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Fosamax Dangers You Must Know

Fosamax Dangers You Must Know

Introduction
Fosamax is the brand name for Alendronic acid, marketed by the Merck Corporation for the treatment of bone loss.  A variant of the drug containing Vitamin D is marketed as Fosamax+D.  Fosamax works by inhibiting the process that allows for bone loss and works to rebuild the bones.  As a result, fractures from weakened bones decrease significantly.  Patients low in calcium will need to achieve adequate levels of calcium before starting a Fosamax regimen.  This medication remains in the body for a number of years so caution must be taken for women hat may become pregnant.
What are the dangers of Fosamax?
Fosamax is administered orally and can be potential dangerous if taken improperly.  Fosamax needs to be taken 30 minutes before eating and the patient must remain upright for the entire time to prevent damage to the esophagus.  Through regular use, a rare condition called Osteonecrosis may occur in the maxilla and mandible where legions form as a result of cancer treatment or dental work performed during exposure to biophospahates such as Fosamax.  Osteonecrosis, purported to be caused by Fosamax is the subject of litigation against Merck.  Similarly, the nature of Alendronic acid may cause ulcers in the esophagus and eventual esophageal cancer.
Rare cases of low impact fractures have occurred with long terms users of Fosamax as the drug inhibits the process that repairs the thigh bone, rendering it brittle.  This may happen in people already suffering from osteoporosis.   These fractures spurred and FDA warning in October 2010.
How does one receive damages for injury related to Fosamax?
Attorneys specialize in the two most troubling side effects of Fosamax use.  The new dangers discovered by brittle thigh bones have spurred an increase in Fosamax related lawsuits.  As Merck did not adequately warn of the potential dangers of Fosamax treatment, you may be eligible for compensation as a result of Fosamax induced fractures.  While the issue of osteonecrosis and Fosamax’s role in its development has been debated, damages can be won if a conclusive link can be drawn between the exposure to biophospahates and the bone decay.  As Fosamax has also been linked to esophageal cancer, some attorneys have won settlements for medical expenses, loss of wages and pain and suffering damages. 
Doctors are also responsible for the prescription of Fosamax and have a duty to assess risk factors and inform and monitor the progress of the patient while on the medication.  If a doctor prescribes Fosamax inappropriately and that results in harm to the patient, then that doctor is also liable for damages.  As with many medications, Fosamax can cause birth defects in expectant mothers and should never be prescribed for women who are pregnant.
Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0000018/

Guidant Defibrillator/Pacemaker Defects

Guidant Defibrillator/Pacemaker Defects

Introduction: 
A Guidant Defibrillator/Pacemaker is a cardiovascular regulatory device designed by the Guidant Corporation.  Guidant was a spinoff of Eli Lilly Co which separated the company to focus on pharmaceutical drugs.  Some Guidant defibrillators were found to be defective, failing to deliver the shock necessary to keep the patient alive.  As a result, there was a broad recall of certain models in 2005 and increased scrutiny on companies that make pacemakers.
How does a pacemaker work?
A pacemaker is an implanted device that delivers artificial shocks to the heart muscle to regulate its beating.  This is used in instances where the patient’s heart does not beat fast enough or lacks the ability to regulate itself.  Some pacemakers may include a defibrillator to automatically restart the heart during heart failure.
What were the defects found in Guidant Defibrillator and Pacemakers?
The recalled devices could fail in a number of ways to do software and manufacturing issues.  For some pacemakers, batteries could malfunction or wiring errors that could cause a short circuit.  On others, the battery life could diminish far quicker than normal leading to the danger of premature device failure.  Issues such as these led to at least nine hospitalizations and for Guidant to recall a significant number of the devices.  There were subsequent recalls of more devices in 2006 and 2007.  The recalls affected in excess of 50,000 people many of whom will bear the expense of replacing the faulty pacemaker.  Although the risk of failure in the devices is low, the risk is significant enough to advise patients that have had the recalled devices to seek the advice and opinion of a doctor.
What should I do if I received a faulty pacemaker?
Attorneys have proven that Guidant was aware of possible defects in their products where they were on the market but did nothing to rectify that problem.  In this situation, they have product liability for the faulty product and patients affected by the faulty devices.  For cases such as this, the plaintiff must prove that the product defect was the fault of the manufacturer and the case is essentially very clear cut against Guidant.  These patients are entitled to damages, especially from costs related to replacing the device, as well as damages for lost wages and anguish.  As in all cases, statutes of limitations affect the amount of time that a claim can be filed against the manufacturer. 
One should contact an attorney at their earliest convenience to get more information on what recourse they have against the Guidant Corporation.  There are also class action lawsuits filed against the corporation, with thousands of plaintiffs that entitle them to sizeable settlement payments.

Dangers of Hookah

Dangers of Hookah

Introduction
A hookah is a type of tobacco pipe that uses water in a glass base to cool the smoke before it is inhaled through a hose.  The pipe burns shisha which is a tobacco that is artificially flavored with fruit, mint, or sweets.  There is some dispute as to the possible extent of Hookah Pipe Smoking Injuries as conclusive research has yet to emerge.  
How might hookah be dangerous?
Unlike other tobacco products, hookah is a social activity with the tobacco packed in a “bowl” shared amongst a group of people, typically in a private residence or hookah lounge and lasting in exceed of 40 minutes.  An individual participating in a hookah session may inhale 100 – 200 times the smoke of a single cigarette and may contain 1.7 times the nicotine.  The Mayo Clinic insists that hookah smoking carries the same risks as smoking cigarettes, especially as the water cooling the smoke does not filter the toxins present in the smoke.  Toxic chemicals are typically used to flavor the tobacco, which is the primary appeal of hookah.
Hookah and shisha manufacturers alike admit to having nicotine content in their product but claim that it is significantly less than typical cigarettes.  Although hookah has a reputation as a safer alternative to cigarettes, it should never be interpreted as healthy or non-habit forming.
What other injuries could result from smoking hookah?
As hookah is a communal activity there is the increased risk of transmitting a contagious disease through saliva present on the hoses.  Plastic mouthpieces may diminish this risk, but sanitary concerns remain.  Individuals with respiratory problems should avoid hookah due to the obvious danger posed by smoke of any kind.  Additionally, recklessness in the operation of the hookah stand may cause burns as the tobacco is steamed through exposed coals on top of the bowl of tobacco.

What should I do if I am injured by hookah or a hookah stand?
Rarely are hookah-related injuries due to negligence as individuals usually participate in the activity voluntarily and the staff working at hookah lounges are well aware of the hazards of working in such an establishment.  Recklessness in handling the coals however can lead to serve burns and property damage may be entitled to damages if the plaintiff can prove that the negligence on the part of the stand operator is the direct result of the defendant failing to take adequate safety precautions or was otherwise negligent in his “duty of care” to the plaintiff.
Shisha can also be potentially harmful due to a lack of oversight and potentially dangerous flavoring compounds used in its manufacture.  In the event that shisha caused harm above and beyond what would result from normal tobacco smoking, then the manufacturer or supplier may be held liable to medical expenses that result.  Mixing hookah with alcohol or illicit drugs is also dangerous and not recommended for any persons.

LASIK Eye Surgery Complications

LASIK Eye Surgery Complications

Introduction
LASIK is a medical procedure that uses a laser to correct vision problems such as myopia (shortsightedness), hyperia (farsightedness) and astigmatism.  The laser used is an exicmer laser that does not cause thermal burns to cut into the cornea.  This type of surgery is known as refractive surgery.
How is LASIK performed?
During LASIK surgery, the patient is awake, if not mildly sedated.  Cuts in the cornea are created to reveal the area underneath the cornea, called the stroma.  It is here that the cornea remodeling takes place.  The corneal flat is then closed and sealed and the eye heals naturally.  Once healed, the eyes may revert to their pre-operation state, requiring additional surgery.  The higher the initial correction, coupled with other factors such as astigmatism and age determine the likelihood that the initial LASIK surgery will be successful.  
There is dispute to the degree that LASIK can correct the most severe eyesight deficiencies.  Studies do show however, that infections from contact lenses use are far more likely than infections as a complication from LASIK surgery with the chance of vision loss calculated at 1 in 10,000.  This number is subject to dispute as evidence surfaces that some complications were not factors into initial safety reports on the dangers of LASIK surgery.
What complications may occur as a result of LASIK?
Dry eyes are the most common complication from LASIK surgery and the FDA warns that such damage may be permanent.  Surgical errors may also affect the outcome of the surgery with the potential for inadequate corrections being a concern.  Sensitivity to light is common for all patients but usually dissipates some time after the surgery.  Minor hemorrhaging may occur in the eye as a direct result of the surgery and the corneal flap created by the surgery may slip in rare cases, requiring immediate attention.  
How do I go about seeking damages for LASIK malpractice?
In some cases, the ophthalmologists may not have taken adequate precautions or screened the patient’s risks factors properly before operating.  This increases the likelihood of malpractice and permanent damage.  Additionally, some LASIK surgeries may have been performed with lasers that were not yet approved by the FDA.  If damages occurred while the ophthalmologist used an unapproved laser, then there is definitely a case for negligence.  The statute of limitations generally extends to roughly two years after the condition is discovered, but this varies by jurisdiction. 
Generally speaking, failures to screen for preexisting corneal conditions or risk factors are the primary reasons for LASIK litigation.  An attorney that specializes in this form of litigation can help you seek damages to cover medical expenses and other damages associated with improper surgery.

Lead Poisoning FAQS

Lead Poisoning FAQS

Introduction
Lead poisoning occurs when the body is exposed to lead which leads to neurological damage and kidney failure.  In children especially, amounts of lead exceeding 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood can lead to permanent developmental disabilities inclusion learning disorders, behavioral problems and long term illness.  There is no safe threshold for lead and prolonged and chronic exposure may lead to serious illness or death.
How does one usually get exposed to lead?
Household paints have historically contained lead so children living in older residences may be exposed to lead through paint chips or dust that they unknowingly consume.  Lead may also get into soil and water through exposure to pesticides and gasoline where is passes the lead content to the food.   Lead in paint and gasoline was banned in the 1970s as there was a growing realization of the dangers it posed.  Water can be contaminated through lead content in older pipes that are made of or soldered with lead.  Lead was also found in some South Asian cosmetics, toys imported from China and some traditional medicine.  Individuals that eat game shot with lead bullets also show elevated levels of lead in their bodies.  
The body can be exposed to lead through the mouth, nose and eyes.  Additionally, lead can enter the body through breaks in the skin.  Most lead exposure is through the respiratory system where it eventually enters the bloodstream.  Absorption rates may be as high as 15%.  For adults, lead is usually deposited in the bones or teeth which are less dangerous than the risk for children where the lead is constantly reentering the bloodstream, causing havoc on the cell structure and immune system.  Lead exposure deteriorates the hippocampus of the brain leading to memory loss.  Lead exposure affects virtually every part of the body which is why it is especially dangerous to growing children.
Individuals that may have been exposed to lead should consult a doctor for testing immediately.
What steps have been taken to protect children from further lead exposure?
Since the regulation of lead in household products and fuel in the 1970s, municipalities through their own accord and as the targets of lawsuits have enforced stringent standards for the removal of lead.  Individuals that fail to comply with these standards for their properties and in the process endanger tenants or other individuals that come into contact with the property will face criminal and civil penalties.  Most municipalities have aimed to eliminate lead poisoning altogether in the near future.  Government agencies, such as the CDC have released guidelines and suggestions for limiting lead exposure and removing its danger to children.
Am I eligible for damages in lead exposure cases?
Some personal injury lawyers specialize in lead-related exposure cases, generally against landlords and property owners, but also against municipalities and lead removal contractors.  Improper lead removal can exacerbate a condition by releasing lead dust into the air.  The attorney will be able to help you determine liability for the case.
Sources: https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/

Drug-Coated Stent Issues

Drug-Coated Stent Issues

Introduction
A drug coated stent is used to open blocked arteries and to keep that opened artery in place to prevent the blockage from overwhelming it again.  The stent is a stainless steel tube with notches that blocks the cells from multiplying and causing another blockage.  Although the blockage may once again grow and overwhelm the stent, a new stent, the drug-coated or “drug eluting” stent contains a cynostatic agent that prevents the blockage cells from multiplying and overwhelming the stent, as it would with a stainless steel version.
This process came out of the use of balloon angioplasty to open blocked blood vessels where a tube was inserted and inflated to clear blockages.  Of course, the body would try to heal itself and reform to the cells that caused the blockage in the first place.  The later additions of stents allowed for the vessel to remain open for a longer period of time, but not before eventfully being overwhelmed again.
What are some issues with the use of drug-coated stents?
There has been the overzealous use of stents in recent years contrary to FDA recommendations and some patients have suffered as a result as there are ever-present risks when dealing with coronary arteries and there is a risk for myocardial infection.  As the stent is medicated, it also became too effective, and provided a surface for clots to form as normal cells could not regenerate.  These clots may cause heart failure and a host of other heart problems for 1 in 500 patients.
Stent thrombosis may occur in some cases as the body reacts poorly to the presence of a foreign object in the body which may in turn provide the opportunity for a life threatening clot to form.  Stents are estimated to kill around 2,000 Americans a year and approximately 4 million stents have been placed in patients.  It is speculated that the FDA may regulate or end the practice of using stents and many cardiologists have stopped using the device altogether.  
What legal recourse do I have if I have received a drug-coated stent?
Many law firms are now accepting requests by patients to act as retainers for possible class action lawsuits.  As drug coated stents are gradually found to be more and more dangerous for the patient with even higher rates of heart attacks than bare metal stents, lawsuits against the stent makers, Johnson and Johnson and Boston Scientific seem likely.  If you have had a drug coated stent implanted and you believe it has put you at risk of a potentially fatal heart attack, it may be in your best interest to speak with an attorney who can inform you of your legal rights.

Duragesic Patch Risks

Duragesic Patch Risks

Introduction
Duragesic is the brand name of fentanyl transdermal therapeutic systems which is a system of delivering pain relief in the form of a patch placed on the skin.  The patches come in increments of 12, 25, 50, 75 and 100 micrograms per hour and can be combined to form a more specialized dose, such as the combination of 50+12 patches to create a 62.5 microgram per hour dose.
What are the risks of duragesic patches?
Duragestic patches contain a powerful narcotic and are only meant of individuals with severe chronic pain.  Unlike inhibitors, it works on the brain in order to reduce pain, which can make it potential dangerous.  It falls in the same category as commonly abused opioids including methadone, morphine and oxycodone.  It is not intended for short term pain from injuries or surgery.  Additionally, the patient must be able to handle opioids as demonstrated through continuous of morphine or other opioids in a controlled setting.  Tampering with a duragesic patch may cause the medicine to be released unpredictably, which can also cause unintended harm.
Leaking patches are an extremely dangerous problem for duragesic users as seen in 2004 when faulty seal breaches in patches supplied by Janssen Pharmaceutica Products had to be recalled.  The rapid release of opioids led to at least one fatality from faulty Duragesic patches.  Similar instances occurred where improperly sealed patches could harm both patients and health care professionals applying the patch.  Production was recently suspended in 2011 due to some manufacturing issues, although the problem was quickly resolved.
What should I do if I have been hurt or exposed to opioids due to faulty patches?
The potential for a drug overdose from a duragesic patch is very high.  In cases involving faulty patches the manufacturers are almost always at fault and subject to civil liability.  Duragesic patches may also be improperly distributed or handled by health care professionals and negligence on their part can cause harm to the patient.
In some cases, both the doctors and manufactures may be at fault, as determined by the wrongful death lawsuit brought against Johnson and Johnson and a physician’s assistant by the family of Susan Hodgemire.  Hodgemire improperly received the patch after a surgery (which was clearly not the intend use of the patch) and died of a drug overdose.  The jury awarded $13 million dollars, with 80% of the blame for the death on the manufacturer for failing to adequately address and inform about the dangers of the patch.  The physician’s assistant was also liable for giving improper medical advice.
There are some attorneys that specialize in duragesic patch litigation cases.  As the FDA has begun issuing warnings and investigation patch manufacturers, there is a good chance that duragesic patch manufacturers can be found liable for damages sustained from the improper dispersal and manufacture of their patch.

Diclofenac

Diclofenac

Introduction
Diclofenac is a non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that is used to reduce pain, usually in cancer patients and arthritic individuals.  The most common form is 2 – 4 times a day capsules but it may also be administered in IV or suppository forms.  Diclofenac is an inhibitor that stops the body from producing substances that cause pain and inflammation.  The medication must be ingested as per pharmacist instructions, usually around the same times every day.  
What names are Diclofenac marketed under?
Brand names for Diclofenac include Cambia, Cataflam, Voltaren, Voltarol and Zipsor.

What are risk factors for NSAID drugs such as Diclofenac?
Drugs such as Diclofenac increase the risk of heart attacks and stroke so your doctor must be made aware of these conditions before prescribing this medication.  Additionally, ulcers and bleeding may occur through the course of taking this medication.  Due vigilance is required on this medicine as the side effects may be severe or fatal for those with risks of heart disease or internal bleeding.  Patients recovering from heart surgery should not use this drug.
Like many medications, taking Diclofenac during pregnancy may cause birth defects.  It is important to disclose all risk factors to a doctor before taking Diclofenac as well as keep all appointments so that the doctor can monitor and decide if changes to the dosage are necessary.
Additionally, there are common side effects such as, weight gain, loss of appetite, headaches and itching.

What should I do if I was improperly prescribed Diclofenac?
Although the patient must inform the doctor of all relevant risk factors, if possible before taking any medication, it is ultimately the responsibility of the doctor to ensure that the patient has no glaring risk factors that would put them at risk for serious side effects.  That being said, if you have experienced serious side effects and the doctor neglected to check your medical history or inform you of potential side effects, then you may be able to make the case that the doctor is negligent and you are entitled to damages that cover medical expenses, lost wages as well as pain and suffering.  An attorney will be best able to guide you through the legal process and determine liability.
Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0000882/

Facts to Know About Effexor

Facts to Know About Effexor

Introduction
Effexor is the brand name of antidepressant venlafaxine belonging to the selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SSNRI) that allows the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine to slow down and build up enabling the body’s neurons to fire properly.  The lack of these neurotransmitters affects the ability of the neurons to work properly which is one of the causes of depression.  The effect of this drug on the transmitters depends on the dosage, with small doses working only on serotonin.
A lack of serotonin at low levels can cause bulimia and panic but at even lower levels will lead to OCD and depression.
What are side effects of drugs such as Effexor?
The most common side effects, loss of sleep, appetite and weight are not serious and diminish quickly.  However there are more moderate scale there are side effects such as drowsiness, fatigue, nausea and sexual dysfunction.  
On a more serious scale, the FDA issued a “black box warning” about a suicide risk while taking this drug.  While this link has not been proven among the normal population, it may exacerbate conditions for those that already have a suicide risk.  
Additionally, SSNRI drugs cultivate dependency which may lead to a discontinuation syndrome.  Effexor was a high risk of this due to a “short half-life” which caused patients to experience withdrawal symptoms as early as three days after starting treatment.  Doctors frequently have to prescribe smaller doses of SSRI drugs to suppress the effects of discontinuation syndrome.  Dependency on anti-depressant medication is gradually gaining acceptance as a serious issue, although many doctors prescribing the drugs may not be initially aware of the potential dangers of putting patients on Effexor.
What is serotonin toxicity?
Too much serotonin in the body is harmful to one’s health.  Serotonin toxicity can result as result of mixing SSRI medication with other drugs.  The increase of serotonin can initially cause anxiety, insomnia, sexual dysfunction and gastrointestinal disturbances.  At higher levels, there is the risk of “serotonin syndrome” which causes fever, tremors, coma, seizures and death.  At the higher levels of serotonin toxicity there may also be heart damage, but this link has not yet been proven.
What are the potential effects on pregnant women?
The FDA has issued a blanket warning against the use of anti-depressants in the third trimester of pregnancy as there is an elevated risk of birth defects on the fetus.  There is also an elevated chance of a miscarriage while taking Effexor for pregnant women.
What should I do if have been improperly prescribed Effexor?
If you can prove that your doctor was negligent in prescribing you Effexor, you may be entitled to damages for medical expenses, lost wages and emotional anguish.  It is the doctor’s responsibility to ascertain health risks before prescribing medication, so allowing the patient to take drug combinations that lead to serotonin syndrome or prescribing Effexor to pregnant women are some examples of how a doctor can be negligent in this case.

Ephedra

Ephedra

Introduction
Ephedra is a medicinal plant that is banned in the United States.  The ban was issues specifically against diet supplements containing Ephedra for dangerous side effects.  Ephedra has been used in traditional medicine for a number of years as a stimulant that can also increase cardiovascular activity and expand bronchial tubes.  For this reason, Ephedra was considered a possible drug for the treatment of asthma.  The chemical compounds in Ephedra are very similar to those found in methamphetamine and maintain the same dangers from improper use.  
How is Ephedra dangerous?
The most common form of Ephedra, prior to its ban in 2004 was as a weight loss supplement.  Ephedra was able to help users lose weight effectively in the short term, but it’s unclear if that weight loss would be sustained.  These Ephedra dietary supplements tended to be mixed with caffeine and also had misleading labels, understating how much of the potentially dangerous drug was in the dosage.  Evidence mounted that Ephedra supplements put users at increased risk of cardiac episodes and death.  Pressure increased due to the deaths of two professional athletes due to Ephedra use, despite intense lobbying from Ephedra manufacturers.
What were the side effects of Ephedra?
Among the serious side effects of Ephedra use are vomiting, hyperthermia, cardiac distress, seizures and death.  The widespread prevalence of these side effects lead to calls to ban the supplement from the American Medical Association, a severe “black box” warning from the FDA and the subsequent ban that was upheld after judicial review.  Approximately 155 deaths have been attributed to Ephedra use.
The legal system has since found companies such as supplement manufacturer Metabolife Inc liable for damages sustained by individuals using their supplement as they intentionally downplayed or concealed the potential dangers stemming from the use of their drug.  Metabolife made millions from the sale of this drug but after the ban were found liable for up to a billion dollars in damages and went bankrupt.
What are my options if I experienced adverse symptoms while using Ephedra?
Companies such as Metabolife knowingly concealed the dangers of their drug to consumers as well as the FDA.  They also misstated the potency of their drug, leading to potentially fatal consequences.  Most importantly, they lobbied against the ban of the drug and suppressed research that would have proven that Ephedra was dangerous and unfit for public use.  As a result they were found to have criminal liability for damages sustained by individuals taking Ephedra.  If you or a loved one experienced severe symptoms or death from the use of Ephedra, you may be entitled to damages as part of an individual or class action lawsuit.