We all had some side effects from some medication we took (with or without prescription). From a light headache to a bit of nausea, all O.T.C. drugs, prescription pills, and even dietary supplements can cause some unpleasant reactions. Most drug manufacturers list the side effects of their drugs and we all should read the package insert. Moreover, an open conversation with your doctor or pharmacist will clarify many questions you might have regarding medication effects and interactions. The issue with medication side effects is when they turn into drug injuries. In this latter case, besides a doctor, you might need a lawyer.
Side-effects vs. Drug Injuries: What You Need to Know
Your doctor probably informed you about some possible side-effects you might experience during a certain medical treatment. They also explain possible interactions, warning you to avoid some O.T.C. drugs while you take what they prescribed. So far, so good. The occasional sleepiness or some bloating are commonplace and usually don’t warrant more than a conversation with your physician.
However, drug injuries are of concern for all of us. It is a well-known fact that people have different reactions to drugs or supplements. The way a medicine affects your health (positively or negatively) depends on the patient. It is all about the medical condition per se, age, gender, comorbidities, body mass index, other meds you take, and so on. Most people experience the same side effects – the first you read about in the package leaflet – while other side effects are rarer or even unique to some patients. Again, so far, so good.
However, the issue starts to become complicated and threatening – warranting a legal consult – when the alleged side effects of the pills you take are more intense, more severe, lengthier, and stranger than usual. In both medical and legal practice, drug injuries are in a class of their own.
Let’s look at an example that will make things clearer for you: if you take allergy medication, you will feel sleepy (although the new gen of antihistamines eliminated this long-lasting issue at last). However, when you stop taking allergy pills, the drowsiness disappears. If a medicine causes you a drug injury, you will most likely experience more than drowsiness. Some of the most common include liver and kidney failure, some forms of cancer, and other problems that will not go away the day you stop taking medicine.
Legal experts in personal injury law, including Farmer & Morris law in North Carolina, have a lot to deal with drug injury lawsuits, even if such cases do not make the headlines yet. However, being the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S., drug injuries are at the root of countless personal injury lawsuits and claims. When a prescription or O.T.C. drugs cause life-threatening conditions, nobody should treat them lightly.
Beyond the medical practice, the legal practice considers drug injuries as a more than reasonable cause for filing lawsuits against drug manufacturers, hospitals, pharmacists, doctors, drug sale reps, and other third-party companies involved in the design, manufacturing, and even packaging of the drug.
Speaking of headlines, some drug injuries do make them. If you are familiar with the Zantac problem, you understand the severity of the ranitidine-induced cancers and the magnitude of the Zantac class action lawsuits taking shape and size as we write this article.
Some of the most common drug injury lawyers deal with in current practice include blood clots, strokes, disabilities, heart diseases, etc. If you or a loved one suffered a drug injury, have a medical team and a legal one ready to build a case for you.
3 Steps to Take in Case Your Medicine Generates Adverse Effects and Drug Injuries
The most logical step to take when you consider that your medical treatment makes you feel worse than better is to talk to your doctor. They might take a pill out of your treatment plan or put two in – it all depends on your health conditions, medical history, etc.
However, as we said, side-effects and drug injuries differ in intensity, length, and severity. If you suspect you suffered a drug injury, take the immediate steps:
- Seek urgent medical attention – call your doctor to explain the symptoms and get the proper advice. You might need a dosage change or to stop taking the drug altogether.
- Call 911 if you feel very sick – an emergency hospitalization is the best way to go about alleviating the symptoms you experience and treating the underlying cause.
- Call a personal injury lawyer and present the problem. You will have to offer all the medical documentation you got, the bills, the treatment plans, the hospital’s diagnosis, etc. Not everybody has a good cause of suing a pharma company for a drug’s design, manufacture, or marketing flaws, but many people do. Your lawyer will offer you all the help you need with your case.
As a last piece of advice, always check the F.D.A. drug recall database and other official public resources to stay updated to the latest information regarding some drugs’ side effects and potential recalls. Long before the Zantac scandal, the government, doctors, scientists, and legal practitioners have been keeping an eye on the medicines likely to cause severe side-effects and injuries. After all, if a pharmaceutical company cannot restore your health, at least can pay for your pain and suffering.