Dangerous Drugs

See examples of our dangerous drugs and medical devices cases.

Many drugs on the market, both prescribed and over-the-counter, have harmful and even deadly side effects. FDA (Federal Drug Administration) approval does not guarantee that a drug is safe for consumers. Sometimes dangerous drugs are recalled but sometimes they remain on the market despite their risks. At Diamond~Massong, we understand the medical and legal complexities unique to these cases. Examples of dangerous drugs include:

Actos

Actos is a drug commonly prescribed to help treat Type 2 diabetes. The FDA warns that use of the drug at higher cumulative doses for long periods of time may increase the risk of bladder cancer. The manufacturer, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, continues to defend the drug but has agreed to include the potential bladder cancer risk on bottle labels. It is currently sponsoring a study to specifically assess the risk of bladder cancer due to frequent Actos use.

Actos belongs to a class of prescription drugs known as thiazolidinediones, which help reduce insulin resistance, a common problem in those afflicted with Type 2 diabetes. It is available in three different dose levels, and the one you take depends on your specific case of diabetes.

If you have taken Actos and developed bladder cancer, Diamond~Massong understands your concerns and is able to assist.

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Fosamax

Since 1995, millions of older women have taken drugs called bisphosphonates, including the popular Fosamax, to stop the progression of osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become thin and brittle after menopause. Sadly, strong evidence has shown that the long-term use of Fosamax or its generic equivalent alendronate pose significant health risks. Some women who have taken the drug for five years or more have experienced unusual femur fractures during normal everyday activities without apparent cause.

The femur bone is one of the largest and strongest in the body, known to withstand almost any jolt. Common causes of femur fractures are falls, car accidents, or severe osteoporosis. In 2008, the FDA pressured Merck, which manufactures Fosamax, about constant reports of femur fractures. After more than a year, Merck simply added femur fractures to the list of the drug’s possible side effects, but important concerns about this risk were never fully disclosed to the public or to doctors who continue prescribing the drug.

Fosamax and its equivalent drugs continue to be prescribed for menopausal women, although extended use in some women may actually affect their ability to regenerate new bone and increase their risk of developing fractures. The FDA has now developed recommendations for doctors and patients about the risks and side effects of bisphosponates based on mounting results of clinical trials and ongoing studies.

Diamond~Massong encourages women to make informed decisions about osteoporosis drugs by learning more. One good resource is Bone Health and Osteoporosis: A Report of the Surgeon General (2004)

We are reviewing cases involving women who have suffered unusual, spontaneous femur fractures linked to the osteoporosis drugs Fosamax, Boniva, and Actonel.

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Pradaxa

Pradaxa is a blood thinner manufactured by Boehringer Ingelheim, a German pharmaceutical company. It is used to lower the risk of blood clots and strokes in patients with atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat. Pradaxa is associated with uncontrollable internal bleeding and an increased risk of heart attack and cardiac injury. People who are 75 years old plus face a greater risk of serious Pradaxa side effects, as do patients with recurring intestinal bleeding, stomach ulcers, and kidney conditions.

If you or a loved one has suffered serious Pradaxa complications, contact Diamond-Massong for help.

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Protein Pump Inhibitors

Protein pump inhibitors (PPIs) are a type of medication used to treat certain gastrointestinal problems including gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), small ulcers in the stomach or intestines, and inflammation of the esophagus. Prescription medications in this class include Prolesec, Prevacid, Dexilent, Aciphex, and Protonix. Other versions, including Nexium 24HR, Prilosec OTC, and Prevacid 24HR are available over-the-counter.

Recent research suggests that using PPIs may lead to serious kidney problems such as chronic kidney disease, acute kidney injury (sometimes called acute renal failure), interstitial nephritis, and end-stage renal failure (sometimes called end-stage renal disease). If you have taken a PPI and developed one of these kidney problems, you may be entitled to compensation.

Diamond Massong is offering free consultations for anyone who may have suffered chronic kidney disease, acute kidney injury, interstitial nephritis, or end-stage renal failure after regular use of a PPI.

Xarelto®

Xarelto® (rivaroxaban) was approved by the FDA in 2011 as part of a new class of blood thinners. Thousands of lawsuits have been filed against pharmaceutical giants Bayer and Johnson & Johnson and their various domestic and foreign subsidiaries involved in the design, manufacturing, and marketing of Xarelto.

Although its approval by the FDA was somewhat controversial, Xarelto is an aggressively marketed and popular drug. It is prescribed as an alternative to warfarin (also known as Coumadin) to patients with atrial fibrillation to prevent stroke and to surgical patients to prevent blood clots in their legs and lungs after surgery.

It is almost impossible to turn on the TV and not see an ad promoting Xarelto as an easy, convenient alternative to Coumadin, with only once-a- day dosing and no blood monitoring required. Unfortunately, the “Xarelto difference” may come at great costs. There are reports that many more serious bleeding events occur in patients taking Xarelto than those taking Coumadin. Unlike Coumadin, there is no antidote for bleeding caused by Xarelto, so patients are at risk of life-threatening and uncontrolled bleeding.

Despite the disturbing reports of adverse events connected to Xarelto, the drug continues to be heavily marketed. In 2013, Bayer made $1.3 billion in sales from Xarelto. Xarelto lawsuits have already yielded important discoveries about Xarelto’s dangers. The FDA is investigating whether the clinical trial used as the basis for the FDA’s approval of Xarelto was fatally flawed to to use of a defective blood testing device, which may have made Xarelto appear more effective and safe than it really is. Internal documents uncovered in the litigation reveal that doctors involved in the clinical trial reported critical problems to the drug companies during the study.

Diamond~Massong is filing lawsuits on behalf of those who have suffered serious injuries such as internal bleeding, blood clots, or stroke while taking Xarelto. If you or a loved one have suffered such an injury, please contact Diamond~Massong discuss your legal rights.

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See what others are saying…

“I had a medical negligence case where my bile duct was completely cut during gall bladder surgery. I have had several surgeries for corrections since then. Judy Massong was recommended to me by a friend, and it felt right to have an attorney with a medical background. I adore Judy; she is compassionate and caring and communicates well. I feel comfortable that she is a female, and I am so pleased with how she handled my case. She truly believes in what she’s doing, and she’s a great advocate for the victim.” Melody P.
Marysville, WA

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