Amiodarone Lawsuits: The Rise of ‘Last Resort’ Lawsuits

by | Mar 14, 2024 | Mass Tort

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The purpose of medications is to prolong and improve our quality of life, but taking them incorrectly or combining them with specific medications and supplements might cause severe side effects. Do you know why?

All of this is due to the fact that the human body is an extremely complicated structure that requires regulation to operate properly. To cure a specific issue, some medications that you might take replace one of the body’s regulatory substances. However, this may also have an impact on other bodily functions.

Did you take amiodarone? Have you ever had an adverse effect from it? Learn about your legal rights and available remedies with our in-depth article on amiodarone lawsuits.

Amiodarone Injection Uses

An anti-arrhythmic medication called amiodarone is used to control the heartbeats of people with life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias such as ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia. Amiodarone may be administered to patients when other drugs have failed to treat the disease and heart rate irregularities are life-threatening.

Is amiodarone dangerous? Amiodarone is one of the most contentious medications on the market in the United States. This potent prescription medicine has always had a lot of critics, from its early days as a prescription anti-arrhythmic treatment in 1985 to the hundreds of amiodarone lawsuits filed today.

Is amiodarone a last resort? If so, why is amiodarone used as a last resort? According to the FDA, amiodarone should only be used as a last option when other medications or treatments have failed. This is due to the drug’s fatal adverse effects, which also include liver damage, blindness, and lung failure.

Unfortunately, some manufacturers claim that it is safe to use for purposes other than ventricular fibrillation, for which it has been FDA-authorized. These corporations may fail to inform doctors that the medication should only be used as a last resort or to give pharmacies the appropriate patient caution.

Even authorities refer to it as a “drug of last resort,” even though the FDA has conditionally approved it. When misused or improperly prescribed, adverse side effects of amiodarone can occasionally result in a person’s terrible death.

Since the 1960s, amiodarone has been in use. However, there were serious concerns about its safety when it was granted a license in Europe, which caused the drug’s introduction in America to be postponed for several years.

Amiodarone Long Term Side Effects

According to USA Today, 1321 human medicinal products were recalled in 2022, which was the most in the previous three years. Amiodarone has a wide spectrum of harmful side effects and can be extremely toxic to people. According to certain research, up to 17% of patients had lung injuries, and 10% of those patients passed away as a result.

As much as 15% of side effects from amiodarone medication occur within the first year of use, and 50% occur after prolonged use.

Using a drug in ways the FDA has never allowed is known as “off-label prescribing,” and doctors seldom ever let their patients know about it. Despite being lawful, such use has the potential to disturb the risk-benefit ratio, which is essential for getting a medicine approved and put on the market.

Can amiodarone affect the liver? Yes. Patients on amiodarone may suffer significant liver damage, as well as other harmful side effects such as worsening irregular heartbeats, eyesight issues, and other issues.

What are the amiodarone toxicity symptoms? Experiencing breathlessness, fever, difficulties in breathing, a dry cough, fatigue, and numbness in the fingers or toes.

If you experience any of the following amiodarone adverse reactions, consult a doctor:

  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Pneumonia
  • Pulmonary toxicity
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Vision loss
  • Loss of muscle coordination
  • Liver failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Hepatitis
  • Exacerbation of arrhythmias
  • Lung damage
  • Heart failure
  • Cirrhosis
  • Thyroid failure
  • Stroke

Amiodarone may harm a fetus if taken by a pregnant woman or a woman who intends to get pregnant. This is only one of the numerous factors that make it crucial to pay close attention to how your body behaves once amiodarone has been stopped.

Amiodarone can actually aggravate an irregular heartbeat or result in new arrhythmias, which is one of its negative effects. Consult your doctor right away if you have dizziness or fainting due to a sluggish heartbeat, low blood potassium or magnesium levels, heart or thyroid problems, or any other condition that makes your heart rhythm irregular.

Manufacturers of Amiodarone

There are hundreds of pharmacological medications available to treat illnesses, alleviate symptoms, and prevent diseases. Although most pharmaceuticals operate to reach their intended goals, they frequently accomplish more than they are intended to, which is the cause of many lawsuits.

This drug has been sold under the Amiodarone brand names Cordarone, Pacerone, and Nexterone. It has been marketed by a number of pharmaceutical firms, including Teva Pharmaceuticals, Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, Upsher-Smith Pharmaceuticals, etc.

Amiodarone was initially marketed and sold by Wyeth, but in 1998, Sandoz and Upsher-Smith were given FDA approval to sell generic versions of the medication. Sandoz called its drug by its generic name, amiodarone hydrochloride, whereas Upsher-Smith branded its product Pacerone.

Allegations have been made that both businesses conspired to boost amiodarone sales while failing to disclose the drug’s major hazards adequately.

Wyeth Pharmaceuticals has received a warning from the FDA not to advertise amiodarone for unapproved applications. Despite the hazards, amiodarone is the most commonly prescribed anti-arrhythmic medication in the United States.


Legal Claims against Amiodarone

In February 2023, the family of Michael Dreckman blamed Mercy Hospital in Sioux City for medical malpractice.

In accordance with court records, Dreckman underwent successful surgery five days after being taken to Mercy Hospital in Sioux City for acute coronary syndrome. After being admitted, he started his rehabilitation in the ICU. Dreckman’s heart started pounding quickly on the third day after being hospitalized. He received an intravenous drip of amiodarone and three doses of the medication over the course of four hours from staff.

Dreckman’s heart rate entered a state of heart block three hours after the prior amiodarone injection, and protracted pauses accompanied his heartbeat. According to the telemetry measurements, the lawsuit claims that Dreckman’s heart stopped beating for five minutes without any personnel assistance.

The complaint also claims that when Dreckman’s wife and daughter entered the room, they discovered him unresponsive, grayish, and beeping on his monitor, with no one to tend to him. The staff didn’t arrive until they ran into the hallway and yelled for assistance. About 30 minutes later, Dreckman was declared dead.

The complaint makes several allegations of negligence and vicarious culpability, including neglecting to keep track of Mr. Dreckman’s vital signs and administering a deadly amount of amiodarone.

In May 2019, James Joseph Barto’s family sued a hospital network for more than $1 million. In October 2017, just over two months after visiting Peace Health Sacred Heart Medical Center in Springfield for treatment, Barto passed away at 80.

According to the lawsuit, Barto initially went to Sacred Heart for treatment of a cardiac problem. He was identified as having ventricular arrhythmia, an irregular heartbeat that can result in cardiac arrest if the heart beats too quickly.

According to the amiodarone toxicity lawsuit, the emergency doctor discovered that Barto was allergic to the medication amiodarone, which is used to treat an irregular heartbeat. Furthermore, it says the doctor knew he was allergic to amiodarone but prescribed it.

The lawsuit claims that amiodarone may cause pulmonary (lung) toxicity, which clinicians know or should know. At last, Barto died. The complaint states that amiodarone was likely to blame for the death caused by acute hypoxic respiratory failure brought on by interstitial lung disease.

Why Do People File Amiodarone Lawsuits?

Patients might be ignorant about the possibility of going blind. The amiodarone black box warning on the label only mentions lung harm; it does not mention blindness or vision loss. Drug manufacturers are accused in amiodarone lawsuits of understating the danger of amiodarone side effects.

Allegations include that the manufacturers are selling the medications for off-label applications and as the first line of treatment for specific cardiac events, despite the fact that the FDA has only approved them for use as a last resort.

No one is ever given free medical attention, as we all know. Amiodarone’s long-term side effects include blindness, liver failure, and lung toxicity, all of which require significant medical attention. The people in charge of that should be held accountable for such costs.

Amiodarone-related injuries have resulted in lawsuits being brought by individuals, not as an amiodarone class action suit. Federal judges rejected a plan to consolidate the cases at the federal level in June 2016. Amiodarone class action lawsuit allows you to split the cost with others, increasing your chances of success.

Are You Eligible to File Amiodarone Lawsuits 2024?

Is there a lawsuit against amiodarone? Of course. If you believe that taking the prescription drug amiodarone caused you or a loved one harm, you may be eligible to receive amiodarone lawsuit settlements.

If you are qualified to participate in amiodarone lawsuit cases, you may be entitled to remuneration for your pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, and more. You could hold the amiodarone manufacturer accountable for alleged negligence and failure to warn patients about the risks associated with the drug by taking part in amiodarone lawsuits.

Lawsuits can assist in lessening the financial burden brought on by medical expenditures, missed income, and other costs, but they cannot erase the pain and suffering brought on by these medical difficulties or restore the life of a loved one.

There is no way to balance the scales and obtain complete justice if amiodarone was the cause of the death of a loved one. Your loss of family time, safety, and money as a result of that person’s unjust and premature passing can be made up for, though.

People who file amiodarone lawsuits against the manufacturer typically do so through personal injury claims. You must demonstrate that the product’s poor design, harmful side effects, or deceptive marketing caused your personal damage. You must also show that you were not adequately informed about the hazards associated with the medicine.

If you encounter adverse effects that necessitate changing your medication or lowering the amount, it is crucial that your doctor updates your medical record. You can check medical records with the assistance of a company that reviews medical records, which is crucial in injury claims.

To wrap things up,

You can get evidence from amiodarone lawyers to support your claim. To ensure that you receive fair compensation for your losses, which may include medical expenses, therapy, lost wages, time off work or job loss, and loss of quality of life, they will go above and beyond to collect the necessary evidence, different document accounts, and attempt to settle out of court.

Follow our blog to check for updates on the amiodarone lawsuit 2024.

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