Who Can Help When Someone is hurt by Drugs that Were Supposed to Help?
For the better part of our nation’s existence, illnesses and injuries that today would be routinely remedied with a pill or an intravenous drug killed millions of people. Advances in antibiotics particularly have saved countless lives and pain medications have made life more livable for millions of Americans. The pharmaceutical industry is to be commended for their dedication to research and development of products that has produced products that dramatically improve the quality of life for people around the world.
Perhaps the inverse of the adage “Every cloud has a silver lining” is true in that every silver lining has a cloud. The advancement and quantity of new drugs has produced a very complex set of effects and side effects where many patients gobble down handfuls of pills every day without really understanding what or why they are doing it.
The following drugs were developed for a specific purpose and are not necessarily dangerous if taken as prescribed. They do have the potential – as does any drug – to harm a patient if they are not taken exactly as prescribed or if they interact with other medications, chemicals, or foods that may produce negative side-effects.
- Prednisone or Cortisone – It is not recommended to take this drug for a period longer than two weeks. While it is a fantastic short term product for things such as poison ivy treatment, it has significant side effects, which differ depending on how the drug is taken.
- Methotrexate is a chemotherapeutic drug, which means that it is actually a poison. It is used mainly in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, often at the same time as cortisone drugs, which has the potential to be lethal particularly with long term use. Methotrexate is prescribed to a significant number of rheumatoid arthritis patients.
- Warfarin is a blood thinner, which may be needed to treat people with certain blood disorders. However, it is so potent that there have actually been incidents of people bleeding to death after suffering from a slight fall or razor cut. Additionally, warfarin may cause a weakening of blood vessels over time. The drug is often prescribed to treat people who are at risk of heart attacks or strokes.
- Diuretics are prescribed to make kidneys function better, and there are a number of low level diuretics that can be purchased over the counter. Essentially, they help the body to excrete excess water, providing very rapid relief. They are often prescribed to people who have cardiac problems and the reality is that diuretics are life-saving drugs. However, they also have significant side effects, particularly on the long term.
- Proscar is prescribed to men to treat enlarge prostate glands and also for hair-loss. Some 40,000 men a year lose their life to this form of cancer, and those numbers are rising. In fact, when a man reaches the age of 70, it is highly likely that he will have at least some cancerous cells found on the prostate, although this does not necessarily always lead to prostate cancer. The effectiveness of Proscar remains in question.
Pharmacy Errors – Most people over the age of 50 remember the days of the corner drug store when you knew your pharmacist by his or her first name, and your pharmacist knew the names of your kids. Today’s local pharmacies are busy mega-stores with drive-thru windows and are owned by large national corporations. The personal service seems to be gone, and high-volume of work assigned each pharmacist may be contributing to a rising rate of errors in dosage, labeling, and even the wrong pills being placed in prescription bottles.
The Right Help – The Law Firm of Lazarus and Lazarus has been helping victims of pharmacy errors and other drug injuries for over 20 years. If you have had a problem with your prescription drugs, Gary and Arleen Lazarus are qualified to investigate your situation and then recommend the best course of action. Please contact them at 954-356-0006.