Archive for January, 2014

FDA: Common OTC is a Dangerous Drug if Overused

January 31st, 2014 at 5:23 pm

Some of the most dangerous drugs are those sold over the counter and taken incorrectly. At the end of 2013, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning regarding the overuse of acetaminophen in hospitals and in homes. In January, a similar warning was issued stating that, “over-the-counter (OTC) sodium phosphate drugs to treat constipation can cause rare but serious harm to the kidneys and heart, and even death,” according to the FDA. The damage results from a change in the levels of serum electrolytes. This can occur if a person takes more than the recommended dose of the sodium phosphate products. “According to the reports,” the FDA states, “most cases of serious harm occurred with a single dose of sodium phosphate that was larger than recommended or with more than one dose in a day.”

 dangerous drug IMAGEAccording to, “the problem surfaced in a review… which turned up 54 cases in 25 adults and 29 children of serious adverse events associated with the oral or rectal use of OTC sodium phosphate drug products used to treat constipation.” Medscape reports that individuals who may be at higher risk when using the sodium phosphate products include (but are not limited to):

  • Young children
  • Individuals older than 55 years
  • Patients who are dehydrated
  • Patients with kidney disease, bowel obstruction, inflammation of the bowel
  • Patients using medications that affect kidney function 

OTC sodium phosphate medications come in several different forms. They may include diuretics or water pills, Medscape reports, inhibitors or receptor blockers used to treat hypertension, and anti-inflammatory OTC drugs. This isn’t the first time that the FDA has issued a warning regarding the overuse of such drugs, according to Medscape. The agency has previously issued a similar warning regarding the overuse of such drugs “for bowel cleansing before colonoscopy or other procedures,” Medscape reports.

If you or someone you know has been adversely affected because of a dangerous drug in Connecticut, the most important step is to seek legal counsel. Contact Richard H. Raphael today.

How Safe is an Aspirin a Day?

January 17th, 2014 at 5:20 pm

Fox News is reporting on a new study that conflicts with what many people thought were the ultimate benefits of a taking a daily dose of aspirin.

aspirin IMAGEThe study was conducted by a group of researchers based in the UK. According to the Fox report, the group found 27 studies that were conducted between the years of 2008 and 2012, and this is where they gathered their evidence. All research was gathered by nine randomized controlled studies.

For years, people who have had heart attacks or strokes have been told by their doctors to take a daily aspirin to help prevent blood clots. Patients who suffer from these medical conditions develop hardening of the arteries and this hardening can lead to blood clots. Past research has revealed that a person who has suffered a stroke has up to a fifteen percent chance of suffering another stroke within a year. Aspirin has been proven effective in breaking up blood clots, and that reduces that risk of another stroke by one quarter.

The UK study concluded that, in the ten year period they looked at, taking an aspirin on a daily basis stopped between 33 to 46 deaths in 10,000 people.

But the new study also found that daily aspirin use increases risks of internal bleeding. During that same ten year period, between 46 to 49 people died of major bleeds and 68 to 117 died of gastrointestinal bleeds in 10,000 people.

These numbers mean that taking aspirin on a daily basis increases the risk of stomach bleeding by 37 percent and the risk of hemorrhagic stroke by 38 percent.  This could mean that the risks of taking a daily aspirin by a healthy adult far outweigh the benefits.

If you’ve had serious side-effects by treatments that were prescribed by your doctor, you should contact a medical malpractice attorney in Westport, Connecticut to find out what compensation you may be entitled to for pain and loss.

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