Kentucky Injury Lawyers

Should Levaquin Have Stronger Warning Labels?

Published on Jan 9, 2015 at 9:30 am in Dangerous Drugs.

A 54 year-old woman in Arizona had only taken Levaquin for seven days before she wound up in the emergency room after she became dizzy and couldn’t breathe. Within a few weeks, Jenny Frank’s ankles swelled and her knees ached. Her joints started making crunching sounds when she moved. Gastrointestinal problems, muscle spasms, and fatigue followed.

Frank was diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy, a form of nerve damage, which is a known side effect of Levaquin. Last summer, the FDA issued a warning that Levaquin and the other drugs in the class of fluoroquinolones, had potentially serious side effects, including peripheral neuropathy. The FDA found drug makers were not adequately documenting these risks in their labeling and required stronger warnings.

Due to Frank’s nerve damage, she had to wear braces on her elbows, wrists and knees, and use a cane to help her walk. “Every single day, something else in my body fell apart,” she told USA Today. Three years later, she has mostly recovered. But some cases can be permanent.

Drug Makers Pay Government Billions For Fraud

Published on Nov 17, 2014 at 8:31 am in Dangerous Drugs.

Some of the largest pharmaceutical companies, the household names who make many of the drugs we take, have agreed to billion dollar settlements with the U.S. Department of Justice to avoid civil and criminal litigation. The charges include fraudulent marketing practices – a big part of which has been promoting drugs for uses not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The charges have also included financial payouts to doctors and pharmacists to prescribe or sell their drugs, manufacturing practices that can contaminate the medicines, and using unreliable scientific data to win FDA approval.

Here are highlights of some recent large settlements:

Another Verdict Against Actos

Published on Oct 24, 2014 at 8:12 am in Dangerous Drugs.

Kentucky Pharmaceutical AttorneyA state jury in Pennsylvania has ordered Takeda Pharmaceuticals to pay a woman more than $2 million who claimed the company’s diabetes drug, Actos, gave her bladder cancer.

The plaintiff is a 79-year-old retired accountant. She is the seventh Actos patient to bring her case to trial.

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration approved the use of Actos in 1999 to treat Type 2 diabetes. In 2011, the FDA warned that the use of Actos for more than one year may be linked to bladder cancer. In fact, long-term studies had shown that Actos use for more than one year increased a patient’s chances of getting cancer by as much as 40 percent.

Levaquin – Johnson & Johnson Faces Second Round of Lawsuits

Published on Oct 23, 2014 at 8:00 am in Dangerous Drugs.

Johnson & Johnson is facing another round of lawsuits by users of its antibiotic Levaquin. Levaquin, a powerful antibiotic, was once the highest selling antibiotic in the country. However, more evidence has mounted that the drug causes nerve damage that can be permanent, even with short-term use.

The company faced thousands of lawsuits after the FDA issued its first 2009 warning that use of the drug can cause tendon ruptures and tendonitis. This risk was said to be higher for those over 60 and people also taking steroids. J&J won some and lost some of those early cases, at times the jury sided with the patients, at times they thought the warnings put on the labels were adequate.

The drug is manufactured by J&J’s subsidiary, Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals. The company has always maintained that it properly disclosed the risks associated with the drug, which has been prescribed to millions of patients.

Levaquin Use Linked To Nerve Damage

Published on Oct 22, 2014 at 11:58 am in Dangerous Drugs.

A new study has shown that users of the antibiotic Levaquin and other drugs in its class can cause permanent nerve damage. Levaquin is manufactured by the Johnson and Johnson subsidiary Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc.

Levaquin is the brand name for the antibiotic levofloxacin. It is commonly used to treat infections in the prostate, urinary tract, and diabetic foot infections. It is part of a class of powerful antibiotics called fluoroquinolones. Other fluoroquinolone drugs include Cipro, Avelox, Noroxin, Floxin, and Factive.

While all antibiotics can present a risk of side effects, the fluoroquinolones are unique in their potential to penetrate the blood-brain barrier. This allows the drug to enter the brain and possibly damage the central nervous system.