Neurontin Lawsuit: Neurontin Off-Label Abuse LawyerWritten by Anna Henningsgaard
Pfizer is currently marketing Neurontin as an oral medication for managing postherptic neuralgia, pain that lingers after shingles has healed. This is an FDA-approved use, and studies have shown that Neurontin works to reduce patientsí pain. It is a good drug, with many useful applications and few negative side effects, but it has a surprisingly long and sordid past.
Neurontin was originally approved in 1993 for treatment of partial seizures in adults and children, especially epileptic seizures. However, this limited market for a drug with so few side effects was not enough for company, Warner-Lambert. The company set up a massive campaign to improve sales of Neurontin, and it worked. By 2002 Neurontin was a $2 billion dollar drug, outselling even Viagra. How did a little epilepsy drug come to claim such a huge number of patients? It did so illicitly.
There are not enough patients suffering from epilepsy that one drug could earn profits of $2 billion a year. In order to claim these kinds of profits, Warner-Lambert began promoting drug for off-label uses. The company sent representatives directly to doctors, urging them to prescribe Neurontin for to treat not only epilepsy but also bipolar disorder, alcohol withdrawal, cocaine abuse, HIV/AIDS neuropathy, phantom limb pain, anxiety, and a host of other diverse and unrelated conditions.
Though it has since been shown to work for some of these conditions, it was not clear at time exactly what Neurontin did. The Warner-Lambert salesmen were lying to doctors about what Neurontin could do, and doctors were listening. While it is illegal for a drug company to promote off-label uses directly and immoral to bribe doctors into prescribing a certain drug, it was also absolutely dangerous to claim Neurontin could cure disorders that it simply couldnít.
For example, Neurontin has no effect on bipolar disorder. Warner-Lambert sold thousands of doctors on idea that Neurontin should be prescribed for bipolar disorder. If it did not work, they suggested increasing dosage. One of drug company managers told a salesman: ďI donít want to see a single patient coming off Neurontin before theyíve been up to at least 4,800 milligrams a day. I donít want to hear that safety crap either.... Itís a great drug.Ē An untold number of bipolar patients were taken off their FDA-approved medication and prescribed Neurontin alone. Although Neurontin has few side effects, it also did nothing for their disorder, leaving these patients effectively unmedicated. Nobody knows how many lives were shattered as a result, but unmedicated bipolar disorder has a mortality rate of 55-60%.
Naproxen Lawyer: Aleve Recall ConsiderationWritten by Anna Henningsgaard
Naproxen belongs to a class of drugs called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. This basically means itís a common pain reliever among ranks of ibuprofen (Motrin), indomethacin (Indocin), nabumentone (Relafen), and several others you are probably familiar with. Naproxen, which is sold over counter as Aleve, is used to manage mild to moderate pain, fever, and inflammation. It works by reducing production of pain chemicals in brain. Naproxen was approved by FDA in December, 1991.
Naproxen (Aleve) has been very successful because it has a longer half-life than many other drugs, resulting in as long as 12-hour pain relief. Because it thins blood, it should not be used in conjunction with any blood thinners or blood pressure lowering drugs. Beyond a few cases negative reactions, such as increased rate of lithium toxicity, Naproxen has been enjoyed widespread use without many visible problem.
However, in December of 2004 FDA issued a press release describing a National Institutes of Health survey. The five-year study, in which Alzheimerís Disease patients were administered high dosages of Naproxen, had to be halted early because early in trial 50% of patients had suffered heart attacks and strokes. As a result, FDA advised patients taking Aleve to follow instructions carefully, avoid exceeding recommended doses, and to stop using medication after 10 days.