“Fen-Phen” was a popular diet drug combination used by millions of people worldwide. The name Fen-Phen refers to the combination of fenfluramine and phentermine, two drugs that regulate specific parts of the brain. Fenfluramine focuses on neurotransmitters that affect mood and appetite, while phentermine acts as a stimulant to help curb the body’s natural hunger signals.
In 1997, Fen-Phen was withdrawn from the market after it was linked to serious and life-threatening heart problems and drug injuries, specifically an unusual form of heart valve disease affecting the mitral, aortic, and tricuspid heart valves in women between the ages of 30 and 72.
Researchers from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) published an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) which revealed that Fen-Phen damaged brain serotonin neurons in animal studies, adding to the concerns over the drugs’ safety.
In light of the varying health concerns over Fen-Phen, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) asked manufacturers to withdraw their products from the market in September 1997.
More than a decade after the recall, a report was published that draws attention to the fact that Fen-Phen may be responsible for heart valve damage even years after a person has stopped taking it.
The study, published in BMC Medicine, concluded that “valve problems were common in individuals exposed to fenfluramines, more frequent in females, and associated with duration of drug use in all valves assessed.”
The study’s authors also stated, “This is probably a conservative estimate, as another study has shown that there exists a 17- to 34-fold excess of clinically apparent valvular disease in persons who used fenfluramines for four months or longer.”
If you or someone you care about has had heart valve surgery after taking Fen-Phen, contact our Fen-Phen drug injury attorneys to learn how we may be able to help you achieve the compensation you need—the compensation you deserve—after suffering from Fen-Phen side effects. Whether you need an environmental injury lawyer or a defective product attorney, we will protect your rights. Call Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough today.
Sources: BMC Medicine, FindLaw, Journal of the American Medical Association, and The Washington Post
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