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Painkiller Litigation Attorneys

 
Summary

Painkillers fall into a diverse group of analgesic drugs used to relieve pain, such as: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs ( NSAID), COX-2 inhibitors and opiates. 

Whether prescription or over-the-counter, painkillers can cause serious side effects --  such as stroke, heart attack, addiction, organ failure and death – raising the question if they are worth the risks they pose. If you have experience dangerous side effects contact a drug attorney speciaizing in pain killers.

Doctors prescribe painkillers following bodily injury or surgery. But even when used as instructed, addiction or major complications can result. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, prescription painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin now kill five times as many people as heroin and almost twice as many as cocaine. Nevertheless, painkiller sales have tripled in recent years.

Today’s victims of painkillers are not inner city youth, but instead white collar professionals. The number of first time abusers has been surging, most commonly with oxycodone and hydrocodone. Ironically, both of these painkillers were found in the body of Academy Award nominated actor Heath Ledger after he died from an accidental cocktail overdose in 2008.

What is so tricky about painkillers is the reason they are taken – to rid our bodies from pain. But often the havoc that painkillers leave behind is worse than the pain they were originally intended to mask.

The following painkillers have come under fire for their potentially dangerous side effects and associated risks:

  • OxyContin (oxycodone), produced by drug maker Purdue Pharma, is commonly prescribed to treat arthritis, back pain and cancer. It is also linked to over a hundred deaths and its addiction compared to that of heroin. In July, 2001, the manufacturer added a black box warning to its label at the request of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Because it is so addictive, the FDA is asking doctors to prescribe OxyContin only for severe pain. In July, 2007, the consumer watchdog group Public Citizen told the Senate Judiciary Committee that, “The damage to the public from these white-collar drug pushers surely exceeds the collective damage done by traditional street drug pushers of this drug.” That same year it was announced that the government was imposing $634-million in criminal and civil penalties against three OxyContin company executives for misbranding this powerful narcotic. OxyContin addiction continues to pose a serious and substantial danger to users and can lead to withdrawal, financial ruin, overdose and even death. Call a pharmaceutical lawyer, drug effects attorney, personal injury lawyer, or Oxycontin lawyer to seek financial reimbursement for your losses due to addiction.
  • Vicodin (acetaminophen/hydrocodone) addiction is widespread. Actor David Spade once joked about it at the Golden Globe Awards and rapper Eminem sang about it in a song. Even actor Matthew Perry fought Vicodin addiction while appearing on the TV show ‘Friends’. Manufactured by Abbott Pharmacy and prescribed by both doctors and dentists, Vicodin has become the painkiller of choice for many Americans. What makes Vicodin different from over-the-counter painkillers is that it is derived from an opiate – which is the same drug used in heroin. This is why it is very difficult to return to  sobriety after becoming addicted to Vicodin. The body develops a physical craving for Vicodin within the first weeks of use. For the user to feel normal afterward requires a small but continued ‘fix’ of the drug. Most of the patients who attempt Vicodin withdrawal alone do not succeed. If Vicodin taken at high dosages is abruptly stopped, it can even lead to respiratory failure and death. Drugs like methadone and naloxone are used to ease Vicodin detox and slowly break the Vicodin addiction.Contact a pharmaceutical lawyer, drug effects attorney, personal injury lawyer, or Vicodin lawyer to seek legal advice if you plan on pursuing legal action.
  • Stadol (butorphanol) can be given in three forms, but when used as a nasal spray it has been described as the painkiller equivalent of snorting cocaine. It is most commonly used during labor and delivery as well as the treatment of chronic pain. It is also linked to more than 40 deaths. Stadol can be habit-forming and can cause head injuries because of carbon dioxide retention side effects as well as fluid build-up. It can also cause respiratory damage, liver and kidney disease, heart attack, stroke and injury to unborn and nursing babies. The manufacturer Bristol-Myers Squibb has downplayed the significant number of deaths and addictions associated with Stadol. Stadol in the injectable form -- which is used to sedate patients before surgery -- is now labeled as a controlled substance and is difficult for doctors to prescribe. According to MedWatch, a tracking system for drugs,  Bristol-Myers Squibb received more than 150 complaints about the drug’s addictive nature but did nothing to alter the company’s non-addictive marketing campaigns nor inform doctors of its addiction risk. If you or a loved one has experienced adverse side effects, call a personal injury attorney, Stadol lawyer, pharmaceutical attorney, or drug effects lawyer.
  • Celebrex (celecoxib) is among a new class of drugs called Cox 2-Inhibitors, which also includes the recalled painkillers Vioxx and Bextra. Once heralded as the new super painkillers because they promised effective pain relief with few side effects, they were targeted at arthritis suffers. While it is true that Cox 2 inhibitors can relieve the pain, stiffness and inflammation that play a major role in arthritis, they also pose frightening risks. After the recall of Vioxx in September, 2004 and Bextra in April, 2005 – when both were found to at least double the heart attack rate -- Celebrex has come under renewed attack. On December 17, 2004, a government-sponsored study linked Celebrex to serious cardiovascular problems. Researchers halted the study when they discovered that Celebrex caused two-and-a-half times greater the risk for a cardiovascular event than the placebo. While its manufacturer, Pfizer, has kept Celebrex on the market and stands behind its safety, it has agreed to end consumer advertising for the drug. Celebrex now carries the Food and Drug Administration (FDA’s) most serious ‘black-box’ warning on its drug label. Despite its apparent cardiovascular risk, Celebrex generated $2.3 billion in sales in 2007, a 12 percent increase from the previous year. Call a pharmaceutical lawyer, personal injury attorney, drug effect lawyer, or Celebrex attorney after visiting our Celebrex page on this website.
  • Naproxen (naproxen) is an older non-steroid, anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) which is sometimes used as an alternative for the Cox 2 Inhibitors. Naproxen has been on the market in prescription strength since 1976 and sold over-the-counter since 1994. Naproxen is the generic name for the brand name drugs Aleve, Anaprox, Naprosyn and Naprelan. Manufactured by German drug maker Bayer, Naproxen is used to treat a variety of ailments, including headaches, menstrual cramps, arthritis and gout. Used by millions of Americans, the safety of Naproxen was questioned after a 2004 government study revealed it may cause an increased risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems when compared to a placebo. The FDA issued a warning that patients taking Naproxen should not exceed the recommended dosage and should not take it for more than 10 days unless directed by a doctor. A qualified Naproxen attorney will be able to assist you in your personal injury lawsuit if you experienced negative effects.
  • Acetaminophen – a popular painkiller which is the only ingredient in Tylenol – has been linked to an increase in fatal liver failure. Public Citizen posted Acetaminophen on their WorstPills.org  web site. The percentage of all cases of acute liver failure in the U.S. associated with acetaminophen use rose from 28 percent in 1998 to 51 percent in 2003. Consumers can prevent acetaminophen liver damage by carefully reading the labels on all over-the-counter drug products to see if they contain acetaminophen and by: 1/ not taking more than one acetaminophen-containing drug, whether it is prescription or over-the-counter and by 2/ not mixing acetaminophen with alcohol for a toxic cocktail. In 2006, the FDA suggested that products containing acetaminophen should come in packaging that highlights the potential liver damage associated with its use. Americans consume over 8-billion Tylenol pills each year.  Acetaminophen can also be found in many other over-the-counter medications such as Nyquil, Robitussin, Benadryl, Excedrin, Midol, Theraflu and Alka-Seltzer. It is also the active ingredient in the prescription drugs Vicodin, Percocet and Darvocet. Patients have filed lawsuits alleging that drug manufacturers have failed to warn that even a small amount of acetaminophen taken multiple times – such as two or more cold medications – can lead to severe liver injury. If you experienced liver injury after taking acetaminophen, call a personal injury lawyer, pharmaceutical attorney, drug effects lawyer, or acetaminophen attorney who will be able to assist you in a lawsuit.
Who Can Sue

If you or a family member were injured or worse as a result of taking a painkiller medication, contact a pharmaceutical attorney who can examine the facts of your case and advise you if you are eligible for compensation.

Plaintiffs in drug cases such as these typically look to recover damages for medical expenses, previous lost earnings as well future earning capacity, physical pain and suffering and mental anguish. A painkillers attorney will be able to help sort through the legal aspects in gaining reimbursement for your harm.

Personal injury claims for persons who have been seriously injured by prescription or over-the-counter drugs with dangerous and undisclosed side effects include defective product liability, failure to warn and negligence.

If you are currently taking a prescription painkiller and have concerns about its safety, you should consult your doctor regarding your treatment options. You should not discontinue taking your painkiller medication without first consulting with a medical expert.

Read More About Who Can Sue

Interesting Facts

More than 50,000 people sued the drug manufacturer Merck after it pulled Vioxx from the market on September 30, 2004. It was the largest prescription drug recall to date. The action followed the revelation that the painkiller doubled the risk of heart attack and stroke in users. Our pharmaceutical attorneys, personal injury lawyers, and painkiller attorneys are capable of assisting you in cases involving drug recalls.

On December 20, 2004, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that researchers were suspending the use of two drugs – Naproxen and Celebrex – from its national Alzheimer’s prevention trial. That same day, the manufacturer of Celebrex announced it would stop advertising the painkiller to consumers. Later, U.S. health regulators warned that the same heart risks associated with Celebrex were also connected to painkiller Naproxen.

In April, 2008, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) released an analysis of six Celebrex studies that included 7,950 patients. The analysis showed Celebrex was associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular death, heart attack, stroke, heart failure or blood clots, compared to patients on placebo.  The researchers found that patients receiving the highest dose of Celebrex of 400 milligrams twice daily had a nearly three times the risk of heart attacks and strokes than patients not taking the drug. Patients taking a lower dose of Celebrex had a 10% higher cardiovascular risk. Drug effects attorneys, pharmaceutical lawyers, and personal injury attorneys can inform you of your legal options if you suffered unnecessary damages due to painkiller prescription.

Read More About the Risks Associated With Pain Killers

News

Pfizer Legal Win Might Block Some Lawsuits Over Celebrex

Prescrip tion Drugs | Pfizer's Decision To Continue To Sell Celebrex Poses Legal Risks for Company

A glance at the settlement with Vioxx users

FDA Statement on Naproxen
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