Archive for the ‘Dangerous Drugs’ Category

Prescribed Opioids on the Decline for Workers’ Compensation Cases

August 5th, 2016 at 1:03 pm

opioids, Chicago workers' compensation attorneyWhen a worker becomes seriously injured, they will most likely be put on pain medication to help cope with their incredible discomforts while healing. In fact, according to a report done by the National Public Radio, successful pain management not only speeds up the recovery time, but it also cuts costs overall. Patients who are able to manage their pain with medication are able to take fuller breaths, which reduces the risk of pneumonia, and they are able to get up and walk more quickly after surgery and the initial injury, which reduces the chance of developing blood clots in the legs. Not only that, but severe acute pain, when left untreated by medication, is more likely to develop into chronic pain that can last for years after the initial injury has faded away. Pain slows recovery by not allowing the patient to sleep or feel comfortable, and it wears on them mentally as the days and weeks go by. Pain medication is vital to many injured workers, yet there are dangers with unchecked or unnecessary use of these drugs.

Opioids for Pain Management

The medical world has come a far way in pain medication over the last few decades and has created a vast array of pain medications for doctors and patients. Very often, the preferred pain medication is an opioid drug. Opiates, such as morphine, are derived from opium (and are classified as opioids), and most opioids that are used now are created synthetically, such as hydrocodone. Opioids are an incredibly useful, yet dangerous type of pain medication. They can drastically reduce the pain and suffering an injured person is going through and are handed out, with prescriptions, by the million every day. However, they are incredibly addictive and, when overdoses occur, they can be fatal.

Because of these dangers, medical workers and many people in the healthcare industry have been trying to find ways in which to decrease the abundance of these drugs, such as hydrocodone, codeine, oxycodone, fentanyl, morphine, and methadone. A recent study done by the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute showed that in the majority of the 25 states studied, including Illinois, opioids were being prescribed less and less in workers’ compensation claims. In some states, opioid prescriptions for injured workers were down by 30 to 40 percent. In another study, in 2014, injured workers received, on average, 3.33 prescriptions of opioid pain medications per year. That number was down to 2.91 in 2015.

These results are a reflection of state reforms aiming to decrease the number of people that become dependent on these highly addictive substances. However, if you have been seriously injured on the job, you may very well require an opioid pain medication to return to health without developing chronic, lifelong pain. If you have been injured on the job, contact an experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorney from the Law Offices of Francis J. Discipio. Call 630-574-2288 today for a free consultation.





Popular Drug Recall Affects Thousands of Consumers

April 3rd, 2012 at 4:09 am

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is has issued a warning regarding a mix-up at a Novartis manufacturing plant based in Lincoln, Nebraska, according to BusinessWeek. In what’s sure to spark an influx of personal injury suites against the drug giant, a massive recall of 1,645 lots of over-the-counter drugs was issued, including well-known brands Execdrin, Bufferin, NoDoz, and Gas-X. The recall was issued only after the company, according to BusinessWeek, “received hundreds of complaints of broken and chipped pills and inconsistent bottle packaging that could cause pills to be mixed up.” FDA officials said that some of these could have been accidentally packaged with powerful prescription drugs made at the same facility, several of which belong to the opiate family.

Image from compositesw.com.

This isn’t the first time that the Switzerland-based drug manufacturer Novartis has come under fire from the FDA. In December 2011, fiercepharma.com reported that the giant had received repeated notices of violations, including crystallization problems of an injectable drug, repeated instances of inadequate equipment cleaning, and inadequate process violation for several products.

Drug mix-ups and pill recalls are common personal injury suites, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy to file or lack complex proceedings. If you or someone you know has been affected by the Novartis recall—or any other that has lead to personal injury or mental suffering—don’t go through the process alone. Contact the law offices of Francis J. Discipio today. We have the experience and expertise to win your case and help you and your loved ones to move on.


Health Risks Involved in Yaz Birth Control Pills

January 8th, 2012 at 8:16 am

Birth control pills don’t just offer protection from unplanned pregnancies but also acne and severe pre-menstrual pain. This is even how they are advertised on television and other media. However, all birth control pills come with some risk. Anywhere from two to four women per 10,000 on the pill will suffer blood clots, and some will ever die as a result. But with Yaz, several new independent studies have put that risk two to three times higher.

At this time, over 10,500 women have filed a product liability lawsuit against Bayer alleging that they suffered injuries as a result of the drug maker’s failure to effectively warn about the side effects of Yaz, Yasmin and other Drosperinone-based birth control pills. Drospirenone is a new type of synthetic progestin that is used in combination with oral contraceptives pills which include estrogen.

Several medical studies have found that women using Yaz face an increased risk of suffering a blood clot, stroke, pulmonary embolism, deep vein thrombosis and sudden death.  Without adequate warnings on their packaging, these two pills quickly became top-sellers, generating hundreds of millions in annual sales for Bayer. Last year, annual sales of Yaz reached over $350 million, according to SDI Health, which tracks sales of prescription drugs. Annual sales of Yasmin have declined since 2008 when the drug generated over $325 million.

The FDA recently released a report that suggested Drospirenone-based birth control pills may increase the risk of blood clots by 75% over older birth control pills.  A panel of FDA advisors which met in December called for stricter label warnings on Yaz and Yasmin, but stopped short of recommending a Yaz recall.  The panel on Oct. 8, 2011 voted 21 to 5 that the current labeling of Yaz and other popular birth-control pills using the manmade hormone progesterone is inadequate in warning users of its potentially deadly side effects.

Based on the company’s past actions, there is little doubt that Bayer will continue to use every resource it at its disposal to fight the growing number of lawsuits that are being filed against it as a result of its top-selling contraceptives Yaz and Yasmin. The FDA’s latest action will only increase this resolve. This shows why it’s imperative that, if you or a loved one has developed a Yaz-related blood clot as a result of taking the drug, you should be aware of all the latest developments surrounding the birth-control pill.  If you feel you have experienced a blood clot or related injury, then please contact an Illinois personal injury lawyer.


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