Zoloft

USAGE

Zoloft is an antidepressant medication used to treat a variety of conditions, including depression and other mental/mood disorders. It helps prevent suicidal thoughts/attempts as well as providing other important benefits. It is part of a group of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. These affect chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause depression. Zoloft may also be used to treat PTSD and PMDD.

SIDE EFFECTS

Side effects may include nausea, dizziness, drowsiness, dry mouth, loss of appetite, increased sweating, diarrhea, upset stomach, or trouble sleeping. Unlikely, but serious side effects may include easy bruising/bleeding, decrease in sexual ability, muscle cramps, shaking, or unusual weight loss. Zoloft may also increase serotonin levels and rarely cause a serious condition called serotonin syndrome.

LAWSUITS

Zoloft has been linked to numerous lawsuits involving serious birth defects. Pfizer, Zoloft’s manufacturer, has been accused of advertising the drug to pregnant women even though it has been shown to increase the risk of birth defects such as holes in the heart, cleft palate, club feet, skull defects and more. More than 250 lawsuits are already pending from those seeking compensation from damages associated with Zoloft.

Zofran

USAGE

Zofran is used to treat nausea or vomiting that may be caused by surgery or by cancer drug treatment and radiation therapy. It is also used to prevent and treat nausea and vomiting after surgery. It works by blocking one of the body’s natural substances, serotonin, that cause vomiting.

SIDE EFFECTS

Common side effects include headache, dizziness, drowsiness, tiredness, or constipation. Unlikely side effects also include stomach pain, muscle spasm, or vision changes. In rare cases it may cause a condition that affects the heart rhythm, called QT prolongation.

LAWSUITS

The FDA issued a Drug Safety Communication alerting the medical community to the risk of abnormal heart rhythm associated with Zofran. If untreated, QT prolongation leads to ventricular defibrillation, which can lead to permanent brain damage or death.

Zometa

USAGE

Zometa is used to treat high blood calcium levels (hypercalcemia) that may occur with cancer. Zoledronic acid is used with cancer chemotherapy to treat bone problems that may occur with multiple myeloma and other types of cancer. Zometa lowers blood calcium levels by reducing the amount of calcium released from the bones into the blood. It also works by slowing the breakdown of the bones by cancer to prevent bone fractures.

SIDE EFFECTS

Side effects include may include dizziness, headache, or flu-like symptoms. Effects in general are mild and temporary; post-marketing reports have included weight gain, or more uncommonly pyrexia, asthenia, fatigue, or malaise persisting for greater than 30 days. More serious side effects of Zometa may include femur fractures, esophageal cancer, osteonecrosis of the jaw/dead jaw syndrome, atrial fibrillation, and severe musculoskeletal pain.

LAWSUITS

Dead jaw syndrome has been associated with the use of high levels of bisphosphonates, including Zometa. It has also been observed in post-menopausal women taking the drug for osteoporosis. The link to dead jaw syndrome has led to various lawsuits since the drug’s release. A jury in New York found Novartis, Zometa’s manufacturer, liable for $10.45 million in damages to a woman taking the drug who developed dead jaw syndrome. Evidence suggests that Novartis knew about the risk of jaw decay years before it began warning patients.

Zyban

USAGE

Zyban is a non-nicotine aid to smoking cessation. It is chemically unrelated to nicotine or other agents used in the treatment of nicotine addiction. It is developed as an antidepressant and is chemically unrelated to tricyclic, tetracyclic, selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor, or other known antidepressant agents. It decreases cravings and withdrawal symptoms of smoking.

SIDE EFFECTS

Common side effects of Zyban include dry mouth and difficulty sleeping. Other less common side effects dizziness, difficulty concentrating, upset stomach, anxiety, constipation, tremors, or skin rashes. There is also a small risk of having seizures, serious or unusual changes in mood, an liver damage.

LAWSUITS

The use of Zyban has led to lawsuits involving side effects such as birth defects, suicidal behavior, and psychiatric problems. The drug also has a black box warning stating that it may cause changes in behavior, including depressed mood, hostility and suicidal thoughts.

Zocor

USAGE

Zocor is a prescription drug that treats high cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood. It lowers the risk of heart attack, stroke, and blood vessel problems in people with certain risk factors. It is in the category of medicine called a statin, or a HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor. It reduces the amount of cholesterol in the blood by blocking an enzyme that is needed to make cholesterol.

SIDE EFFECTS

Side effects of Zocor may include an allergic reaction, muscle pain, dark-colored urine, nausea, unusual tiredness or yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes. The most common side effects is myopathy, or muscle injury. There is also a risk of rhabdomyolysis resulting in kidney failure or death if the drug is used with amiodarone. When taking Zocor grapefruit or grapefruit containing products should be avoided.

LAWSUITS

The use of Zocor has led to lawsuits due to problems from patients prescribed the 80mg pill, as they have an increased risk of developing rhabdomyolysis. In a clinical trial where 41,050 patients were treated with Zocor, more patients that received 80mg of Zocor developed myopathy than those that received 20 mg. This has led to serious side effects weakening of the muscles to such as extent that daily tasks become very difficult to perform.

Yaz

USAGE

Yaz is an oral contraceptive used by women to prevent pregnancy. It has also been indicated for use of premenstrual dysphoric disorder and for the use of acne in women at least 14 years of age. It should be used for acne only if the patient desires an oral contraceptive for birth control.

SIDE EFFECTS

Yaz may increase the risk of serious cardiovascular defects if used while cigarette smoking. The risk is increased with age, and Yaz should not be used by women over 35 years old. Many adverse effects experienced by women have been related to a relative excess or deficiency of the estrogen or progestin components of these formulations. Mild to moderate side effects range from slight cramping to moderate nausea, and severe side effects may include migraine headaches, uterine bleeding and kidney disorders.

LAWSUITS

More than 10,000 women have filed lawsuits against Bayer, the manufacturer of Yaz, for its harmful side effects. Bayer has reportedly settled 3,940 cases for $750 million, with thousands more pending in federal and state courts nationwide.

Wellbutrin

USAGE

Wellbutrin is used to treat major depressive disorder and seasonal affective disorder. It is an antidepressant medication and of the aminoketone class. At least one brand is used to help individuals stop smoking by reducing cravings and other withdrawal effects. It is the 4th most prescribed antidepressant in the U.S.

SIDE EFFECTS

Wellbutrin has a potential to cause seizures that has been widely publicized. It may also cause fast heartbeats, fever, confusion, or severe skin reactions. It may also cause thoughts of suicide in young people who are taking an antidepressant for the first time. It should not be taken for more than one condition at a time. It should not be taken during pregnancy.

LAWSUITS

Potential Wellbutrin lawsuits are being reviewed involving young women who took Wellbutrin during early pregnancy and had a child who suffered severe birth defects such as left outflow heart defects. Although these results are not conclusive, those planning to become pregnant are advised to exercise caution when taking Wellbutrin. When taken during pregnancy it is linked to 3.25 times the risk of congenital malformations.

Zithromax

USAGE

Zithromax is a macrolide antibiotic, used to treat certain types of infections caused by bacteria. It is most commonly used to treat ear infections, throat infections, lung infections, and certain STD’s. It contains the active ingredient azithromycin and is for use through oral administration. It works by widely distributing itself throughout the body once absorbed. When culture and susceptibility information is available it should be considered in selecting antibacterial therapy.

SIDE EFFECTS

Common side effects of Zithromax are mild diarrhea, mild stomach pain or upset, dizziness, or vaginal itching or discharge. There may also be various gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, hepatic and nervous system side effects.

LAWSUITS

Zithromax’s role as a macrolide antibiotic make its potential for liver damage high. Reports of liver damage associated with the drug were first received in 1996, and the public was warned it 2000. In 2001 the FDA required Zithromax to state on its label a warning that abnormal liver function, jaundice, necrosis, hepatic failure and death had been reported in patients taking the drug. It was also announced in 2006 that Zithromax might increase the risk of being re-infected with a potentially blinding eye disease that it is intended to treat, called Trachoma. These effects, along with others, have led to a number of Zithromax lawsuits.

Zelboraf

USAGE

Zelboraf is a medicine used to treat the skin cancer melanoma that has spread to other parts of the body and cannot be removed by surgery. It is only to be used by those who have an abnormal BRAF gene. Zelboraf is target to impact some forms of the mutated BRAF but may also impact healthy cells, therefore making it a personalized targeted therapy. Possible benefits include a slowdown in the growth of cancer and longer life span in patients.

SIDE EFFECTS

Zelboraf may cause a type of skin cancer called cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cuSCC). This usually does not spread to other parts of the body, but a doctor should be notified of any skin changes.  It should not be used while pregnant and could harm the unborn baby. Other serious side effects may include dizziness, fainting, white patches on the eyes, new or worsening skin lesions, or  severe skin reactions.

LAWSUITS

During Zelboraf’s trial, 24% of the participants who used the drug developed cuSCC with a median onset of symptoms about 7 weeks after the trial began. Lawsuits have been filed by those who who assert that Zelboraf has caused the cuSCC cancer.

Votrient

USAGE

Votrient is a cancer medication that slows the growth of cancer cells and interferes with their spread in the body. It is a multiple kinase inhibitor used to treat kidney cancer and soft tissue sarcoma, a tumor that can develop in muscles, tendons, joints, or blood vessels. It is usually given after other cancer treatments have proven ineffective for soft tissue sarcoma.

SIDE EFFECTS

Votrient may lower blood cells that help the body fight infection and make the blood clot more easily, making the body more susceptible to infection. It may also lead to: slow healing of a wound, dizziness, fainting, or a fast and pounding heartbeat, fever, chills, shortness of breath or nosebleed. The side effects are usually reversible and go away after therapy is complete.

LAWSUITS

Votrient appears to increase the risk of death among some patients. An estimated 1.5 out of every 100 patients given Votrient, or two other cancer drugs, Nexavar, and Sutent, die due to complications according to the Journal of Clinical Oncology. The most common fatal complication was bleeding, along with a higher risk for heart attack, heart failure or liver failure. Patents and exclusivity rights prevent generic Votrient from being manufactured in the U.S.