Defective Pharmaceuticals

Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome and Risperdal

Posted by on Apr 13, 2015 in Defective Pharmaceuticals | 0 comments

Risperdal (risperidone) was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the management of schizophrenia in 1994. As far back as 1997, there were indications that there was link between sort-term Risperdal use and a condition called Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome or NMS. This indicates considerable forewarning that would be of significance to Risperdal side effects lawyers.

NMS is an idiosyncratic (unpredictable) reaction to neuroleptic drugs, often manifesting within a short period of initial medication or increase in dosage, NMS symptoms may include high body temperature (more than 38 degrees Celsius), lead-pipe type muscle rigidity, tachycardia (abnormally rapid heartbeat), respiratory distress, incontinence, unresponsiveness, and changes in mental status. NMS is relatively rare, but it is has serious health consequences.

In a case presented in a 1997 report involved an 75-year-old patient with senile dementia brought in for treatment. He was put on a medication program that included a low oral dose of risperidone (.5 mg twice daily) and shortly presented with symptoms of NMS. The risperidone was discontinued and the patient reverted to baseline within three days.

While one case is not conclusive, there were early indications that Risperdal could cause NMS. According to this study, it is uncommon in atypical antipsychotics. It described the dramatic reaction of a 34-year-old male with mild mental retardation to Risperdal, which prompted the discussion on the possible involvement of the drug in causing NMS and recommendation for further study. NMS has a mortality rate of more than 11%, depending on how long the condition is permitted to continue.

Because NMS presents rapidly (within two weeks) after initial medication, doctors should be made aware of the possible risk when they prescribe Risperdal to patients. This can significantly reduce the time in making a diagnosis and providing treatment, which initially means the discontinuation of Risperdal and subsequent supportive care. In many cases, properly treated NMS resolves in three to 7 working days.

Drug makers have a duty of care towards their clients. This includes conducting extensive clinical tests to have thorough knowledge about what the risks are with taking medical products. They know or should have known about these risks. If you or an immediate family member unexpectedly developed NMS upon taking Risperdal, you may not have been adequately warned. Consult with Risperdal side effects lawyers in your area to assess your case.

Read More

The Dangers Presented by Yasmin, One of the Most-prescribed Oral Contraceptives in the World

Posted by on Mar 12, 2014 in Defective Pharmaceuticals | 1 comment

Between 2001 and 2010, two names always surfaced when it concerned prescribing oral contraceptives to women in the US and in many other parts of the globe: Yasmin and Yaz. Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, a German company and one of the 10 top pharmaceutical companies worldwide, introduced Yasmin in 2001 and Yaz, in 2006.

Yasmin, particularly, come in packs that contain 7 palliative or inactive pills and 21 active pills (the palliative pills are simply intended to lessen annoying symptoms before or during one’s menstrual cycle. Besides containing ethinyl estradiol, the hormone that increases the density of bone minerals and suppresses ovulation, Yasmin also has drospirenone, an artificial progesterone, which treats premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) and temperate acne, more effectively.

Yasmin is said to effectively prevent pregnancy of females aged 14 and up. The drug is not recommended to everyone, however, specifically women who are nursing, as the drug may harm the child, those suffering from medical disorders and those who are not certain if they are pregnant.

In 2007 (a year after Yaz was made available for prescription) until 2013, more than 600 cases of adverse-effects were linked to the use of either Yasmin or Yaz. But what aggravated the circumstances surrounding the drugs was the discovery of the death of 23 Canadian women, with ages ranging from 14 – 26, due to the use of either of the drugs.

Yasmin, itself, has been linked to the development of gallbladder injuries, and blood clots, such as deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in a vein that is located deep inside the body) and pulmonary embolism (blood clot that blocks of the pulmonary artery), in women who take it. Thus, by the mid of 2013, more than 10,000 lawsuits had been filed against Yasmin’s manufacturer, and about $1.4 billion had been paid in settlement with more than 6,000 claimants.

There are other adverse effects linked to the use of Yasmin, including:

  • Cerebrovascular accidents (CVA), a failure in brain function due to disturbances in brain’s blood supply. CVA can also result to loss of speech, vision and function of the limbs
  • Damage of heart tissues, also known as myocardial infarction, which is caused by an obstruction  in the flow of blood to the heart muscles
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Death

On its website, the law firm Williams Kherkher encourages women to exercise their right to inquire from their doctors the safety and effectivity of any birth control medication that is prescribed to them. This is to ensure their protection against any serious side-effects to which so many oral contraceptives have been linked already.

Read More