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When most people hear the term “dangerous drugs” they think of illegal drugs such as cocaine heroin methamphetamines. However, certain prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications can have adverse and dangerous health effects. Although prescription drugs have to undergo various cycles of testing and governmental approval before they are supposed to be sold, there are many instances of drugs that prove dangerous making it through these processes without raising any red flags – just because a drug is on the market, or because a doctor has prescribed it, does not mean it is safe, or safe for you.

In fact, despite having to go through governmental approval processes, a Centers for Disease Control study estimated that legal but dangerous drugs kill over 40,000 Americans every year. These figures are not entirely surprising considering the vast number of Americans who take medicines. Research from the Mayo Clinic shows that over 70{577ae053d317d9703658e18c284aa2458a71b8d3bba0e42e3386791e5dd9eaf4} of Americans take at least one prescription drug.

Although the majority of dangerous drug-related damages occur in the first 12 months after a drug’s release, when the drug first reaches the market and its effects are not fully understood, sometimes dangerous drugs remain on the market for many years. Occasionally, even after a drug company becomes aware that one of its drugs can pose serious health risks, the  company continues to advertise the drug as safe and keeps it on the market – without even posting a warning label — because the drug is so highly profitable that the drug company does not want to do anything that might dampen sales.

Common Dangerous Drugs

The most prevalent harmful drugs, some of which are still on the market, include:

Avandia – Avandia was approved in 1999 to help treat type 2 diabetes and quickly became popular after its release. Over time, however, people who were taking this medication began to realize it had very harmful side effects on the heart, liver, eyes, and bones. In 2010, the FDA restricted its use and now Avandia is widely regarded as a serious health risk due to its propensity to increase the likelihood of heart attacks, strokes, bone density loss, vision loss, liver failure, and other serious health issues.

Elmiron – Originally approved to treat interstitial cystitis (IC), also known as painful bladder syndrome, Elmiron has now been strongly linked to very serious eye injuries. Ongoing lawsuits have alleged that the drug’s manufacturer has been aware of this risk but did not disclose it. Some of the most damaging side effects of Elmiron include retinal maculopathy, macular degeneration, distorted vision, issues adjusting to darkness, and even total vision loss.

Opioids – Many Americans are intimately familiar with the Opioid crisis, which began in the 1990s and continues today, wreaking havoc on the millions of Americans who became addicted to these drugs. Many opioid lawsuits allege that the pharmaceutical companies who manufacture these drugs wrongly advertised them as low risk for addiction and failed to disclose their true risks. The crisis has become so severe that now roughly 2/3 of all drug overdoses involve opioids.

Zantac – Zantac was first approved by the FDA in 1983 as a treatment for heartburn and acid indigestion. The drug became incredibly popular – in 1988 it was the world’s top selling drug. Unfortunately, however, we now know that Zantac is strongly linked to N-Nitrosodimethylamine, a cancer-causing chemical that has been found in the drug. Lawsuits allege that drug manufactures hid this link for years and are responsible for causing stomach, bladder, and other cancers in patients who took Zantac. In April of 2020, the FDA announced it was taking Zantac off the market due to these risks.

Truvada – Truvada was approved to treat and reduce the risk of contracting HIV. The active ingredient of Truvada, however – tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) – has been linked to a host of harmful health effects. Many of the most damaging effects of TDF have to do with bone loss and kidney problems, including acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease renal failure, osteoporosis, bone density loss, and tooth loss.

Dangerous Drug Lawsuits

Dangerous drug victims have the right to receive compensation for their suffering. Proving a dangerous drug case requires proof to demonstrate that the drug is unreasonably dangerous or defective.  A drug may be defective or dangerous due to a manufacturing error, or because of a design flaw that is inherent in the drug. Additionally, a drug can be shown to be unreasonably dangerous if the label on the drug does not warn of all of its potential side effects.

Although many people are intimidated by the thought of taking a big drug manufacturing company to court, these cases are well worth the effort. Successful lawsuits can not only help take dangerous drugs off the market, but enable victims of dangerous drug s, and their families, recover significant damages, including the cost of extra medical expenses, lost wages (due to drug related injuries), pain and suffering, and for a reduced quality of life (e.g., if the drug causes blindness). Drug manufactures recognize the risks of dangerous drugs and they and their insurance companies set aside billions of dollars to pay out in lawsuits. At the Advocate Law Group, we have decades of experience holding the insurance companies for drug manufacturers accountable. Our partners are well known within the industry and understand what it takes to successfully litigate a dangerous drug case where an insurance company is involved, and members of the Advocate Law Group Network have decades of experience recovering major sums from manufacturers and distributors of dangerous drugs. If you have been harmed by a dangerous drug, contact us today for a free consultation.

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The attorneys in the Advocate Law Group network bring decades of real-world experience in both law and insurance.