Diet Drug Subject Of FDA Drug Recall
Primary Pulmonary Hypertension is a devastating illness that now affects thousands of people who took a diet drug as long as a decade ago. Multiple studies have shown the Fen Phen PPH link, suggesting that a combination of drugs, including Pondimin and Redux, contributed to a drastic increase in heart valve disorders among those who were using this product to lose weight.
This unfortunate Fen Phen Pulmonary Hypertension connection was first recognized during a study at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. During the study, 24 women were given a combination of the diet drugs Redux (dexfenfluramine), Pondimin (fenfluramine), and Phentermine, which combined make up the product in question, and were monitored closely. Of this controlled group, 8 of the 24 women developed PPH (a 230% increase), while a further 30% showed signs of heart valve damage.
Particularly since there is no cure, PPH injury can be severe. It is a rare lung disease in which blood pressure in the pulmonary artery rises to dangerous levels. Normal pulmonary artery pressure is considered to be 14 mm Hg at rest. However, patients with PPH average pulmonary artery blood pressure of greater than 25 mm Hg at rest and more than 30 mm Hg when engaged in exercise. This restricts the blood flow through the vessels and puts a strain on the right ventricle, forcing it to work harder to pump enough blood through the lungs.
There are several illnesses that appear similar to PPH, including Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH), which is unexplained pulmonary hypertension. Doctors must first rule out similar disorders before they can diagnose PPH. This makes it very difficult to identify. On average, 500 to 1,000 new cases are confirmed each year in the U.S., the majority of which occur in women between the ages of 20 and 40, and many of these from former users of the problematic diet drug.
Now that the link has been established, early detection is a serious concern because of the chronic and often fatal nature of the disorder. Appropriate medical treatment is imperative. Fen Phen side effects that you should be aware of include:
• Progressive shortness of breath (especially with activity)
• Hyperventilation (breathing harder and faster)
• Fatigue (tiring easily)
• Progressive weakness
• Fainting spells
• Lightheadedness or dizziness
• Coughing up blood
• Progressive cyanosis (blue tinge to lips hands and feet)
Over the years, PPH lawsuits have become prevalent, particularly since the manufacturer was accused of covering up adverse effects in order to keep the product on the market. Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) never officially approved the drug, doctors wrote millions of prescriptions every year before it was removed from the market. However, as patients suffering from symptoms of the illnesses were not included in the PPH class action settlement, they must file suit with a Fen Phen lawyer separately in order to make legal claims.
Over 11,000 cases have been filed against the company since the recall. The Fen Phen class action settlement resulting from these suits cost American Home Products, now known as Wyeth, $4.83 billion, the largest product settlement of any kind to date. In January 2005, Wyeth announced that it would increase litigation costs for PPH lawsuits for a fourth time to a total of $21.1 billion. Because the onset of symptoms may not begin until 10 to 20 years from the last dosage, attorneys are still reviewing potential cases.
If you have suffered from a Fen Phen injury, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering, or tragically, for wrongful death on behalf of a loved one. An experienced Fen Phen attorney will be able to inform you about your rights, and evaluate whether your situation is appropriate for litigation. Finding the best legal advice in these circumstances is critical; a directory like LegalTube will be able to help connect you to a Fen Phen law firm that will be able to assist you.
Fen Phen PPH Lawsuits Attorneys