Type 2 Diabetes Drugs May Be Linked to Deadly Cancer

by Staff Blogger | March 20th, 2018

Byetta® and Januvia® are drugs designed to treat Type 2 diabetes by helping people with the condition control their blood sugar levels. All medications can cause side effects—some of which can be serious—but Byetta and Januvia may be linked to a deadly form of cancer.

In May 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a safety communication indicating that the drugs, which belong to a class of medication called incretin mimetics, were linked to diseases involving the pancreas. In addition, the FDA also released a statement to the public indicating that it was investigating a link between the drugs and the development of pancreatic cancer in patients who took them.

The manufacturer of the drugs may be held liable for several reasons, including:

  • The drugs are defective and capable of causing unreasonable and dangerous side effects.
  • The manufacturer failed to adequately test the drugs.
  • The manufacturer should have or did know about the risks, but didn’t warn doctors or patients.
  • The manufacturer concealed the risks of pancreatic cancer from healthcare providers and the public.

While both Byetta and Januvia contain warnings regarding their possible link to pancreatitis, they don’t contain warnings about their possible link to the development of pancreatic cancer.

If you or someone you love developed pancreatic cancer after taking a Type 2 diabetes drug, the drug injury lawyers at Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough want to help. Call us today for a free consultation.

Irregular Heartbeat Drug Linked to Multiple Health Complications

by Staff Blogger | March 13th, 2018

Arrhythmia is a condition where the heart doesn’t beat at a normal pace. People who suffer from arrhythmia may have heartbeats that are too fast, too slow, or irregular. The condition can be harmless for some patients, but it can also result in complications such as dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting. More serious types of arrhythmia can even be fatal.

A drug called Amiodarone is designed to treat the condition by regulating heartbeats, but its associated with several serious health conditions—some of which are potentially fatal. Those conditions include:

  • Pulmonary fibrosis – A progressive lung disease, pulmonary fibrosis is caused by scarring and stiffening of air sacs in the lungs.
  • Liver failure – Liver failure causes initial symptoms like nausea and fatigue, but as it progresses, suffers may experience jaundice, disorientation, coma, and death.
  • Thyroid failure – The thyroid is responsible for regulating many bodily functions. When it fails, patients may experience severe fatigue, weakness, cramps, and depression.

Other complications include visual impairments and blindness and worsened arrhythmias. The drug injury lawyers at Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough are dedicated to fighting for the rights of people who were hurt by drugs, including arrhythmia patients who suffered complications after taking Amiodarone.

Call us today for a free consultation.

Cardiovascular Health Risks Associated With Popular Chemotherapy Drug

by Staff Blogger | March 6th, 2018

Chemotherapy drugs have become more and more effective in recent years, and many patients with a form of cancer called chronic myelogenous leukemia are now treated with a drug called Tasigna® (nilotinib), which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2007. The drug works by slowing or even stopping the growth of abnormal cells, but research indicates that the drug may be linked to a cardiovascular health condition called atherosclerosis, which involves a narrowing of veins and arteries.

People who experience this side effect are at risk for a variety of serious and potentially fatal health complications, such as:

  • Heart attacks – Heart attacks occur when there’s a blockage in a coronary artery. Atherosclerosis causes arteries to narrow, making it easier for blockages to occur due to plaque, cholesterol, and clots.
  • Strokes – Atherosclerosis can also cause blockages in arteries that carry blood to the brain. When those arteries are blocked, the brain receives less blood and oxygen than it requires, causing severe and permanent damage in the form of a stroke.

Although Tasigna® has been on the market for more than a decade, the FDA hasn’t released any warnings to patients or doctors concerning the drug’s cardiovascular risks.

At Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough, it’s our job to stand up for the rights of innocent victims who were injured by dangerous medications such as Tasigna. If you or someone you love was hurt by this drug, get in touch with our drug injury lawyers today for a free consultation.

Arthritis Drug May Be Linked to Serious Health Problems

by Staff Blogger | February 27th, 2018

Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful and debilitating condition that causes millions of adults to suffer from severe pain, inflammation, and immobility in joints throughout their bodies.

Drugs that treat the condition are big businesses, including a relatively new drug called Actemra®, which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for patient use in 2010.

However, since its approval, more than 1,100 reports of patients dying while taking Actemra have been submitted to the FDA. Despite those reports, the drug is still on the market, and neither the drug manufacturer nor the FDA have commented on the drug’s other potential risks, which include:

  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Lung disease
  • Pancreatitis
  • Intestinal rupture
  • Gastrointestinal perforation
  • Death

Patients are still being prescribed Actemra every day, but few are aware of its potential dangers and life-threatening complications. If you or someone you love suffered serious adverse health effects after taking Actemra, get in touch with an experienced drug injury lawyer today.

Because there have been no official warnings or recalls related to Actemra, having legal representation on your side can help maximize your chances of getting compensation for your drug-related injury or illness, and we’re here to help. Fill out a free consultation form to get in touch with Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough today.

What’s the Difference Between a Drug Recall and a Drug Withdrawal?

by Staff Blogger | February 20th, 2018

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already recalled several drugs in 2018. Many recalled drugs are Class I recalls, which are the most serious and include medications that have a “reasonable probability” to result in severe adverse health consequences or death.

However, many recalls by the FDA are only suggestions. That means drug companies don’t necessarily have to comply—at least not right away. Because of that, there are many drugs still on the market, including on pharmacy shelves, in doctor’s offices, and in hospitals, that are conclusively linked to serious health problems and complications.

As bad as that is, there’s another action the FDA can take when the risks posed by medications outweigh their potential benefits: withdrawals. If the FDA gets enough evidence that suggests a drug is too dangerous to remain on the market, it can ask its manufacturer to withdraw it from the market. A withdrawal is more serious than a recall, as it makes the drug unavailable for purchase at pharmacies or for use in doctor’s offices and hospitals.

At Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough, our drug injury lawyers know that both recalled and withdrawn drugs can pose serious dangers to the people who take them. It’s our goal to help people who were hurt by prescription medications get the compensation they deserve for their medical bills and lost wages.

Don’t wait to get the experienced and dedicated legal advocacy you and your loved ones need. Call us today for a free consultation.

2 Common Pharmacy Errors That Can Have Devastating Consequences

by Staff Blogger | February 13th, 2018

Prescription medications are powerful. They have the ability to hasten healing, reduce symptoms, and improve quality of life for people around the world who are suffering from a variety of conditions. But their effectiveness and safety depend on two things: drug manufacturers thoroughly testing them and doctors making the right decisions when prescribing them.

At Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough, our drug injury lawyers know that clearing these hurdles significantly reduces risks for most patients, but there’s a final step in the process that can sometimes go wrong: the pharmacists that fill their prescriptions.

Although pharmacists don’t interact with patients in the same way that doctors do, their mistakes can be just as serious. Two of the most common mistakes seen in pharmacies include:

  1. Dispensing the wrong medications – Whether they misread a doctors’ handwriting or fail to fully read prescriptions, pharmacists can sometimes can patients the wrong medications, putting their health and even their lives at risk.
  2. Dispensing the wrong dosages – Medications can come in both liquid and pill forms, and they often have varying dosages and strengths. Prescriptions specify those details, but pharmacists sometimes fail to dispense them correctly, creating the potential for serious adverse effects.

There are many people and parties who can be at fault when drug injuries occur, and our legal team has the experience and resources necessary to hold any and all of them accountable. Don’t wait if you or a loved one was hurt by a prescription drug—call us today for a free consultation.

Drug Recall Facts All Patients Should Know

by Staff Blogger | February 6th, 2018

When you’re prescribed a new medication, your doctor or pharmacist is supposed to tell you about the side effects associated with the drug. With that information, you and your doctor can weigh the risks and decide what the best treatment option is for you.

But what you may not know is that the drug you were prescribed was already recalled or is under investigation due to being linked to serious health problems—many of which may not be publicized by the drug manufacturer.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recalled around 4,500 drugs and medical devices in 2016 alone after first approving them for consumer use. However, the FDA’s recalls are often only suggestions, and it’s up to drug manufacturers to follow up on them and take their dangerous medications off the market to avoid harming others. Sometimes, that doesn’t happen, and dangerous drugs stay on the market for years.

There are three classifications of recalls, each with its own level of severity and urgency:

  • Class I recall – The most serious recall, products in this category may cause serious adverse health effects or even death.
  • Class II recall – Most recalls fall within this category, which includes products that cause temporary or reversible adverse health effects.
  • Class III recall – Products that aren’t likely to cause injuries or serious health effects are categorized here.

Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough’s team of drug injury lawyers fights for the rights of anyone who was hurt by a dangerous or recalled medication. Don’t wait to get help if you or someone you love suffered because of a prescription drug. Call today for a free consultation.

Fentanyl Patches Can Be Deadly

by Staff Blogger | January 26th, 2018

America is in the grips of an opioid crisis. Sales of opioid drugs have quadrupled since 1999, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2016, nearly 50 people died per day the in the U.S. from overdoses involving prescription opioids.

Fentanyl, one of the most powerful forms of opioids, is responsible for many opioid-related deaths due to its availability and extreme potency. In fact, fentanyl is between 50-100 times more powerful than morphine, making even tiny dosages potentially fatal.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning concerning fentanyl’s safe usage, especially when it’s administered in patch form. People who are most at risk include:

  • First-time users – Fentanyl patch users must be monitored closely, as their risks of overdose are higher during first-time use or during the first 24 to 72 hours after their dosages are increased.
  • Children – There have been reports of children becoming sick or even dying after accidentally–and even briefly–coming into contact with fentanyl patches due to their potency.
  • Recreational users – Because fentanyl is now a popular street drug, the patches are being used recreationally. People who use the patches without a prescription face a significant risk of fatal overdoses.

At Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough, we’re here to help anyone who was harmed by a fentanyl patch, as even the lowest-strength patches contain enough opioids to cause dangerous side effects, including respiratory depression and even death.

If you or someone you love were harmed by a dangerous drug, our drug injury lawyers want to help. Contact us today–our consultations are always free.

Heartburn and Acid Reflux Medications Linked to Kidney Disease and Failure

by Staff Blogger | January 9th, 2018

Heartburn is an unpleasant symptom of a condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It involves a painful burning sensation felt in the chest, neck, throat, and jaw when gastric acid is regurgitated into the esophagus due to a relaxing of the lower esophageal sphincter.

Because heartburn and GERD are so common, there are many prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications designed to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life. And while those medications are well-tolerated by many patients, they have been linked to serious health problems, including kidney disease and kidney failure.

The medications, which belong to a class of drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), include the following common OTC drugs:

  • Nexium®
  • Prevacid®
  • Prilosec®
  • Losec®
  • Protonix®
  • Zegerid®

A study published in February 2016 found that patients who took PPIs once per day increased their risk of developing kidney disease by 15 percent, while patients who took those drugs twice per day increased their risk by 46 percent.

If you or someone you love developed an illness or injury after taking PPIs, the drug injury lawyers at Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough are here to help. It’s our goal to help you get the compensation you deserve. Call today for a free consultation.

Common Dietary Supplements that Interact with Drugs

by Staff Blogger | December 28th, 2017

Dietary supplements, including vitamins and herbal formulas, are heavily marketed throughout the U.S. Many supermarkets and drug stores have large sections devoted to them. While many supplements are safe, it’s important to remember that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t hold them to the same standards that it holds prescription and over-the-counter medications.

Unfortunately, dietary supplements can cause profound impacts on the body that can change the way prescription or over the-counter drugs work. In some cases, they can make those drugs more potent, while in other cases, they can nullify their active ingredients.

It’s important to talk with your doctor if you take any of the following supplements before you’re prescribed a new medication:

  • John’s Wort – An herbal supplement marketed to treat the symptoms of depression, St. John’s Wort can have numerous interactions with common medications, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, some birth control pills, and some HIV medications.
  • Saw Palmetto – Saw palmetto is sometimes used to treat benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) due to its effect on male hormones, but it can be dangerous when combined with other hormone drugs, including finasteride. Saw palmetto also may increase the risk of bleeding, making it dangerous to combine with blood thinners.

Because there are hundreds of vitamins and herbal supplements on the market, it can be difficult for doctors to rule out all interactions when first prescribing new medications. Make sure you mention any supplements you take to your doctor to avoid a potentially dangerous interaction.

Were you or someone you love hurt by a drug that was supposed to help you? Get in touch with the drug injury lawyers at Ferrer, Poirot & Wansbrough today for a free consultation.