Monthly Archives: October 2012

Toddler survives smallpox vaccine reaction

A two-year-old boy who developed a serious reaction to his father’s smallpox vaccination has recovered but disease detectives found infectious virus all over his house, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Thursday.

The Indiana toddler developed a rare rash known as eczema vaccinatum after playing with his father, a soldier vaccinated for deployment in Iraq, reported Dr. John Marcinak of the University of Chicago and CDC experts.

Experimental treatments helped the child, but the CDC said the incident showed that care must be taken by people who receive the smallpox vaccine.

It was the first case of eczema vaccinatum reported in the United States since 1988, the CDC said. The child was hospitalized for 48 days but should suffer no long-term consequences other than possible scarring, said the report, published in the CDC’s weekly report on death and disease.

Pox viruses can survive on inanimate objects so experts tested the family’s home.

“Multiple swab samples obtained from the home (e.g., from a bathroom washcloth, a slipper, a toy drum, a night stand, a booster seat, and an ointment container) and from items brought to the child’s hospital room (e.g., an infant drinking cup and a car seat) were positive for vaccinia virus DNA,” the researchers wrote.

They steam-cleaned the home and washed clothing and linens after an acid pre-treatment.

The World Health Organization declared smallpox eradicated in 1979. The U.S. government reinstated smallpox vaccination for military personnel and selected healthcare workers because of fears the virus could be used in a biological attack.

“The U.S. Department of Defense had vaccinated approximately 1.2 million persons as of March 2007,” the report reads.

The smallpox vaccine uses a related and usually harmless virus called vaccinia. It is scratched into the skin and forms a pustule that scabs over and falls off.

People with eczema and immune conditions can develop a serious reaction if they are vaccinated or come into contact with the blisters of a vaccinated person.

The soldier received the vaccine even though he had a history of skin allergies.

“His deployment was delayed, so he made an unplanned visit home to visit his family in Indiana,” the report reads. “His routine activities with his son included hugging, wrestling, sleeping, and bathing.”

The child developed a rash and later severe illness. After a week of experimental treatments he began to get better.

The treatments included an antiviral drug made by Siga Technologies Inc., vaccinia immune globulin and the antiviral drug cidofovir, made by Gilead Sciences Inc..

The child’s mother also had a rash, which went away after she got immune globulin, a treatment made from the blood of vaccinated people.

On Thursday a panel of FDA advisers recommended approval of a new smallpox vaccine made by Acambis Plc that is designed to be safer than the old vaccine.

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A case of chronic cough

Another case from an I.H.M. graduate practitioner. Vera Resnick Based in Jerusalem.

A patient came to see me several years ago with a chronic cough.   The patient was a 75 year old man, himself a doctor.  He had had a cough for two years.  He’d been to every doctor, had been examined with every diagnostic test for a variety of conditions.  The latest diagnosis was reflux and he had been taking gastro medication, but the cough persisted.

I prescribed Causticum and after a mild aggravation in a different system, the cough disappeared and the patient was restored to health – although he was embarrassed to tell his colleagues that he had resorted to alternative medicine.

However, two years ago he was back.  The cough had returned, although the symptoms were not as severe as previously.  The doctors had come to the same conclusion after ruling everything else out – they declared that the patient was suffering from reflux, and prescribed gastro medication, which was not helping.

The cough was dry and paroxysmal, starting with a tickle in the throat.  The patient also reported a sensation of dryness in the hard palate on waking, relieved by drinking water.

I asked what had happened prior to the renewed onset of the cough.  The patient reported that he had fainted while working.  The doctors were not certain of the cause, and had prescribed statins (his cholesterol was normal), medication to lower his blood pressure (his blood pressure was generally low), and a blood thinner.  The cough had started shortly after starting these medications.  The patient had stopped taking the medications a couple of months before this appointment, and the cough had eased during that time but would still not go.

The patient reported aggravation from dry foods and he thought there might be a tendency to cough in stressful situations.  In addition, he said that since his fainting episode, he had difficulty exhaling, and did poorly when exhalation was tested.

I took the following symptoms and reached the repertorization in the screenshot below:

 

Reading Nux-V, I found my patient described well in the proving.  Staphysagria also looked good, and the patient also reported that he had had problems with teeth all his life.  However, his teeth were not the issue, and Staph did not cover the aggravation from dry foods.  Phos-Ac also looked like a good match for the patient, who had reported great weakness after the fainting episode.  However, he was not weak  now.  We talked a little more, and he said “I get really impatient when things don’t go how I want them to.”

I prescribed Nux-V which caused curative action.

 

 

 


5 Reasons to End Our War on Germs Before it Kills Us All

Our war against germs is doing more harm than good.
October 24, 2012  |

Photo Credit: JPagetRFphotos/ Shutterstock.com

 Western civilization guards its health as if constantly menaced by a giant public toilet handle. That’s because we know how to read statistics, like we carry between two to 10 million bacteria from fingertip to elbow, or that germs can stay alive for up to three hours. As the Food and Drink Federation of Great Britain cheerfully points out , there can be as many germs under your ring as there are people in Europe.

We are a culture of germaphobes,spending as much as $930 million on antibacterial chemicals and $2.4 billion on soap at the end of the last decade. But is it possible that our war against germs is doing more harm than good?

Antibacterial or antimicrobial products do have a place in our society: in hospitals, on the surgeon’s table, in your nurse’s hands. But stationed in our handbags, waiting to be daily lathered up at the first touch of a subway pole? Not so much. Studies show that some antimicrobial products not only contain potential hormonal disruptors, but they are enabling superbugs to breed beyond our ability to smite them. Here are five reasons you should trade in some of your antibacterial sprays, gels and liquid soaps for just plain old soap and water.

1. Triclosan . For more than 30 years, triclosan has been used in hand soaps, cosmetics, deodorants, toothpastes, clothes, detergents, and more. The Centers for Disease Control reports that triclosan is found in the urine of nearly 75 percent of people tested. Other studies have shown it to be in the breast milk and blood samples of the general population. It is marketed under other names such as Microban, Irgasan DP-300, Lexol 300, Biofresh, Ster-Zac, Cloxifenolum, and more.

So now that we know we’re likely hosting triclosan like Times Square hosts tourists, let’s look at its safety. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration currently does not list triclosan as a hazardous ingredient; however, in light of several recent studies showing adverse effects in animal testing, the FDA is currently reviewing this position. Triclosan is shown to alter hormone regulation in frogs, resulting in altered behavior and possible infertility. A recent study in 2012revealed that triclosan is “linked with muscle function impairments in humans and mice, as well as slowing the swimming of fish.”

Liquid soap manufacturers, which as the New York Times points out , represent half of the $750 million market for liquid hand soaps in the United States, continue to claim triclosan has no harmful effects on humans. But while companies such as Dial keep using the questionable antimicrobial, others, such as Colgate-Palmolive, have started to replace tricolsan with different ingredients.

2. Natural selection . So imagine you’re slathering your hands with antibacterial soap. While most of the bacteria on your skin reacts like it’s Armageddon, a few remain. These hardy bacteria—now resistant to your soap—adapt and mutate to successfully ward off your next sudsy assault on their existence. Microbiologistsrefer to this process as “selection,” and several studies show that it’s causing some bacteria to resist antibiotics.

Then you get a bacterial infection, and your doctor prescribes antibiotics. As Discovery Health points out, “some antibacterial agents go after the same physiology of bacteria that prescription antibiotics do.” This means that if the bacteria making you sick already has a resistance to antibacterial agents because of previous exposure, it’s not going to work as well or at all. Think of it this way—do you really want superbugs playing out War of the Worlds in your body?

3. They are harming our ecosystem . The Natural Resources Defense Councilshares that triclosan and its close cousin triclocarban “are found in high concentrations in sediments and sewage sludge where they can persist for decades.” Further, triclosan is one of the most frequently detected chemicals found in U.S. streams. The hormonal disruptions it enables are thought to be damaging the reproductive health of certain fish. Meanwhile, some experts are concerned about the additional exposure to humans eating contaminated fish.

4. They are making us sick . It turns out our war on germs is having an ironic side effect—in some cases, it’s actually making us sick. Because our bodies no longer need to fight germs like they did in bubonic times, studies show that some children are developing allergies. Apparently, allowing our bodies to rarely detect germs has made them more sensitive to everyday substances, like pollen and dust.

Marc McMorris is a pediatric allergist at the University of Michigan Health System. As he told LiveScience, “As a result, the immune system has shifted away from fighting infection to developing more allergic tendencies.” Studies show that allergy rates in Americans from 1988 to 1994 are two to five times higher that rates from 1976 to 1980.

5. Soap and water works just as well . Why do colds, viruses and plagues spread in the first place? As much as we’d like to blame it on Gwyneth Paltrow shaking hands with a Chinese chef and then cheating on Matt Damon (as took place in the film Contagion), it’s largely because we of the so-called civilized world don’t like to wash our hands. In fact, as many as half of all men and a quarter of women fail to wash their hands after they have been to the bathroom.

As it turns out, what we learned in kindergarten is true—the CDC urges us to wash our hands with soap and water to prevent the spread of germs. But we do not need said soap to contain antibacterial agents. The FDA shares that it has no evidence that antibacterial soaps containing triclosan provide any extra health benefits.

So What Should We Use?

Luckily, there are many products out there which do not have worrisome studies attached to their ingredients lists. Plain soap and water are your best friends in the fight against colds and flu. Start reading ingredient labels, weeding out anything with triclosan and triclocarban. If you need to wash your hands and nary a sink or soap dish is to be found, use antibacterial gels that contain alcohol as the primary germ-fighting ingredient. According to the CDC , they should work well if they contain at least 60% alcohol and your hands are not visibly dirty.

And if you really want to go natural (and have some extra dollars to spend), consider a line of clean (so to speak) soaps. Tracy Perkins, creator of the handmade soap company Strawberry Hedgehog , uses essential oils in her line. As she tells AlterNet, “essential oils derived directly from plants are powerfully antibacterial on their own, and used in appropriate dilution they are much gentler than the harsh antibacterial detergents available on the market.”

So the next time you find yourself reaching for your antibacterial spray, ask yourself “to triclosan or not to triclosan?” And then wash the heck out of your hands with simple soap and water.

A case of flu with chronic ear infection

A case from Vera Resnick D.Hom med.(I.H.M.)

 

Disclaimer:  this is a case from my clinic, but details have been changed in order to preserve the anonymity of the patient.

Several years ago, a 55 year-old woman came to me for treatment.  She had come to Israel on vacation, but a sudden sharp bout of flu was ruining her holiday.

It turned out that in addition to the flu, she had an underlying weakness.  As a child she had had very invasive treatments on her left ear, which left her without an eardrum.  Her eardrum had been surgically built up, but due to chronic infections in the ear, the surgery had been repeated several times over the years.

So the first question:  what to treat – the flu or the ear problem?

The ear problem constitutes an underlying weakness – as I have seen many times in my practice, treatment for acute almost always leads into treatment of chronic underlying issues.  At the time the patient came to me, the presenting symptoms were those of the acute, but symptoms of the chronic were also present.  I treated the presenting symptoms, but it was clear to me that I was treating the chronic, not just the acute.

She caught the flu from someone else, but it got much worse after an accidental shower in cold water.   She had a high fever, very low vitality, and a clear, itching discharge from the left ear.   Cold aggravates for this patient.  She had no appetite, and had a barking cough which caused a burning sensation in her chest.  The cough was dry, no expectoration.

I repertorized using basic marked symptoms in the case:

 

 

 

 

 

The repertorization narrowed the symptoms down to the following group:

(click on picture to enlarge).

 

 

 

 

On reading the provings, and especially comparing Causticum and Mercury, I decided to go with Mercury LM1, once daily for 3 days.  After 3 days, the patient reported that she felt almost completely better, was coughing less at night, had much less burning pain during the cough and that her general vitality was much improved.  She was producing more phlegm, and was experiencing clear coryza.  Although a little pale, she was much improved.  In addition, she still had a very slight ear discharge at night.  The improvement continued and I felt there was no need to repeat the remedy.

The patient then went abroad, and contacted me several years later for a different issue.  She reported that she had experienced very occasional mild repeated occurrences of the ear infection, and had treated herself with Merc LM1 each time which had resolved the symptoms.

I feel it is important to note several aspects of this case:

1.  Chronic/Acute:  Although we often find out about underlying chronic weaknesses while examining the patient, if no symptoms are presenting we cannot use them in repertorisation.  We would not be building an accurate picture that can be used for the sweep through material medica to find a simillimum.  However, in cases where there is such a weakness, it is rare that the remedy emerging for the acute does not demonstrate some aspects of the chronic disease in its proving.

2.  I was surprised that she turned to homoeopathy at all.  It turned out that she had been treated by a homoeopath prior to her visit, for the ear infections.   The “homoeopath” had been alternating Sulphur 12C and Aurum 12C on a weekly basis.    The “homoeopath” was “very nice”, and “trying very hard”, but the results were negligible.

Hahnemann was very definite when he stated that the homoeopathic principle is the basic principle of healing.  I like to refer to this as “the default”.  Hahnemann said that where healing has taken place, it is certain that the homoeopathic principle of “like cures like” is involved – even if utilized without deliberate intent.  If case-taking is correctly carried out, and repertorization is made of clear, central, certain symptoms, the remedies found through this process to reflect the disease picture in proving symptoms will be those that can trigger the healing default mechanism, that of “like cures like”.

Half of drugs prescribed in France useless or dangerous, say two specialists

The doctors claim that the state wastes money on unnecessary medicine that they blame for up to 20,000 deaths annually

Prescribed drugs

Half of all prescribed drugs are useless or dangerous, two leading French doctors claim in a new book. Photograph: Miguel Medina/AFP/Getty Images

Half of all medicines being prescribed by doctors in France are either useless or potentially dangerous for patients, according to two eminent medical specialists. They blame the powerful pharmaceutical companies for keeping these drugs on sale at huge expense to the health system and the taxpayer.

Professor Philippe Even, director of the prestigious Necker Institute, and Bernard Debré, a doctor and member of parliament, say removing what they describe as superfluous and hazardous drugs from the list of those paid for by the French health service would save up to €10bn (£8bn) a year. It would also prevent up to 20,000 deaths linked to the medication and reduce hospital admissions by up to 100,000, they claim.

In their 900-page book The Guide to the 4,000 Useful, Useless or Dangerous Medicines, Even and Debré examined the effectiveness, risks and cost of pharmaceutical drugs available in France. Among those that they alleged were “completely useless” were statins, widely taken to lower cholesterol. The blacklist of 58 drugs the doctors claimed are dangerous included anti-inflammatories and drugs prescribed for cardiovascular conditions, diabetes, osteoporosis, contraception, muscular cramps and nicotine addiction.

The Professional Federation of Medical Industrialists denounced the doctors’ views as full of “confusions and approximations”.

“This book is helping to alarm those who are sick needlessly and risks leading them to stop treatments,” it saidin a statement.

Christian Lajoux, the federation’s president said: “It is dangerous and irresponsible … hundreds of their examples are neither precise nor properly documented. We must not forget that the state exercises strict controls on drugs. France has specialist agencies responsible for the health of patients and of controlling what information is given to them.”

Professor Even told the Guardian most of the drugs criticised in the book are produced by French laboratories. He accused the pharmaceutical industry of pushing medicines at doctors who then push them on to patients. “The pharmaceutical industry is the most lucrative, the most cynical and the least ethical of all the industries,” he said. “It is like an octopus with tentacles that has infiltrated all the decision making bodies, world health organisations, governments, parliaments, high administrations in health and hospitals and the medical profession.

“It has done this with the connivance, and occasionally the corruption of the medical profession. I am not just talking about medicines but the whole of medicine. It is the pharmaceutical industry that now outlines the entire medical landscape in our country.”

The French consume medication worth €36bn (£29bn) every year, about €532 (£430) for each citizen who has an average 47 boxes of medicine in cupboards every year. The state covers 77% of the cost; in Britain spending on medicines is around £271 per person. “Yet in the UK people have the same life expectancy of around 80 years and are no less healthy,” said Even.

The authors were commissioned by former President Nicolas Sarkozy to write a report over the Mediator affair, a drug developed for diabetes patients but prescribed as a slimming aid, that has been linked to the deaths of hundreds of patients who developed heart problems.

However, Even accused the industry of having a get-rich-quick attitude to making medicines and said it was interested in chasing only easy profits. “They haven’t discovered very much new for the last 30 years, but have multiplied production, using tricks and lies.

“Sadly, none of them is interested in making drugs for rare conditions or, say, for an infectious disease in countries with no money, because it’s not a big market. Nor are they interested in developing drugs for conditions like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease because it too difficult and there’s not money to be made quickly.

“It has become interested only in the immediate, in short term gains. On Wall Street, the pharmaceutical industry is third after petrol and banking, and each year it increases by 20%. It’s more profitable than mining for diamonds.”

Asked to explain French people’s apparent dependence on medication, Even said: “For the last 40 years patients have been told that medicines are necessary for them, so they ask for them. Today we have doctors who want to give people medicines and sick people asking for medicines. There’s nothing objective or realistic about this.”

He added: “There is nothing revolutionary in this book. This has all been known for some time.”

• This article was amended on 17 September 2012 to correct the figures given for health spending. The original article gave overall health spending figures and not spending on medicines.

 

Meningitis-linked steroid may have affected 13,000 people in U.S.

A security guard looks out from the front doors of pharmaceutical compounding company New England Compounding Center (NECC), a producer of the steroid methylprednisolone acetate, in Framingham, Massachusetts October 8, 2012. REUTERS-Jessica Rinaldi

By Tim Ghianni

NASHVILLE, Tennessee | Mon Oct 8, 2012 6:30pm EDT

(Reuters) – Some 13,000 people in 23 U.S. states may have received steroid injections linked to a rare fungal meningitis outbreak that has killed eight people, but far fewer are likely to contract the disease, the Centers for Disease Control said on Monday.

The CDC for the first time estimated the number of patients potentially affected, after previously saying only that it could be in the thousands.

So far, 105 cases of the rare form of meningitis have been confirmed in nine states. In hardest hit Tennessee another person has died, bringing the national death toll to eight, the CDC and Tennessee state authorities said on Monday.

Nearly 1,000 people in Tennessee may have received injections from the three recalled lots containing 17,676 vials of potentially tainted steroid, Tennessee Health Commissioner Dr. John Dreyzehner said on Monday. Saint Thomas Outpatient Neurosurgery Center in Nashville received some 2,000 vials, more than any other facility in the country, he said.

The widening outbreak has alarmed federal and state health officials and focused attention on regulation of pharmaceutical compounding companies such as the one that produced the drugs – the New England Compounding Center Inc in Framingham, Massachusetts.

“We anticipate finding some additional infections,” said CDC spokesman Curtis Allen. He could not say if all 13,000 people had been contacted, but said efforts had been made to find them in the last few days and the recall should limit the outbreak.

In Ohio, health officials said on Monday they were mobilizing community resources, including sheriff’s offices, to check on patients who have received the injections.

“If that means knocking on doors, then that’s what they will do,” Beth Bickford, executive director at the Association of Ohio Health Commissioners, said in a statement. The state has so far reported one case of fungal meningitis likely caused by a tainted epidural steroid injection.

The steroid is used as a painkiller, usually for the back. Meningitis is an infection of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, and patients started showing a variety of symptoms from one to four weeks after their injections.

The potentially tainted drugs were produced as early as May and shipped to 76 facilities in 23 states through September, the CDC and Massachusetts Health Department said.

The company, which was previously the subject of complaints, has suspended its operations while an investigation proceeds. It initially recalled the three lots of the drug, and expanded its recall on Saturday to all products compounded and distributed at its Framingham facility.

A compounding pharmacy takes medications from pharmaceutical manufacturers and makes them into specific dosages and strengths for use by doctors.

Complaints against the company in 2002 and 2003 about the processing of medication resulted in an agreement with government agencies in 2006 to correct deficiencies, the Massachusetts Health Department said.

LIMITED FDA AUTHORITY

In 2011, there was another inspection of the facility and no deficiencies were found. In March 2012, another complaint was made about the potency of a product used in eye surgery procedures. That investigation is continuing, the state health department said.

The U.S. Food and Drug administration has limited authority over the day-to-day operations of compounding pharmacies, which are regulated primarily by state boards that oversee the practices, licensing and certification of pharmacies and pharmacists.

Compounded products do not have to win FDA approval before they are sold, and the agency has no jurisdiction over how the products are manufactured or labeled for use. Instead, the FDA investigates cases of adulterated drugs in cooperation with state regulators.

The FDA has tried to exert greater authority over compounded drug products under a section of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act that covers new drugs. But those efforts led to federal court challenges that resulted in two separate and conflicting rulings at the appellate level.

The nine states where fungal meningitis cases have been reported are Florida, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia.

Tennessee, where the outbreak was first detected, accounted for most of the cases, with 35, including four deaths. Many patients there remain hospitalized, some in critical condition.

Virginia has 23 cases and one death, Michigan 21 cases and two deaths and one person has died in Maryland.

Fungal meningitis is not contagious, the CDC said. Symptoms include fever, headache, nausea and neurological problems that would be consistent with deep brain stroke.

The steroid was sent to California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia, the CDC said.

A list of facilities that received vials from the infected lots can be found via the website http://www.cdc.gov . (Writing by Mary Wisniewski; editing by Greg McCune and Mohammad Zargham)

Fatal Side Effects of Prescription Drugs on the Rise

Fatal Side Effects of Prescription Drugs on the Rise

by Lawyers.com on 6/19/2012  Aaron Kase]

Reports of adverse reactions to prescription drugs rose 9.4 percent in 2011, according to a nonprofit that monitors safe medication practices. The Quarterwatch reportfound 179,855 drug reactions classified as serious or fatal, an increase of over 15,000 from 2010.

  • Manufacturers must report adverse effects that they learn about to the FDA
  • Only one to 10 percent of adverse effects are reported
  • Drug companies liable if they do not properly warn of potential side effects

Adverse Reactions

Heart attacks, kidney failure, stroke and death – it’s dangerous out there in the world of prescription medicine. Every year millions of people face side effects from the cutting-edge pills and therapies they take to address various health problems.

By law, drug manufacturers must report to the FDA any adverse reactions to their drugs that come to their attention, be it from a patient complaint, a lawsuit or even just a mention on Twitter. Consumers and doctors may also report adverse effects to the FDA. Using those numbers, Quaterwatch compiled its report on all the reports of serious negative side effects that made it to the FDA in 2011, finding that reports have risen nearly 10 percent in the past year.

The top ten drugs with adverse effects were Pradaxa, Coumadin, Levaquin, Carboplatin, Zestril, Cisplatin, Zocor, Cymbalta, Cipro and Bactrim. If you’re taking any of the above and experiencing serious side effects, rest assured that you aren’t alone. In fact, drug experts contend that only one to 10 percent of adverse effects are ever reported to the FDA, meaning negative side effects are much more widespread than the Quaterwatch report would indicate. “We’re missing anywhere from 99 percent to 90 percent” of the adverse effects, saysThomas Lamb, an attorney in North Carolina who maintains a blog on prescription drug news.

Seven Year Rule

Unfortunately, side effects are an inevitable tradeoff, the price you pay for taking advantage of the benefits offered by modern pharmaceuticals. However, there are ways that consumers can protect themselves and try to shield themselves from the worst consequences. The advocacy group Public Citizen suggests only using drugs that have been on the market for more than seven years, unless there is no alternative.

“Unless the new drug is a groundbreaking or novel therapy, stay with tried drugs, on the market for seven years, the reason being that clinical trials prior to FDA approval may detect certain side effects but not all of them,” Lamb says. “The common-sense advice is to stay away from new drugs while you figure out what other safety issues may emerge.”

Another way patients can protect themselves is to use drug interaction checkers commonly found online to make sure that their various prescriptions aren’t in conflict with one another or causing problems that a single drug wouldn’t create on its own. When consumers use multiple doctors and specialists and might use a mail order pharmacy or acquire drugs from a number of locations, contraindicated combinations of medication might slip through without a medical professional catching the problem.

“In the past, people said if there’s an issue the doctor would pick up on it, or the pharmacy might let me know,” says Lamb. “Now there’s often not just one source where people are getting medications from. It’s prudent for them to take safety measures into their own hands.”

Call the Lawyers

So if you’re injured by a prescription drug, can you sue? Not necessarily. For one thing, generic drugs are protected from lawsuits. And name-brand drugs are protected to some extent as long as they provide adequate warning of their potential side effects. Drug companies are required to warn of injury their drug might cause on the label and supplementary packaging, as well as inform the FDA of any side effects that come to light after the drug is already approved and shipped out to the market.

On the other hand, scores of drugs are facing lawsuits for not disclosing or under reporting potentially disastrous side effects. If you are facing serious side effects from a drug that you weren’t properly warned about, it’s time to consult a lawyer. “The allegation is that the drug company didn’t include sufficient warnings in their prescribing information or label about a serious side effect risk they had knowledge about,” Lamb explains. “It may be buried in the label as opposed to put in warnings in the precautions section, or put most prominently in black box warning.” A simple Google search can reveal if other people are having similar problems, and are finding success seeking restitution in court