Dilantin Lawyer

Dilantin is a prescription medication that has been on the market for over 70 years. It is currently administered to patients suffering from grand mal seizures, and prescribed off label to patients suffering from headaches, depression, panic attacks and anxiety. However, despite the drug’s longevity, it has been known to lead to a more serious disease called SJS/TEN.

If you are one of these patients, or someone you love has been prescribed this drug, you should contact a Dilantin lawyer to discuss the range of options that may be available to you in the form of a civil complaint.

Devastating Side Effects Linked to Dilantin

SJS, (Stevens Johnson Syndrome) and TEN, (Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis) are progressively worsening diseases that cause severe skin burning. In addition to massive whole body burns, the disease can cause blindness, organ failure, and even death.

SJS/TEN is a horrific disease that requires treatment in the burn unit for most patients. It starts as SJS and progresses to TEN when the skin of the victim dies and begins to slough off. This type of internal burning can be worse than external third degree burns and gives the victim the appearance of having been engulfed by flames. Some have claimed that the disease is like being “cooked from the inside out.”

Affected individuals are at great risk of dying from overwhelming sepsis. The mortality rate among individuals diagnosed with TEN is 20 to 30 percent, while SJS has a mortality rate of only five percent.

SJS and TEN are only two of Dilantin’s potential side effects, and physicians who specialize in the treatment of epilepsy do not prescribe Dilantin as often as general practitioners because they are aware of its many side effects. Nonetheless, Dilantin remains the drug of choice for the emergency treatment of seizure disorders.

It is imperative if you or a loved one have suffered as a result of taking Dilantin, or are suffering from SJS/TEN, that you contact a qualified Dilantin attorney. If you are a survivor of SJS/TEN, you may be eligible for remuneration for the harms and losses you have suffered, however you will need an experienced Dilantin lawyer to review you case to know if you have a viable civil claim.

Dilantin and the FDA

In 1995, the FDA fined Warner-Lambert, one of the commercial manufacturers of Dilantin, $10 million for quality control issues related to the medication’s manufacture between 1990 and 1992.

In 2008, the FDA put Dilantin on its Potential Signals of Serious Risks List, which means the agency had identified a potential safety issue with the medication.

What Kind of Damages Can I Claim?

As a plaintiff, you may be entitled to damages if your diagnosis of SJS/TEN can be linked to the use of Dilantin. One recent case involved a nine-year-old New York girl who developed TEN and died in 2004, after taking Dilantin. In 2010, Pfizer settled with the girl’s family for $3.78 million.

The drug has been prescribed for other reasons besides seizures, so if you have suffered as a result of using Dilantin to treat anxiety or depression you may also be entitled to damages.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning for the drug in 2008, yet despite the warnings and the clearly suspect history of the drug, pharmaceutical companies continue to manufacture the dangerous drug and doctors and hospitals continue to prescribe it, making it one of the most widely prescribed anti-seizures medications in the country.

It is also documented that minorities are more susceptible to SJS/TEN, yet drug companies in the United States do not issue warnings directly to minority patients even though this simple precautionary measure is widely practiced in countries around the world.

Since drug companies like Pfizer know about the risks of this drug as evidenced by the strong warnings issued in other countries, victims in the US may have strong legal grounds for damages. The more victims in the United States who pursue civil justice through damages, the more likely that such action will lead to a permanent solution to the problem, which benefits all potential consumers in this country.

Pfizer has already settled cases for undisclosed amounts and several other manufacturers of the generic version known as phenytoin have also been listed as defendants in lawsuits. It is important to note that you must have taken the name brand medication, not a generic equivalent, in order to have a potentially successful claim.

Contact a Dilantin Attorney Today?

Medication manufacturers are legally obligated to report the existence of adverse effects associated with the medications they manufacture. Failure to do so may make them financially liable for these adverse effects when patients take their drugs.

If you have suffered as a result of taking Dilantin, consult an experienced attorney to find out whether you or your family member have a viable case and what remedies you can claim.