Some drugs save our lives; some are harmful; some make us forget! That’s what they are now saying about Lipitor – that it makes us forget!

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has important new safety information on cholesterol-lowering medications, commonly called “statins.” The FDA is advising consumers and health care professionals that:

  • Routine monitoring of liver enzymes in the blood is no longer needed. Once considered standard procedure for statin users, regular monitoring of liver enzymes has not been found to be effective in predicting or preventing the rare occurrences of serious liver injury associated with statin use.
  • Cognitive (brain-related) impairment, such as memory loss, forgetfulness and confusion, has been reported by some statin users.
  • People being treated with statins may have increased risk of raised blood sugar levels and the development of Type 2 diabetes.
  • Some medications interact with lovastatin (brand names include Mevacor) and can increase the risk of muscle damage.

The FDA will be changing the drug labels containing the prescribing information for statin products to reflect these new concerns.

Please do not be overly alarmed by this new information about Lipitor and other statins. Statins continue to be effective in preventing heart disease. The benefits of statins will continue to outweigh the risks for most patients.

The statin prescribing information has been revised to provide patients with more information on the safe and effective use of statins. If you take a statin, you should be aware of the following information:

  • There have been rare reports of serious liver problems in patients taking statins. You should notify your healthcare professional right away if you have the following symptoms: unusual fatigue or weakness; loss of appetite; upper belly pain; dark-colored urine; or yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes.
  • Memory loss and confusion have been reported with statin use. These reported events were generally not serious and went away once the drug was no longer being taken.
  • Increase in blood sugar levels have been reported with statin use.
  • Certain medicines should never be taken (are contraindicated) with lovastatin (Mevacor).
  • You should contact your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about statins.

Forbes reports that the current FDA warnings are for diabetes and memory loss, but there’s another side effect of statins that’s getting a great deal of attention among doctors, and that’s muscle damage. Patients have long complained that statins make their knees and shoulders hurt, and physical therapists will openly admit statins send many people into rehab.

If you are experiencing tenderness, pain or weakness in muscles or joints while on a statin, it’s important to report this to your doctor right away, and in an assertive way that gets taken seriously. (Studies also show doctors tend to under-report and under-react to this side effect, mistakenly believing it’s not serious or will resolve itself.) A small percent of those with muscle damage go on to develop a rare but potentially fatal condition called rhabdomyolysis. In many cases, the muscle damage is irreversible, or requires therapy and invasive procedures to fix the problems. And if you’re out of commission because your knees are messed up, you can’t exercise, and thus lose the heart-healthy benefits of exercise, so that’s an important consideration that’s not being factored into medical statistics.

The FDA made clear that they don’t want the warnings to scare people away from taking the drugs. But the expert commentary has been much more interesting; doctors seem to be turning away from statins for those whose risk of heart disease is fairly low, or who could improve their health through making lifestyle changes like losing weight and exercising more, rather than popping a pill.

There are a bunch more side effects from statins that are flying under the radar right now, so to speak. Sexual dysfunction, peripheral neuropathy (numbness and tingling in the hands and feet), depression, irritability, headache, and sleep problems have all been reported by many people while taking statins.

Switching to a different statin or lowering the dose can help most, if not all side effects, so bring anything that’s bothering you to you doctor’s attention.

Recently I was traveling with a friend who had for years taken Naproxen to control back pain. Suddenly, he was the victim of a bleeding ulcer. After two days of hospitalization and having to endure tests that were worse than the bleeding ulcer, he was told to stop taking the Naproxen and to find something else to control the back pain. The fact that some patients die from bleeding ulcers was included in the package insert warnings for Naproxen. The important thing to note here is that all drugs come with risks.

Until recently I took Finasteride to slow down hair loss – until I found out it causes breast cancer in a small percentage of men taking the drug! I’d rather lose my hair!

All drugs come with risks.

Very truly yours,

Gary Green

If you or a loved one has suffered from serious injury or death from taking the prescription drug Actos, it is important to seek legal counsel right away. Actos, which is prescribed to treat the symptoms of type two diabetes, has been under fire by medical and legal professionals around the world. At Law Offices of Gary Green, we have vast amounts of experience in representing clients who have suffered serious consequences from taking this drug. Three important facts about Actos are highlighted below for your convenience.

1. The Side Effects of Actos are Well Documented

It is no secret that Actos causes serious and potentially fatal side effects. The most worrisome one of them all is the fact that it has been linked to an increased risk of bladder cancer. The FDA itself has issued a warning about Actos which states that patients who take the drug for one year or more are 40 percent more likely to develop bladder cancer. That isn’t the only side effect either. Actos has also been linked to heart disease, congestive heart failure, heart attack and death. No matter what side effects you have experienced, Law Offices of Gary Green can help.

2. Tight Restrictions have been Placed on a Similar Drug

Actos was developed to be a safe alternative to Avantia, which had been shown to cause serious heart problems in patients. Sadly, it appears that Actos is every bit as dangerous as Avantia and may even be worse. Incredibly, the FDA placed tight restrictions on Avantia a few years ago. They didn’t do the same thing for Actos, however, and countless patients have suffered as a result. If you are one of them, or if a loved one is, it is critical to hold those who are responsible accountable.

3. The Time for Action is Now

When it comes to medical malpractice lawsuits, time is of the essence. If you do not act in a timely manner, you could lose your chance to seek compensation for things like medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering and wrongful death. By lining up competent legal counsel, you can fight back against the pharmaceutical companies that have put the health of millions of people at risk. With Law Offices of Gary Green by your side, you will be able to do what it takes to protect your rights. Contact us today to get started.

Friday, 21 May 2010 22:04

Wrongful Death

Written by Law Offices Of Gary Green

It is nothing short of a tragedy when a loved one’s death could have been avoided. In terms of the law, a wrongful death claim is when a person dies due to the negligence or misconduct of another individual, company, or entity. Immediate family members of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim to recover damages from pain and suffering, lost wages, mental anguish, loss of companionship, medical costs, and other expenses.

These situations are not accidents when there is someone at fault. Most of our practice is devoted to wrongful death and personal injury claims. We know what to expect in your attempt to be compensated for a loss. We have the experience and the acumen to help you find justice and peace during your time of duress.

We accept wrongful death claims on a contingent basis. All cases are unique, so call us toll free and without obligation at 1-888-442-7947 or send us an e-mail at ggreen@gGreen.com if you have questions or need additional information.