Darvocet Heart Attack Lawsuits, Darvon Cardiac Arrest Toxicity Lawsuits, Darvocet Heart Abnormal Rhythm Lawsuits, Darvocet Deadly Overdose Lawsuits, Propoxyphene Painkiller Cardiac Blackout Lawsuits, and Propoxyphene Painkiller Overdose Lawsuits by Texas Darvon and Darvocet Heart Damage and Fatal Heart Attack Lawyer Jason S. Coomer

Fatal Heart Attack Darvocet Lawsuits, Propoxyphene Cardiac Arrest and Abnormal Heart Rhythm Lawsuits,  Deadly Darvocet Overdose Lawsuits, and other Propoxyphene Cardiac Toxicity Lawsuits can arise when a person suffers an accumulated cardiac toxicity from a propoxyphene drug such as Darvocet or Darvon, and then suffers an abnormal heart rhythm that causes death, heart damage, or other serious health problems.  If you or a loved one is taking Darvocet, Darvon, or other Propoxyphene painkiller, it is important to contact your doctor to determine how new safety concerns regarding propoxyphene drugs may impact you or your loved one. 

If you have questions regarding a Fatal Heart Attack Darvocet Lawsuit, Toxic Propoxyphene Abnormal Heart Rhythm Lawsuit, Deadly Darvocet Overdose Lawsuit, or Fatal Propoxyphene Overdose Lawsuit, please feel free to e-mail Texas Propoxyphene Death and Heart Damage Lawyer Jason Coomer or use our online form for a free case evaluation.

Darvocet Fatal Overdoses, Darvon Deadly Overdoses, and Propoxyphene Painkiller Overdoses Combined with Questions as to Propoxyphene Effectiveness Lead to Europe and UK Banning Propoxyphene and the FDA Issuing Box Warnings

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has called for a boxed warning of overdose risk on packages of Darvon, Darvocet and other painkillers containing the drug propoxyphene.  The drugs have not been withdrawn from the market like they have been in Europe and the UK, but the FDA has warned that Darvocet-N, Darvon, and other  painkillers containing the drug propoxyphene have been linked to fatal overdoses. 

Prior to the FDA box warnings, in the United States there were an estimated over 10 million Americans taking Darvocet and other propoxyphene painkillers with tens of millions prescriptions being written each year.  Darvon, Darvocet, and other brand/generic drugs containing propoxyphene are painkillers from the 1950s that have a long history of safety concerns.  Based on growing scientific research  propoxyophene drugs cause accumulated heart toxicity, heart problems, and cardiac side effects including abnormal and fatal heart rhythm abnormalities.

The Public Citizen’s Health Research Group has long been pushing for the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to ban Darvon (generic: propoxyphene) and Darvocet (generic: propoxyphene and acetaminophen ) due to evidence goes back more than 30 years which indicates that propoxyphene is not very effective as a pain relieving drug and is toxic at doses not much higher than the recommended dose.  Strong scientific research indicates that Darvon and Darvocet cause a heart toxic metabolite to accumulate in the body.  This heart toxic metabolite combined with limited effectiveness in relieving pain and the addictive nature of the propoxyphene drugs may have caused many thousands of U.S. deaths since 1981, a large proportion of these deaths were likely caused by cardiac toxicity.  Cardiac toxicity can cause the interruption of electrical conduction in the heart, ventricular fibrillation, cardiac arrest, cardiac blackouts, and other heart problems.

Researchers know that ventricular fibrillation occurs when the heart’s electrical system malfunctions, the electrical signals that control the pumping of the heart become rapid and chaotic causing the lower chambers of the heart to quiver instead of contract. Those chambers can no longer pump blood to the rest of the body, which leads to sudden cardiac death without defibrillation - a successful emergency shock to jump start the heart back into a regular beat.

This fatal cardiac toxicity may occur in patients that use the propoxyphene drugs with a small multiple of the normal therapeutic dose.  Thus, a proportion of cardiac toxicity fatalities may have been caused by inadvertent overdose in an effort to relieve pain.  Recent studies have indicated that there is a confirmed link between propoxyphene and over 10,000 confirmed deaths and 2,110 reported accidental deaths since the early 1980’s.

"The FDA’s deadly delay in this case starkly illustrates how one of the most important public health concepts, the precautionary principle, was embraced by the UK and Europe, but was for too long recklessly rejected by the FDA."  Delayed FDA Removal of Painkiller Propoxyphene (Darvon, Darvocet) From U.S. Market Has Cost More Than 1,000 U.S. Lives, Statement by Dr. Sidney Wolfe, Director, Public Citizen’s Health Research Group.

Propoxyphene has been associated with 2,110 reported accidental deaths in the United States since 1981. A large proportion of these deaths occur because most of the drug is converted into a metabolite that is highly toxic to the heart and lasts longer in the body than the original compound, resulting in cardiac depression. Adverse cardiac events associated with propoxyphene include an interruption of heart transmission of electrical impulses, slowed heartbeats and a decreased ability of the heart to contract properly.

Scientific evidence shows that the propoxyphene drugs have a very small margin of safety.  A dangerous dose is only slightly higher, or may be no higher than an effective dose. Further, the safety margin for the propoxyphene drugs can become even more unfavorable to patients taking the drug who have not experienced relief and thus take more of the drug, accidentally causing heart toxicity.

FDA Rulings and Action

Darvocet-N is a prescription medicine that contains two medicines: propoxyphene and acetaminophen. Darvocet-N is used to relieve mild to moderate pain. Darvocet-N is a federally controlled substance (C-IV) because it is a strong opioid pain medicine that can be abused by people who abuse prescription medicines or street drugs.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has received requests to remove the propoxyphene drugs from the market since 1978, but has previously determined the benefits outweighed the risks. More recently a FDA advisory committee recommended banning the drug, but decided instead to issue strong warnings and require the company to do a new safety study.  As such, the FDA has called for a boxed warning of overdose risk on packages of Darvon, Darvocet and other painkillers containing the drug propoxyphene. The medicines that contain propoxyphene can cause serious side effects, including: Overdoses by accident or on purpose (intentional overdose).

Overdoses with Darvocet-N may happen when it is taken by itself, or with alcohol or other medicines that can also decrease your breathing and make you very sleepy. Death can happen within 1 hour of taking an overdose of Darvocet-N. Many of the deaths that happen in people who take Darvocet-N happen in those who have emotional problems, have thoughts of suicide or attempted suicide, or also take antidepressants, sedatives, tranquilizers, muscle relaxants, or other medicines that affect your breathing and make you very sleepy.

The FDA notified healthcare professionals that it is taking several actions to reduce the risk of overdose in patients using pain medications that contain propoxyphene because of data linking propoxyphene and fatal overdoses. The agency will require manufacturers of propoxyphene-containing products to strengthen the label, including the boxed warning, emphasizing the potential for overdose when using these products and to provide a medication guide to patients stressing the importance of using the drugs as directed. The FDA is also requiring a new safety study assessing unanswered questions about the effects of propoxyphene on the heart at higher than recommended doses. Findings from this study, as well as other data, could lead to additional regulatory action. To further evaluate the safety of propoxyphene, the FDA plans to work with several groups including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Veterans Health Administration to study how often the elderly are prescribed propoxyphene instead of other pain relievers and the difference in the safety profiles of propoxyphene compared to other drugs.

Pharmaceutical Companies Often Choose Profits Over Safety

All too often big drug companies and others in the pharmaceutical industry begin to value money and profits over the health of the consumer.  When this happens these pharmaceutical companies can deceptively market drugs or hide known dangers of dangerous drugs.  In the case of Darvon, Darvocet and other painkillers containing the drug propoxyphene, the drug producers may have used deceptive information to push their drugs and made hundreds of millions of dollars from continuing to manufacture, market, and sell these drugs with limited effectiveness and known safety concerns.  

The Pharmaceutical industry or "Big Pharma" has become extremely rich and powerful over the last decade as the industry has changed the way drugs are regulated and marketed in the United States and throughout the World. It is estimated that the drug industry will have drug sales of over $300 Billion in the United States in 2010 and over $750 Billion Worldwide. These revenues are over twice what they were 10 years ago.

The main reasons for this rapid growth are that the drug industry has been able to put their own people in top positions in the United States Food and Drug Administration to change regulations to relax the drug approval process, been able to help push through Medicare D (a major giveaway to the drug companies that increased government purchasing of drugs & limited competition), and been more aggressively marketing their drugs including off-label marketing regardless of dangers or effectiveness of the drug.

This article is intended to help explain the economic incentives that are encouraging the pharmaceutical industry to aggressively push drugs for approved and off label uses regardless of the effectiveness or potential dangerous side effects of the drugs as well as explain why additional safe guards are needed to help protect consumers from dangerous drugs and to curtail the drug industry's aggressive pursuit of profits regardless of the potential dangers or effectiveness of specific drugs.

Significant Investments in Research and Development Create Economic Incentives for Pharmaceutical Companies to Aggressively Market Drugs Regardless of Effectiveness or Potential Dangers

Because of the significant cost of researching and developing a drug, pharmaceutical companies have tremendous investments in making sure that a drug is profitable regardless of the effectiveness or potential dangers of a drug. Pharmaceutical professionals that have spent years and significant resources developing a new drug often cannot afford to risk their careers and company's profitability by having a drug's approval delayed, a drug taken off the market, or a drug sent back for further research. These precautions though often safer for consumers could allow another drug company or pharmaceutical professional to develop a similar drug and steal the potential market or cause potential profits to be delayed. Thus, the significant investment that a drug company has in a particular drug combined with fierce competition and the need for short term profitability create a strong economic incentive for a drug company to aggressively push patenting, approval, and marketing of a drug regardless of its effectiveness or potential dangerous side effects.

Further, once a drug is approved for a specific use there is also tremendous economic pressure to start marketing and pushing a drug for off label uses to increase the drug's profitability regardless of effectiveness or potential dangers. Even in cases where one drug company has been warned by the FDA not to market a drug for off label uses, other companies have purchased the drug and found it more profitable at least in the short term to market the drug and later pay any fines and/or lawsuits.

For more information on dangerous drug lawsuits, feel free to click on the following links: Paxil Infant Death, Birth Injury, and Birth Defect Lawsuits Isotretinoin and Accutane Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Lawsuits, Reglan Tardive Dyskinesia Lawsuits, Defective Birth Control (Yaz, Yasmine, & Ocella) Lawsuits, Avandia Lawsuits Chantix Suicide Lawsuits, Ketek Lawsuits, Gadolinium Contrast Dye Lawsuits, Antidepressant (SSRI) drug Lawsuits, Infant Heart Defect Lawsuits and Paxil Birth Injury Lawsuits, Accutane Ulcerative Colitis Lawsuits (Acne Drug Ulcerative Colitis Lawsuits),and Paroxetine, Seroxat, and Paxil Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension Lawsuits

 Darvocet Heart Attack Lawyer, Darvon Cardiac Arrest Toxicity Lawyer, Darvocet Heart Abnormal Rhythm Lawyer, Darvocet Deadly Overdose Lawyer,  Propoxyphene Painkiller Cardiac Blackout Lawyer, and Propoxyphene Painkiller Overdose Lawyer  (Darvon, Darvocet and Propoxyphene Heart Damage and Fatal Heart Attack Lawsuits)

Texas Darvocet, Darvon, Propoxyphene, and other dangerous drugs Attorney Jason Coomer commonly works with other lawyers throughout Texas and the United States including Houston Darvocet Lawyers, San Antonio Darvocet Heart Damage Lawyers, Dallas Propoxyphene Painkiller Fatal Overdose Lawyers, and other Austin Darvocet Heart Damage Lawyers.  By sharing information and working together, his law firm and other firms throughout Texas and the United States are able to provide better representation for there clients.  

If you have questions regarding a Fatal Heart Attack Darvocet Lawsuit, Toxic Propoxyphene Abnormal Heart Rhythm Lawsuit, Deadly Darvocet Overdose Lawsuit, or Fatal Propoxyphene Overdose Lawsuit, please feel free to e-mail Texas Propoxyphene Death and Heart Damage Lawyer Jason Coomer or use our online form for a free case evaluation.

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