How Does PCB Exposure Affect Children?

How Does PCB Exposure Affect Children?

May 03

The widespread use of polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs during the 20th century left devastating effects that continue to be felt today. Aside from the fact that the chemicals once used as coolants for industrial and commercial applications have severely polluted a number of American cities, toxic Monsanto PCBs also pose significant health risks.

According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, PCBs entered the air, water, and soil of areas where it had been manufactured, used, and disposed. Inadvertently, this contamination spread through the organisms living in these areas and eventually worked its way up the food chain. Today, individuals can be exposed to PCBs through eating contaminated fish, meat, and dairy products, drinking from contaminated water sources, as well as breathing in air from affected areas. People can also be exposed to PCBs through the use of old electrical devices and appliances.

Children are among the groups most vulnerable to PCB exposure. The threat of exposure for them starts early on, when a pregnant woman consumes contaminated food or is exposed to PCBs in her workplace. According to several studies, pregnant women who have consumed PCB contaminated fish gave birth to babies that weighed less compared to women who didn’t eat contaminated fish. Another study showed that babies born by these women showed abnormal responses to tests measuring infant behavior. The researchers seem to have found that these babies had problems with motor skills and short-term memory that persisted for the next few years. Other studies also suggest that PCB exposure during or after pregnancy caused babies to have issues with their immune system. Aside from prenatal exposure, babies can also come into contact with PCBs through their mother’s breast milk.

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry also point out that definitive data on the effect of PCBs to older children are yet to be gathered. For now, the scientific community can only assume that PCB exposure can pose the same health risks in children as it does in adults. Aside from being classified as a probable human carcinogen, PCBs have been found to affect the nervous, reproductive, endocrine, and immune systems of humans and animals.

Birth Defects: Possible Consequences of Zofran

Birth Defects: Possible Consequences of Zofran

Feb 02

Several illnesses and treatments can cause severe nausea, which can be dangerous as this could lead to dangerous levels of dehydration. Zofran is often prescribed by physicians everywhere in order to alleviate the nausea from patients. People who suffer from cancer and are treated with chemotherapy are often recommended this particular drug in order to soothe their nausea.

This is important as those who are ill need to be able to keep food and water down instead of retching it all up. This can be especially beneficial for pregnant women as they are quite prone to bouts of morning sickness during the duration of their pregnancy. Continuous nausea can be dangerous for the baby, which is why drugs like Zofran are often recommended in order to calm the gastrointestinal organs from the sickness.

However, there is some new evidence that links Zofran with certain birth defects, if the medication is consumed by pregnant women, especially if it is within the early development stages of the fetus in question. The child could be born with certain physical defects that are warranted immediately surgical correction.

Citing the website of Williams Kherkher, some of these defects linked to having been caused by Zofran are cleft lip and palate, as well as congenital heart defect. These can be dangerous, especially once growing up, as it automatically hinders some children from being able to do normal day-to-day activities, or even affect them psychologically, if the defect is found to be ubiquitous on a surface-level, such as that of cleft lip and palate, and that might lead to bullying or some other peer-related emotional trauma.

Medical situations such as this, especially if caused by an outer party, must be investigated at once. If you or someone you know has suffered these kinds of circumstances, it is advisable that professional help in the field of law is taken into consideration, in order for your case to be properly represented in a court of law.

The Legal Options of Those Harmed by Xarelto

The Legal Options of Those Harmed by Xarelto

Sep 08

Use of prescription drugs for serious health conditions has always been part of the medical treatments that millions of Americans undergo every year. The vital needs for safe and effective medications that will help treat and prevent worsening illnesses, and keep people healthy, only increase the challenge and responsibility that drug manufacturers are faced with.

There are prescription drugs, however, that have failed to deliver the results expected by the US Food and Drug Administration, consumer watchdog organizations and the patients who use them. Consider it failure (on the part of the manufacturer) to subject the drug to comprehensive tests or to include in the drug’s label the risks associated with using it; or use of the drug can cause unfavorable reactions with the other medications a patient is taking, and so forth. The bottom line is, even if a certain drug has been rigorously tested and proven safe and effective, once it is proven that it causes adverse effects, then the FDA’s, doctors’ and patients’ attitude towards it are sure to change.

One serious health condition that millions of Americans are suffering from is blood clotting. Since blood clots can be lodged in arteries to block the supply of blood to vital organs, such as the lung or the brain, it could pose great danger and even cause death. To prevent the blood from pooling inside blood vessels or arteries, anticoagulant or blood-thinning drugs have been formulated.

Beginning in 1954, the anticoagulant drug that has been regularly prescribed to individuals was Warfarin. Its major competitor, Pradaxa, was approved by the FDA in 2010; the approval of Xarelto in 2011, however, snatched the major market share from both.

Xarelto, a product of Bayer Health Care and Janssen Pharmaceuticals (a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson), was approved by the FDA as a blood thinning drug for individuals recuperating from a knee or hip replacement surgery. This approval was later extended by the FDA to include patients suffering from: deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which is blood clotting in deep veins, typically in the legs; pulmonary embolism, which is the formation of blood clot in the lungs; and, atrial fibrillation or irregular heartbeat.

Medical literature, however, shows reports of excessive bleeding as a common and very serious side-effect of modern anticoagulants, such as Pradaxa and Xarelto. Xarelto, though, caused a more serious bleeding situation and worse, no antidote or reversal agent has been made available (by its manufacturers) to prevent it, making it a life-threatening case for those affected.

Besides uncontrolled bleeding, Xarelto has also been reported as causing other serious side-effects, including epidural hematoma, brain hemorrhage, stroke, frequent nosebleeds, and many others. Stopping the use of Xarelto to avoid any of these severe effects may prove dangerous too, though, as this could cause the formation of blood clots.

There are many things that those taking and harmed by Xarelto need to understand. These include the drug’s history, the drug’s ingredients and side-effects, and the legal options of patients harmed through use of the drug.

Paxil Lawsuit

Paxil Lawsuit

Aug 25

Paxil is among the most effective and selective of all SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) on the market. It is prescribed to help ease the symptoms of major depression, panic and anxiety disorders, and a host of other mood and behavioral disorders. It helps boost moods by stabilizing the chemicals in the brain, maintaining the positive and optimistic equilibrium while easing the negative feelings of the patients. Despite the benefits of taking Paxil, many patients have reportedly suffered from severe side effects that have taken over their lives while they were on the medication.

The manufacturer of Paxil, GlaxoSmithKline, has regarded their antidepressant drug as better than other antidepressants in the market, boasting of lower chances of side effects. Many patients claim that they were not informed about the severe withdrawal problems, as GlaxoSmithKline promoted their product as non-habit forming. The manufacturers have also settled lawsuits for suicide and suicide attempts by patients using them. They have also settled claims of “being negligently failing to warn” a pregnant patient of the health risks to the infant which lead to the baby developing critical health defects.

There have been about 5,000 people in the United States that has filed lawsuits against GlaxoSmithKline for misrepresenting Paxil and poorly educating doctors and patients about their side effects. Most of these lawsuits are because of the withdrawal issues, suicides, and birth defects that Paxil users have suffered from. Because of these rising lawsuits, GlaxoSmithKline has been fined for mislabeling, repackaging, withholding vital Paxil information, and unlawfully promoting the use of Paxil to children without FDA approval. The FDA has already required the manufacturers of Paxil to put a black-box warning (the highest and most serious warning placed on the labels of a prescription medication) to ensure that patients are informed about the adverse side effects and to understand the risks they will be up against.

The Deadly Effects of Prozac

The Deadly Effects of Prozac

Jul 16

Although it’s widely accepted that antidepressants come with minor side effects such as headache, sleepiness, insomnia, or sexual dysfunction, many fail to recognize that in rare cases, the drug can be fatal.

Otherwise nonviolent individuals—especially teenagers or young adults under 24—may experience waves of unprecedented violence while under the effects of serotonin re-uptake inhibitors such as Prozac.

In 2011, Canadian judge Robert Heinrich found a 16-year-old boy not guilty of murdering his friend by stabbing him once in the chest, entirely unprovoked. He ruled that since the teenager showed no signs of violence now, that the medicine caused his actions. The incident occurred in 2009.

The boy had been taking Prozac for three months, and had allegedly become more impulsive, experiencing wild mood swings that even led him to consider suicide. When the parents notified the high school student’s psychiatrists of his fantasies of violence, they doubled his dosage. The murder occurred just over two weeks later.

The child has never given a reason for his murder. Prozac more commonly been associated with suicidal thoughts rather than murder.

In 2009, a marine on Prozac committed suicide. He had allegedly been drinking regularly with his prescription, which may have contributed to his suicide. The soldier, Charles Edward Dane, punched a police officer during his DUI arrest and was consequently incarcerated for two weeks.

During his time in jail, was cut off from his prescription. When he returned, he was prescribed double the dosage. He shot himself two days later. Dane’s family believes he coped with trauma from being deployed in Iraq with alcoholism which contributed to his suicide, although he was never diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

If you or a loved one have been experiencing suicidal thoughts or violent tendencies while on Prozac, it’s recommended to share these thoughts with the psychiatrist who prescribed the medication.

In addition to potentially wreaking havoc on a person’s neural chemistry, Prozac has been unexpectedly linked to certain birth defects.

Absence of Evidence: Dangers of Byetta

Absence of Evidence: Dangers of Byetta

Jun 16

More than 25 million adults and children in the US have diabetes, and type 2 diabetes mellitus is the most common type of the condition that typically affects adults, although it has been diagnosed in those below 20 years of age in increasing numbers. Diabetes is primarily the inability of the body to process sugar, leading to high levels of sugar in the blood.

Why is this bad? Excess sugar in the blood coats hemoglobin (the red part of the blood) making it sticky and stiff, hampering blood circulation and causing build up of cholesterol in the blood vessels. This is why those who have diabetes are at higher risk for cardiac problems. Persistent high blood sugar levels also loads up the kidneys to the point of damaging it. It is a saying among diabetics that no one dies of the disease itself; they die of the complications, and now we see why.

It stands to reason that the best way to manage type 2 diabetes is to control the blood sugar levels. This can be achieved through following a strict diet and regular exercise, but it can also be through certain drugs. The latest breakthrough in anti-diabetic medication is the use of incretin mimetics, a group of drugs that basically mimics the action of insulin, the hormone that processes and regulates sugar in the blood. Among the first incretin products that came out in the market was Byetta, the brand name anti-diabetic drug manufactured by Bristol-Myers Squibb and marketed by Eli Lilly. It was wildly successful because not only did it control blood sugar levels but also promoted weight loss.

Unfortunately, the dangers of Byetta became evident when patients started developing serious complications while taking the drug, primarily pancreatic cancer. While the most recent studies find no evidence of a causal relationship between Byetta or other incretic mimetic drugs and pancreatic cancer, the fact is a significant number of those who were prescribed incretins developed serious and often fatal complications involving the pancreas.

Affected patients or family members are currently suing incretin mimetics drug makers for overpromoting the products and failing to warn patients and doctors of the potential side effects. If you or a close family member have likewise been affected, consult with find the most experienced among the Byetta side effects lawyers in your state to assess your case for a possible claim.