reduced platelet levels.

Pradaxa

Purpose Of The Drug

Pradaxa is used to reduce the risk of stroke and blood clots in people who have a medical condition called atrial fibrillation. Pradaxa is also used to treat blood clots in the veins of your legs (deep vein thrombosis, or DVT) or lungs (pulmonary embolism, or PE) and reduce the risk of them occurring again.

Warnings

Pradaxa can cause a very serious blood clot around your spinal cord if you undergo a spinal tap or receive spinal anesthesia (epidural), especially if you have a genetic spinal defect, if you have a spinal catheter in place, if you have a history of spinal surgery or repeated spinal taps, or if you are also using other drugs that can affect blood clotting. This type of blood clot can lead to long-term or permanent paralysis.

Side Effects

Bleeding is the most serious side effect reported with dabigatran (the active ingredient contained in Pradaxa). Major or severe bleeding may occur and, regardless of location, may lead to disabling, life-threatening or even fatal outcomes.

Invokana

Purpose Of The Drug

Invokana works by stopping glucose from being reabsorbed into the blood in the kidneys. It stops a special protein in the kidney called SGLT2 that is responsible for reabsorbing 90 percent of the glucose in the kidneys. Instead of reabsorbing the sugar, the kidneys secrete it, and it leaves the body during urination. This results in lowered levels of glucose in the blood.

Warnings

In March 2013, the FDA approved Johnson & Johnson's Invokana, and it was the first in its class. Then, in 2014, the FDA approved Invokamet (canagliflozin and metformin). However, in May 2015, the agency issued a drug safety communication that warned patients and doctors that these drugs and other SGLT2 inhibitors may lead to diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).

In May 2015, the FDA warned that Invokana may lead to a serious condition called diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). DKA occurs when the body cannot use sugar (glucose) as a fuel source because there is either too little or no insulin. DKA occurs when the body cannot use sugar (glucose) as a fuel source because there is either too little or no insulin. Instead, the body breaks down fat for energy. Instead, the body breaks down fat for energy. The breakdown of fat produces ketones, which can build up in the body. When these waste products build up in the blood, they become toxic.

Warning symptoms of the condition include nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, confusion, abdominal pain and unusual fatigue or sleepiness. The FDA urges patients who are taking SGLT2s and are suffering from these symptoms to seek medical attention immediately.

Thus far, the FDA has reported about 20 cases of ketoacidosis and all of these patients had to go to the hospital for treatment of the condition. Most patients took the drug for about two weeks prior to the appearance of symptoms.

Side Effects

Patients who have taken Invokana have to be vigilant for any signs of DKA, which is considered a medical emergency. Symptoms include confusion, difficulty breathing, unusual fatigue or sleepiness, frequent urination or thirst that lasts for a day or more, flushed face, fruity-smelling breath, aching muscles or muscle stiffness, vomiting and nausea, and stomach pain.

Risperdal

Purpose Of The Drug

Risperdal is used to treat schizophrenia and symptoms of bipolar disorder (manic depression). Risperdal is also used in autistic children to treat symptoms of irritability.

Warnings

Unfortunately, what makes Risperdal work is also what can cause side effects. It works by altering the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain, but it can also cause a number of complications brought on by the abnormal levels of hormones in the body.

Side Effects

Common side effects of Risperdal include akathisia, rhinitis, dystonia, dizziness, anxiety, drowsiness, agitation, constipation, nausea, extrapyramidal reaction, and weight gain. Other side effects include tachycardia, skin rash, sialorrhea, abdominal pain, and xeroderma.

Risperdal has also been linked to: Gynecomastia (Breast development in boys), movement disorders, heart problems, and diabetes.

Benicar

Purpose Of The Drug

Benicar blocks angiotensin II, a natural protein made by the body, and stops it from constricting blood vessels to help blood flow more easily. It belongs to a group of drugs called angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARB). Angiotensin II affects the cardiovascular system in a variety of ways, including controlling blood pressure.

When angiotensin II is released, it causes blood vessels to narrow, raising blood pressure and making it harder for the heart to pump blood, as well as increases the amount of sodium and fluid in the body.

Warnings

While Benicar is a popular prescription choice for many doctors, research surfaced linking Benicar and other olmesartan-based drugs to severe gastrointestinal side effects. In April 2014, this research led the FDA to rule that Benicar needed a warning on its label stating olmesartan medoxomil was associated with specific and significant gastrointestinal side effects.

Side Effects

These side effects can mimic Celiac disease but usually are later diagnosed as sprue-like enteropathy or villous atrophy. Both are serious problems that can lead to malnutrition, intestinal damage and chronic diarrhea.

Actos

Purpose Of The Drug

Actos (pioglitazone) is an oral drug that reduces the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood. It is in a class of anti-diabetic drugs called thiazolidinediones that are used in the treatment of Type 2 Diabets.

Warnings

While Actos is used to regulate blood sugar in patients with Type 2 Diabetes, in 2011 the FDA released a warning stating that patients who had been taking this medication for longer than a year were at an increased risk for bladder cancer. The FDA report suggested that the risk of bladder cancer to those who had the longest exposure to Actos could be as high as 40%. Patients who had taken the medication were warned that they may experience the following symptoms of bladder cancer:

- Painful urination

- Blood in urine

- Pain in the back and the abdomen

- Frequent urination

- Heart attacks

- Congestive Heart Failure

- Liver damage

- Blindness

- Bone fractures

- Kidney damage

Side Effects

Common side effects of Actos include nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, blood in the urine, dark urine, painful urination, urinating more than usual, shortness of breath, even with mild exertion, swelling or rapid weight gain, chest pain, feeling unwell (malaise), upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, clay-colored stools, blurred vision, increased thirst or hunger, pale skin, easy brusing or bleeding, weakness, yellowing skin or eyes (jaundice) and changes or loss in vision.

Victoza

Purpose Of The Drug

Victoza (liraglutide) is similar to a hormone that belongs to the class of drugs called incretin mimetics, which work by mimicking hormones in the pancreas and helps control blood sugar, insulin levels and digestion. Victoza is used together with diet and exercise to improve blood sugar control in adults with Type 2 Diabetes.

Warnings

In June 2016, a clinical trial found that 15 cases of pancreatic cancer in patients on Victoza, compared to only 5 patients on a placebo, out of roughly 4,670 patients in each group. Several recent studies have raised concern that drugs in the incretin mimetic class may increase a patient's risk of pancreatitis. Over time, pancreatitis is known to increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.

Side Effects

Common side effects of Victoza include pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer, thyroid cancer and kidney failure.

Vioxx

Purpose Of The Drug

Vioxx (fofecoxib) is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) prescribed to treat osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, migraines and other acute pains in adults. Vioxx was also used to prevent the formation colon polyps.

Warnings

After a study in 2000, it was determined that Vioxx did prevent the formation of new polyps, but after 18 months, a significant number of patients involved in the study developed cardiovascular problems. Patients were found to be at greater risk for stroke, heart attack and blood clots when taking Vioxx.

Side Effects

Common side effects of Vioxx include respiratory infections, headache, dizziness, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and upset stomach, heartburn, stomach pain, swelling of the legs and/or feet, high blood pressure, back pain, tiredness, urinary tract infection. Vioxx is also known to cause serious stomach problems, such as stomach and intestinal bleeding. Serious allergic reactions, including swelling of the face, lips, tongue; trouble breathing such as chest tightness or shortness of breath; trouble swallowing; hives; wheezing; or shock (loss of blood pressure and consciousness); heart attacks, blood clots and other cardiovascular events; acute kidney failure and worsening of chronic kidney failure; as well as severe liver problems, including hepatitis, jaundice and liver failure were reported by patients taking Vioxx.

Talc

Purpose Of The Drug

Talcum powder has developed through powerful marketing practices as a culturally necessary daily use product, which in many families starts at birth. Mothers and childcare workers have and continue to use talcum powder in babies diapers to prevent rash by reducing moisture in and around the genitals. Furthermore, cosmetic manufacturers include talcum powder in their products and manufacturing processes, including eye shadows, blush, facial powders, deodorants, sanitary pads, foot powders, and more. Talcum powder usage is associated with high potential risk of ovarian cancer and development of serious respiratory conditions.

Talc containing products are typically used without concern in the most sensitive areas of the body and on babies.

Warnings

Over the course of the past 40 years scientists have questioned the safety of regular talc use due to its potentially carcinogenic side effects in the human body. Studies performed by researchers and reputable healthcare providers have recently linked persistent talc usage to ovarian cancer.

The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages the use of talcum powder based products due to its link to cancer and respiratory conditions. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends consumers minimize exposure to talc based on a 1995 study of the health effects of long term talc exposure on workers.

Safety Issues

Talcum powder usage is associated with high potential risk of ovarian cancer and development of serious respiratory conditions. When talcum powder is applied to the female groin area talc fibers are known to migrate into the vagina, uterus and fallopian tubes to the ovaries. These carcinogenic fibers remain intact for years causing inflammation and in some women ultimately ovarian and other types of cancer.

Recent studies in the journal Cancer Prevention Research point to a 20-30% increased risk of developing ovarian cancer with talcum powder usage.

Januvia

Purpose Of The Drug

Januvia treats Type 2 Diabetes by stimulating the pancreas to make more insulin, which lowers blood-sugar levels.

Warnings

Unfortunately, Januvia also leads to inflammation of the pancreas, or pancreatitis, which could increase the patient's risk of pancreatic cancer.

Side Effects

Common side effects of Januvia include bile duct disease, bullous pemphigoid, gallbladder disease, heart failure, joint pain, pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.

Abilify

Purpose Of The Drug

Abilify is used to treat certain mental/mood disorders (such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, tourette's disorder and irritability associated with autistic disorder). This drug may also be used in combination with other medication to treat depression. Abilify is known as an antipsychotic drug and works by helping to restore the balance of certain natural chemicals in the brain.

Warnings

Abilify can cause or increase compulsive behaviors in patients-behaviors such as pathological gambling, binge eating, hypersexuality and dementia suicide risk

Side Effects

Side effects of Abilify include severe agitation, distress, or restless feeling; twitching or uncontrollable movements of your eyes, lips, tongue, face, arms or legs; mask-like appearance of the face, trouble swallowing, problems with speech; seizure (convulsions); thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself; sever nervous system reaction-very stiff muscles, high fever, sweating, confusion, fast or uneven heartbeats, tremors, feeling like you might pass out; low blood cell counts-sudden weakness or ill feeling, fever, chills, sore throat, swollen gums, painful mouth sores, red or swollen gums, skin sores, cold or flu symptoms, cough, trouble breathing or high blood pressure. Abilify is also known to cause weight gain, blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, changes in appetite, constipation, drooling, headache, dizziness, drowsiness, feeling tired, anxiety, feeling restless and sleep problems (insomnia).

Taxotere

Purpose Of The Drug

Taxotere is a prescription medication that helps treat certain types of cancers. Unfortunately the drug also had a series of severe and unanticipated side effects in certain patients.

Unexpected Side Effects

Taxotere treats prostate cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, and breast cancer by attacking cancer cells in the body and preventing their growth. Like other chemotherapy drugs, Taxotere was expected to have certain side effects, including nausea, weakness, muscle pain, rashes, and temporary hair loss. However, as a result of the drug manufacturer's failure to adequately test its product or warn consumers of possible side effects, many patients have begun experiencing permanent hair loss. Known as Taxotere Alopecia, this permanent hair loss is one of the most commonly reported non-disclosed side effects of taking the drug and has spawned hundreds of lawsuits against the drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis Inc. which allegedly:

· Failed to release data on incidences of permanent hair loss in patients;

· Failed to investigate complaints of permanent hair loss;

· Failed to warn physicians and patients about the true risks of permanent alopecia;

· Used a defective design during production; and

· Mislabeled its products.

Late in 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officially updated the warning label for Taxotere, which now states that permanent hair loss can occur in patients. Unfortunately, the drug, which has been in circulation since 1996, had already affected thousands of patients who claim that if they had known of these adverse side effects, they would have taken the different, although equally effective drug known as Taxol. By failing to warn consumers of this permanent side effect, the drug's manufacturer essentially robbed patients of this decision, leaving them to suffer with the permanent reminder of their battle with cancer. This type of conduct is not only unconscionable, but also unlawful, as drug manufacturers are required to comply with federal guidelines when creating and marketing their drugs. By failing to warn consumers of permanent side effects, Sanofi-Aventis Inc. violated this duty and so can be held accountable in court.

Potential Damages

Those suffering from permanent alopecia after taking Taxotere may be eligible to recover damages from the drug's manufacturer, which could include compensation for past and future medical expenses, loss of earnings, emotional distress, permanent disfigurement, and mental anguish. Collecting compensation can go a long way towards helping injured patients who may have spent thousands of dollars on expensive treatments to reverse the side effects of Taxotere and who could be struggling with the emotional repercussions of permanent hair loss.

Opioids

It's estimated that more than 55,000 Americans die each year from a drug overdose, which has become the leading cause of death of individuals under the age of 50. Sixty percent of these deaths are caused by opioids.

In addition to the devastating toll this epidemic is taking on the addicts, family and friends, the monetary cost to governmental agencies is in the tens of billions of dollars each year when considering public healthcare, treatment facilities, law enforcement, criminal justice and jail expenses. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the cost is approximately $75 billion per year.

Hundreds of governmental entities have begun the process of suing wholesale distributors and manufacturers of opioids seeking reimbursement for government spending arising out of opioid addictions and overdoses.

The defendants often include companies such as McKesson Corporation, Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen, Purdue Pharma, Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson), Endo International, Teva Pharmaceutical, Allergan (formerly Actavis), Watson Pharmaceuticals, and Covidien.

The complaints typically allege the wholesale distributors violated the federal Controlled Substances Act by failing to alert the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration of suspicious opioids purchases, such as orders of unusual size, frequency or pattern. The claims against the manufacturers are based on allegations the companies exaggerated the benefits of the medication and knew the drugs were being overly prescribed, yet failed to warn doctors of the extremely addictive nature of the narcotics and the need to strictly limit the dose.

The lawsuits also claim the pharmaceutical companies lobbied politicians and doctors in an effort to artificially increase the use of opioids, and willfully allowed the drugs to enter the black market. For example, in 2012, there were 793 million doses of opioids prescribed in Ohio, which is 60-times larger than the entire population of the state. In 2010, 254 million prescriptions for opioids were filled in the United States, which amount was capable of treating every adult in the country 24-hours a day for one month.

Zotavax

Purpose Of The Drug

Zotavax, or Zoster vaccine, is a live vaccine that helps prevent shingles in adults.

Warnings

Zotavax is a live vaccine, meaning it contains a live virus, and it caused shingles, brain damage and death.

Side Effects

Side effects of the Zotavax vaccine include redness, itching, swelling, warmth, bruising and pain at the injection site; headache; diarrhea; joint or muscle pain; skin rash; chicken pox and/or shingles