Common Dangerous Drugs

Drugs that regulating agencies deem “dangerous” are ones that, in many cases, have been on the market for years, if not decades. Many of them are household names. While most people associate “dangerous drugs” with prescription medications, the truth is that several OTC medications are just as likely to cause extreme harm as doctor-prescribed ones.

That said, there are hundreds of dangerous medications, many of which the FDA and other agencies have pulled off the market. The most common dangerous drugs, though, are as follows:

  • Zantac: Research has linked this over-the-counter heartburn medication with cancer. In 2020, the FDA issued a full recall of the medicine.
  • Truvada® and Other HIV Drugs: Research has linked the active ingredient in Truvada® and other medications designed to manage the symptoms of HIV to kidney damage, renal failure, osteoporosis, tooth loss and other effects.
  • Beovu®: Beovu® is a drug the manufacturer designed to treat vision troubles. Unfortunately, many users claim to have experienced worsened vision, or even developed blindness, after taking it.
  • Elmiron: Elmiron is a prescription drug that manufacturers intended to help manage the pain associated with bladder cysts. However, several users report having developed serious eye damage after taking it.
  • Viagra: Viagra is a popular drug designed to enhance male sexual performance. Since its release, it has faced considerable scrutiny over claims of the drug leading to vision loss, hearing loss, drops in blood pressure and sudden cardiac arrest.
  • Uloric: Uloric is an OTC medication that doctors may recommend for chronic gout. In 2019, after claims that the medication caused early death, the FDA required the manufacturer to place a Black Box Label on the medicine’s packaging warning about the increased risk of death compared to that of other gout medications.
  • Risperdal: When Johnson & Johnson first released Risperdal, it marketed the drug to doctors who treat mental illness in children. The company did this despite the drug never having received FDA approval for use in children. After many children had already taken the drug, and after further research, scientists concluded that the drug caused hormonal changes in male patients. One such change involved gynecomastia, which is a condition in which young males develop female breasts. Though the FDA never recalled the drug, it did require doctors and the company to urge parents to use extreme caution when giving the medication to adolescent males. 

These drugs offer just a few notable examples of dangerous drugs and the side effects they cause. A quick Google search or visit to the FDA’s website is likely to reveal dozens of others.

Consequences of Dangerous Drugs

The side effects of dangerous drugs are varied and can include everything from sensory problems, such as hearing and vision loss, to kidney failure to cancer. The types of consequences you may experience depend largely on the drug in question. However, common and potentially dangerous side effects of drugs the FDA has deemed “dangerous” are as follows:

  • Eye pain, blurred vision, distorted vision, difficulty reading, macular degeneration and complete vision loss
  • Loss of bone density and increased risk for fractures and breaks and tooth loss
  • Acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease
  • End-stage renal disease, renal failure and renal impairment
  • Cancer of the stomach, liver, bladder, esophagus and/or pancreas
  • Hormonal changes
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Dangerously high or low blood pressure
  • Hair loss

Unfortunately, despite the identified consequences of several major drugs, these drugs remain on the market. Not only that, but doctors continue to prescribe or recommend them, perpetuating their use and, therefore, contributing to the rise in injured patients.

Why Manufacturers Release Dangerous Drugs Into the Market

Prescription and over-the-counter medications must go through a slew of testing and trials before the FDA will even consider giving manufacturers the OK to put them on the market. So, why then do dangerous drugs continue to creep onto shelves and into pharmacies? There are a number of reasons for their continued use, many of which involve pure negligence:

  • Manufacturing and Distribution Errors: Manufacturing prescription and OTC medications involve considerable precision, care and quality control. If the process lacks any of these, and if any errors occur during the formulation of a drug, the consequences can be dire. Unfortunately, many drugs are manufactured outside the U.S. Even U.S.-made drugs contain non-U.S.-made ingredients. The FDA and other regulatory agencies have little control over the quality control measures that other countries implement, which increases the risk that the final product will contain contaminants or impurities.

Additionally, when distributors mishandle drugs during shipment, the drugs may become contaminated or “bad.”

  • Errors in Testing and Approval: Medications must undergo considerable testing before the FDA will approve them for consumer use. Unfortunately, as with QC errors during manufacturing and distribution, mistakes and oversight do occur during the testing phase. Mistakes may cause dangerous risks to go unnoticed.
  • Prescription Designations: Many prescription medications require prescriptions for a reason — manufacturers designed them to treat very specific conditions and, more importantly, have whole lists of people who should not take them. When prescriptions fall into the wrong hands, they can have dangerous, if not deadly, consequences.
  • Standard Side Effects: All drugs come with a list of anticipated side effects. It is crucial that both doctors and pharmacists warn users about possible side effects and take steps to mitigate adverse reactions by checking patients’ medical and drug use histories. Doctors and pharmacists must also educate patients on how and when to take medications and on what to avoid while using them. Warnings and information can go a long way toward preventing harmful or even dangerous reactions.

These are just a few reasons that dangerous drugs make it onto the market and remain there.

Holding Manufacturers Accountable

Consuming a dangerous drug or a drug that was not intended for your use can have severe adverse and potentially fatal consequences. Unfortunately, you — like so many others — may have been unaware of the potential dangers until you experienced them firsthand. If that is the case, you may wonder if there is a way you can hold the manufacturers accountable. The answer is, in most cases, yet.

If, despite using the medication as directed, you develop injuries that result in long-term harm and disability, you may have a dangerous drugs lawsuit. If you are one of a handful of victims, you may be able to pursue the case on your own. If you are part of a majority that experienced the same or similar consequences, you may be able to join a class-action lawsuit. The bottom line is, though, that you can take action to right the wrongs you experienced.

If you are successful in your action against the drug manufacturer, you stand to receive significant monetary compensation. The purpose of the compensation is to compensate you for the damages you experienced because of the injuries the drug caused. Though damages vary from person to person, the most common types of damages that civil courts award in dangerous drugs cases are as follows:

  • Medical expenses
  • Physical therapy
  • In-home care
  • Lost wages
  • Reduced earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Loss of consortium (in the event of wrongful death)

Some damages, such as medical expenses and lost wages, are easier to calculate than others and leave little room for negotiation. However, pain and suffering and reduced quality of life, though real consequences of a drug-related injury, are tough to value. The right dangerous drug lawyer can help you value your non-economic damages and ensure you recover the full amount to which the law entitles you.

Retain a Skilled Dangerous Drugs Lawyer

Going up against a pharmaceutical company or drug manufacturer is intimidating to even the most seasoned attorneys. As a consumer, the thought may be frightening. Yet, with the right team and resources, and with an unwavering commitment to justice, you can go up against big-name drug companies with confidence, and you can prevail. For the help you need holding drug companies accountable, contact Judd Shaw Injury Law today.