Feds Act to Reduce Drug Injury Cases Involving Elderly Patients Taking Antipsychotic Medications

by Keith Adkins

Mental illness is a prominent condition in nursing homes across the United States today. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows more than two-thirds of nursing home residents are afflicted with conditions such as Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Traditionally, antipsychotic medications were used to treat many of these patients. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration called for warning labels to be placed on the packaging of these particular drugs after it was discovered they could lead to an increased chance of a drug injury like heart failure, infection, and death in elderly patients with mental illness.  Despite these warnings, more than 300,000 nursing home residents continue to receive treatment using antipsychotic drugs.

The federal government is pushing to reduce the use of antipsychotic medications in nursing homes by:

  • Promoting Individualized Care- A patient’s history, lifestyle, and preferences should be taken into consideration. An article from NPR News used an example of letting a former night watchmen stay up at night after curfew and allowing him to sleep during the day.
  • Supporting Educational Campaigns- Federal programs that provide training to nursing home staff are currently under-utilized, considering approximately 10 nursing homes in a Texas county that has 96 such facilities took part in a free training DVD provided by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
  • Strictly Enforcing the Law- The Nursing Home Reform Act states residents have a right to be free from chemical restraints, yet few nursing homes are penalized for using antipsychotic drugs as a means to control a patient’s behavior.

At Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys, we are aware of the need to provide better care for the elderly in nursing homes. That’s why our Oklahoma personal injury lawyers are here to help you if your loved one was harmed as the result of taking antipsychotic medications while being housed in a long-term care facility. We’re available to speak with you anytime by calling (877) 579-6800.

Former NFL Players Suing The League Over Drug Injuries

by Staff

The medications created through modern chemistry are widely used by athletes to overcome injuries and stay on the field, but new allegations are arising that the National Football League (NFL) may have improperly given medications to players. The individuals now claim these treatments caused them to suffer a serious drug injury.

Richard Dent was a defensive end for the Chicago Bears for years. During his tenure though, he suffered a broken bone in his foot. Rather than treating the injury through rest, doctors injected the injured foot with a mixture of painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications so that he could continue to play. Now Dent is claiming to have suffered permanent nerve damage in the foot as a result of continuing to play on the injured limb.

An article from the Insurance Journal explains similar allegations were made by seven other players, one of whom claims to have developed dependence on painkillers after doctors prescribed him drugs without warning of the risks that are involved with taking them.

The lawsuits come in the wake of another series of allegations, in which the NFL was accused of failing to warn players about the dangers associated with repeat traumatic brain injuries.

At Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys, our team of Oklahoma personal injury lawyers has seen the effects drug injuries can have on patients. That’s why we are hopeful a decision in the case brings some closure to the players who were allegedly harmed by the actions of the NFL.

2 Common Factors That Can Cause Autism Spectrum Disorders in Children

by Staff

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 1 in 68 children born every year is affected by an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). As the prevalence of the condition continues to rise, citizens are working to educate the public through outreach programs. As part of a campaign to bring awareness to ASD, April has been named Autism Awareness Month.

ASD experts explain there are many contributing factors that can cause ASD in children. Two of the most prominent include:

  • Genetics- ASD is a non-communicable condition, meaning it is not contagious and cannot be spread through touch or any other sort of exchange. Instead, it is believed the condition may be caused by the expression of certain genes.
  • Medications- Studies have shown that use of certain medications by pregnant women can lead to antidepressant birth defects, such as their children developing ASD. Most recently, HealthDay Reporter published an article that linked taking antidepressant medications in the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) family while pregnant to higher rates of ASD.

Women who are pregnant or are planning to become pregnant while taking SSRI medications are encouraged to speak with their physicians.

The Oklahoma personal injury lawyers with Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys also urge anyone whose child has been affected by a medication to discuss their legal options with an attorney. We are available anytime to discuss your case by calling 877-579-6800.

Review Finds Labeling Issue with Dozens of Dietary Supplements

by Staff

A Department of Health and Human Services report released last Wednesday stated dozens of dietary supplements are illegally labeled, and the supplements have no evidence to confirm their claimed health benefits.

A story released by KNOE 8 News states roughly 20 percent of the more than 125 drugs examined were improperly labeled. Also, investigators discovered as many as 7 percent of supplement manufacturers failed to include a disclaimer saying the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had not approved the product.

The supplements examined included those used for weight loss and to boost the immune system, yet they were found to make unsubstantiated claims. Some medications went as far as to say they could cure conditions like HIV or cancer, while another used a 30-year-old handwritten college term paper to validate their claims.

The review has prompted the FDA to approach congress about receiving the ability to oversee the marketing of dietary supplements to prevent workout supplement injuries, as current law only allows the FDA to intervene if someone becomes ill or dies as a result of taking such products.

The Oklahoma Personal Injury Lawyers with J. Colbert Injury Lawyers understand the inherent risks that come with taking supplements lacking medical review. That is why the firm would encourage anyone who has been harmed by taking such supplements to discuss their legal rights with a qualified attorney immediately.

Diabetes Drug Linked to Increased Risk of Bladder Cancer

by jcl

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning to patients taking the Type II diabetes drug, Actos®, about the increased risk of bladder cancer. A five-year study by the drug’s manufacturer, Takeda Pharmaceuticals, showed an increase in the risk of the cancer in patients who had taken the drug.

The research looked at 193,000 Type-II diabetes patients who were taking the drug for an average of two-years. Researchers stated that, “Compared to never being exposed to pioglitazone (Actos®), pioglitazone therapy lasting more than 12 months was associated with a 40 percent increase in risk for bladder cancer.”

Since the results of the study were made public, Actos has been pulled from European markets in Germany and France, and the FDA has warned doctors to refrain from starting new patients on the drug if they already have bladder cancer. Also, they are being told to use caution when prescribing the drug to patients who have been afflicted with bladder cancer in the past.

With no drug currently on the market to replace Actos®, doctors are being selective on who they prescribe the medication to and are choosing patients who have the highest insulin resistance.

An Actos® Drug Injury is a serious risk when beginning a regimen of this medication. That is why the Oklahoma Personal Injury Attorneys with J. Colbert Injury Lawyers suggest discussing other treatment options with your doctor before beginning to take Actos®.