The Drug Dilemma: Is Your Medication Helping or Hurting?

When we think of harm from drugs, the first thing that comes to mind is often drastic misuse of the treatment; perhaps we picture an addict, or someone who drinks excessively with their medication. However, that isn’t always the case.

The process for getting a drug approved is complex and layered; in fact, it takes an average of 12 years to get a drug approved from start to finish. Each new medication is taken through a lengthy process of pre-clinical research, studies, and review before being cleared. Still, faulty – or even seriously dangerous – medications are getting through the Food and Drug Administration’s process and ending up on the market. Recently, many prescription drugs have been shown to have dangerous effects beyond their listed warnings.

Among them is Reglan. It’s meant to treat acid reflux, but it is also prescribed to expectant mothers experiencing nausea or morning sickness. A post from the Williams Kherker law firm in Houston, Texas, warns that this medication (also referred to as metoclopramide) may cause movement disorders such as Tardive Dyskinesia and Akathisia; victims may also experience Parkinson’s symptoms. It’s estimated that more than 2 million individuals have taken this medication.

This isn’t the only case of cures that may have hidden side effects. They aren’t always in the form of a pill or an injection; the website of the Williams Kherker law firm warns about a hernia patch by AlloDerm, a synthetic skin graft introduced by LifeCell. After 2000, many patients that were treated using the patch reported symptoms such as swelling, pain, abscesses, and severe – even life-threatening – infection. Some were forced to undergo more surgery to correct the damage.

Other than taking medications as prescribed, nothing can be done to avoid dangerous side effects. However, it may be advantageous to seek legal representation in the case of harm caused by medication.

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