Recognizing Dangerous Drugs

Dangerous DrugsHow do dangerous drugs get on the market?

Most, if not all, prescription drugs have side effects. Unfortunately, it comes with the nature of them. When you agree to take a medication for a condition or disease, you usually accept that there may be minor side effects as a result, but the good is believed to outweigh the bad, which is why we take medication.

In fact, this is how the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decides to approve a drug or not. When a drug company wants to start selling a new drug, they must first test it for safety and effectiveness. The FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) then reviews the testing, and if the “drug’s health benefits outweigh its known risks, the drug is approved for sale.”

As their website points out, the FDA does not actually conduct drug testing itself. This means that they rely on drug companies to conduct comprehensive and accurate tests and to report the results honestly. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. For instance, pharmaceutical companies may fail to report negative results to the FDA or they may study side effects for only a short period of time. The FDA then approves these drugs based on flawed and/or dishonest tests and doctors can start prescribing them to people like you.

You can read more about the FDA development and approval process for drugs here.

If test results come back with negative results, the FDA may respond by demanding more testing, writing letters to doctors, and/or adding warnings to labels, but all of these things require meetings, reports, and reviews, all of which can take years. So even when the FDA is properly informed of adverse side effects, it may take them a very long time before determining that the bad outweighs the good and that the drug, therefore, needs to be taken off the market. In the meantime, patients like you may be getting sicker and sicker.

This is how the process works. It is important to understand the process, because the more you know, the less you can be fooled. You may feel fooled already, which is why it’s so important to understand how you got here before you can start moving forward.

Are you taking any of these dangerous drugs?

There are certain prescription drugs that have been linked to serious adverse reactions of which you should be aware. If you are taking or have taken any of these drugs, you may be at risk.

Type 2 diabetes drugs: Avandia and Actos

Side effects: bladder cancer, heart failure, and heart attacks

Lawsuits: about $2.37 billion paid in settlement of about 9,000 claims against Actos

Antidepressants and mood stabilizers: Paxil, Prozac, Effexor, Zoloft, Lexapro, and Depakote

Side effects: suicidal thoughts and/or tendencies, birth defects, and violent behavior

Lawsuits: over $1 billion paid in settlement

Testosterone replacement drugs such as AndroGel

Side effects: heart attacks

Birth control pills: Yaz and Yasmin

Side effects: blood clots, which can contribute to deep vein thrombosis (DVTs), pulmonary embolism (PE), stroke, or heart attack

Lawsuits filed: 10,000+

Acne medication: Accutane

Side effects: inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, suicidal thoughts and/or tendencies, birth defects, liver damage, gastrointestinal disorders

Removed from market in 2009

Crestor (a cholesterol drug)

Side effects: muscle tissue damage (rhabdomyolysis), kidney (renal) failure, chronic or abnormal bleeding

Blood thinners: Pradaxa and Xarelto

Side effects: uncontrollable bleeding, heart attacks, heart disease

Xarelto was fast-tracked and approved in 2011, so other side effects are unknown.

Osteoporosis drug: Fosamax

Side effects: ONJ (jaw death), joint and muscle pain, atrial fibrillation, inflammation and ulcers of the esophagus

Lawsuits filed: ~1,000

Dialysis treatment drugs: GranuFlo and NaturaLyte

Side effects: excess acid in the blood, which can lead to organ damage, heart arrhythmia, heart attack, coma, and death

Vioxx (a pain medication)

Side effects: heart attack, stroke

Lawsuits filed: 60,000+

Reglan: a gastrointestinal drug

Side effects: Tardive Dyskinesia (TD)

Lawsuits filed: 5,000+

Hair loss pills: Propecia and Proscar

Side effects: erectile dysfunction, libido disorders, ejaculation disorders, orgasm disorders, high-grade prostate cancer

This is by no means an exhaustive list. We encourage you to look through Drugwatch’s more complete list of dangerous drugs. Even if you don’t see your medication on this list, we encourage you to contact a personal injury attorney who can review your case and advise you as to your legal options.

Continue exploring this guide:

Other related articles by Martinson & Beason, P.C.: