Drug Products Liability

Drug Manufacturers create and market new drugs every year. And each year we learn that a newer drug being taken by the American public is causing serious injury or even death due to dangerous side-effects that might not have been publicized by the drug manufacturer.

If you or a family member has suffered an injury or has lost their life due to a drug they were taking, why not call an experienced Sacramento Drug Products Liability Lawyer. I've been helping Sacramento area residents with defective drug claims since 1982. If you have questions, call me at 916.921.6400 or 800.404.5400 for free, friendly advice.

Below are some news regarding different types of potentially defective drugs:


This drug was prescribed to control acne. It has been linked with serious side effects found typically in young women which include severe birth defects in their newborns or the death of their fetus. It has also been linked to causing incurable medical conditions such as ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD).


This drug was prescribed to people with diabetes with the goal of controlling blood sugar levels. The drug has been linked to adverse side effects including bladder cancer, liver disease, and cardiovascular issues.


Designed as a cholesterol-lowering drug known as a statin was mostly prescribed for the treatment of high cholesterol. By blocking a liver enzyme that causes cholesterol, statins reduce the liver's cholesterol production. Cerivastatin is also referred to as HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor (which also blocks the particular liver enzyme that produces cholesterol). Bayer voluntarily withdrew Baycol from the market on August 8, 2001, after reports of deaths associated with Baycol and many liver and kidney problems in patients who were using Baycol. 


This drug was prescribed to people (both adults and children) who have high blood pressure. This drug has been linked to debilitating side effects, most often in women, that include excessive weight loss, chronic diarrhea, vomiting, and other gastrointestinal side effects. Benicar can also cause a gastrointestinal condition which causes symptoms similar to those of celiac disease but is a sprue-like enteropathy.


The recent deaths of three football players who may have been taking nutritional supplements containing ephedra compounds have everyone from professional athletes to teenage dieters to weekend gym rats wondering what they've been putting into their bodies--and at what risk.


Fosamax is often prescribed to women for the treatment or prevention of osteoporosis associated with menopause. It has also been prescribed to men and women with a diagnosis of osteoporosis or to treat Paget's disease. Unfortunately, the drug has been associated with causing femur fractures.  Additionally, while less common, some have also contracted a rare condition also known as jaw death. This means that the jawbone tissue breaks down to the point of bone exposure which subsequently leads to infections of the gum, gum lesions and loosened teeth.


Granuflo was used by people who used kidney dialysis regularly. Granuflo is a drug known as a dialysate. This drug was put in the dialysis machine by medical professionals with the goal of 'normalizing' the buildup of acid in the blood. Many people exposed to Granuflo were not necessarily aware they were on it as it was not something they picked up at the pharmacy. The drug was recalled in May 2012. Unfortunately, for many of its users, the drug has been associated with causing fatal heart attacks, cardiac arrest, stroke, low blood pressure, and high blood carbon dioxide.


Lipitor has been prescribed to people who have been diagnosed with high cholesterol levels. It later came to light that an abnormal amount of Lipitor users were developing Type II diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease or debilitating muscle disease.


Nexium is a proton pump inhibitor which decreases the amount of acid produced in the stomach. It is prescribed to people who have been diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or to prevent gastric ulcers. Nexium has been linked to major medical complications in people who have taken the medication for a long time, those who used a high dose of the medication or those who are age 50+. These complications include but are not limited to bone fractures of the hip, wrist, or spine.


Phenylpropanolamine (PPA) is an ingredient used in prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drug products as a nasal decongestant to relieve stuffy nose or sinus congestion and in OTC weight control drug products to control appetite. A scientific study found an increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke in women who used phenylpropanolamine, although it is not clear which isomer is to blame. A study at the Yale University School of Medicine in 1999 had produced similar results. Reports of cases of hemorrhagic strokes in PPA users had been circulating since the 1970s. In November 2000, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a public health advisory against the use of the drug. In this advisory, the FDA requested that all drug companies discontinue marketing products containing phenylpropanolamine. The agency estimates that PPA caused between 200 and 500 strokes a year among 18-to-49-year-old users. In 2005 the FDA removed phenylpropanolamine from over-the-counter sale.  


Pradaxa is a medication that is prescribed to lower the occurrence of blood clot formations, deep vein thrombosis, or pulmonary embolism. Pradaxa has been linked to uncontrollable bleeding events that have sometimes been fatal. These uncontrollable bleeding events have occurred in some users at or near the brain, the GI system, and the rectal system. Uncontrollable internal bleeding has also occurred in Pradaxa users after sustaining a fall.


Propulsid was prescribed for many adults suffering the symptoms of nighttime heartburn and for many infants suffering from colic.  However, after the FDA received numerous reports linking the drug to dangerous side effects - including at least 80 deaths - the manufacturer announced in March of this year that Propulsid no longer would be marketed in the United States.


Rezulin use has been known to be the cause of jaundice, hepatitis, liver failure, liver transplants and the cause of at least 65 deaths since it was introduced.


Risperdal is an antipsychotic medication and is prescribed to patients who suffer from mental or mood disorders such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. It may have been prescribed to treat depression. This drug has had an adverse reaction in males. Male adolescents using this medication have reported the development of male breasts (gynecomastia). This is also accompanied by pain or nipple discharge.


Taxotere is a chemotherapy drug that is commonly used to treat breast cancer, particularly metastatic breast cancer. It works by inhibiting the replication of DNA, stopping the division of tumor cells. While many patients tolerate this medication well, there are still some severe immediate and long-term side effects which stem from damage to the healthy DNA cells. Some immediate side effects of Taxotere include fatigue, febrile neutropenia, and fluid retention. One of the most dangerous of these side effects is the febrile neutropenia, which is a form of immunodeficiency. Because Taxotere damages the immune system, even a minor common cold could be life-threatening. One research study found that the risk of febrile neutropenia was between 20 and 25 percent in patients receiving this chemotherapy medication. A few long-term side effects of Taxotere include skin changes, nail changes, and even nerve damage. Unfortunately, the nerve damage from Taxotere is often permanent. Nerve damage could lead to numbness, tingling, weakness, or even chronic pain.

Testosterone Therapy

Testosterone is a natural hormone. Testosterone can be prescribed in various forms to treat low testosterone levels in men. Testosterone use has been linked to adverse conditions including an increased risk of cardiac problems. These complications have been seen most often in men with a history of heart disease prior.


Emtricitabine/Tenofovir, which is marketed under the brand name Truvada and sold by Gilead pharmaceuticals, is a popular drug used in the treatment of HIV and AIDS. When used in combination with other medications, it has proven effective at decreasing the number of viral copies in the bloodstream, prolonging the lives of those afflicted with HIV. In addition, Truvada has also become popular in the prevention of HIV, having been used in PrEP, which stands for pre-exposure prophylaxis. Truvada works by binding to an enzyme used in the replication of HIV’s RNA, stopping the virus from reproducing. While this mechanism has proven beneficial, there are also a number of side effects that come from taking this medication. Some of the most common side effects include fatigue, headaches, difficulty sleeping, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. While these side effects are relatively well tolerated, there are also serious side effects that could even prove life-threatening. A few of these side effects include lactic acidosis (high levels of lactate in the bloodstream), liver failure, kidney failure, and bone loss which could lead to an increased rate of bone fractures. These side effects could result in additional hospital visits, surgeries, and even organ transplants.


Most often, Yaz is prescribed to women as contraception to prevent pregnancy. On occasion, it has been prescribed to treat acne in women or for the treatment of symptoms related to the premenstrual dysphoric disorder. Yaz has been linked to adverse reactions including, blood clots, stroke, pulmonary embolism, heart attack, or deep vein thrombosis.


Ranitidine, marketed and sold using the brand name Zantac, has been one of the most popular medications used to treat acid reflux and heartburn over the past forty years. This medication can be used either alone or in combination with other products to treat the symptoms of indigestion and reflux. Zantac has also been used to treat severe allergic reactions, including those leading to hives, rashes, and even anaphylaxis. While Zantac’s beneficial role in treating these conditions is well-known, it has also been recalled over recent concerns related to a possible link to cancer. In an investigation run by the Food and Drug Administration, the government regulatory agency announced that they had found a probable human carcinogen called N-nitrosodimethlyamine (NDMA) present in ranitidine. NDMA is present at low levels throughout everyday products; however, it is not present in concentrations high enough to cause cancer. Whether or not its presence in Zantac causes cancer remains to be seen; yet, many drug companies such as Novartis, Apotex, and CVS have all announced that they recall Zantac related to these safety concerns. Because millions of people use Zantac regularly, the announcement that it might cause cancer has caused ripples throughout the entire pharmaceutical industry. The Zantac recall might continue to expand as various agencies continue to investigate this possible link between Zantac and cancer.


Zithromax is an antibiotic that is prescribed to treat some infections. Zithromax has been linked to an increased risk of fatal heart problems.

If you or a loved one has suffered as a result of a defective drug, call a  Sacramento Defective Drug Attorney immediately

Sacramento Drug Products Liability Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a drug products liability lawyer in Sacramento. If you're looking for help from one of the most experienced drug defect attorneys in Sacramento, call me at 916.921.6400, 800.404.5400 or contact me online for free friendly advice.

I'm a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Top One Percent, a National Association of Distinguished Counsel.

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Editor’s Note: This page has been updated for accuracy and relevancy [cha 10.3.19]

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