(860) 218-2122

Defective Medications

Defective Medications

Ollennu & Associates is representing patients who have suffered injuries caused by defective drugs or mediations. Even though drugs are tested by the pharmaceutical company before being manufactured and released, there are still medications on the market that can have severe side effects which can cause irreparable harm to patients. For a free, no obligation case evaluation, please complete the form on our website or call us at (860) 218-2122.


Abilify®, one of the top-selling antipsychotic drugs in the U.S., has been linked to uncontrollable urges to gamble, binge eat, shop and have sex. Abilify (aripirazole) is an antipsychotic medication used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, Tourette syndrome, and irritability associated with autism. While the drug may be effective in helping to control symptoms associated with those disorders, it does come with certain side effects, including compulsive behaviors.

Impulse-control problems may result in harm to those taking the drug or others if the urges are not recognized and dealt with properly. Therefore, the FDA in a May 2016 Safety Announcement, stated that it is now requiring that Abilify contain warning labels regarding these compulsive behaviors.

Abilify is a partial dopamine agonist, which means it activates dopamine receptors in the brain. It is thought that Abilify works by stimulating the dopamine system creating a response to a particular activity that creates a high or a feeling of pleasure in people. Normally, this type of stimulation ensures that we continue to eat and do other things we need to do to survive. In people with certain mental disorders, these systems are stimulated excessively, or not enough. Researchers think Abilify may over-stimulate dopamine receptors in the brain, which could trigger compulsive behaviors.

If you have used Abilify and suffered from uncontrollable urges you may be entitled to compensation. To see if you qualify for a lawsuit against Bristol-Myers, the manufacturer of Abilify, and if you are entitled for compensation for injuries caused by taking this drug, please contact our firm today at (860) 986-1141.

GranuFlo and NaturaLyte Dialysis treatment

GranuFlo® (and similar product NaturaLyte®) and is a dialysis treatment used in clinics across the United States. It is manufactured by Fresenius Medical Care. These Naturalyte® and Granuflo® Dry Acid Concentrates are used in the treatment of acute and chronic renal failure during hemodialysis. The concentrates are formulated to be used with a three-stream hemodialysis machine, which is calibrated for acid and bicarbonate concentrates.

FDA Recall: In March 2012, the FDA issued a Class I recall of GranuFlo® and NaturaLyte®. A Class I recall is the most serious and is issued only when “reasonable probability that the use of or exposure to the product will cause serious negative health consequences or death.” The FDA determined that GranuFlo® was too unsafe to remain on the market any longer.

According to the FDA, the manufacturer cautioned clinicians to be aware of the concentration of acetate or sodium diacetate (acetic acid plus acetate) contained in Fresenius’ Naturalyte® Liquid and Granuflo® Dry Acid Concentrate. Inappropriate prescription of these products, the FDA stated could lead to a high serum bicarbonate level in patients undergoing hemodialysis.
This may contribute to metabolic alkalosis, which is a significant risk factor associated with low blood pressure, hypokalemia, hypoxemia, hypercapnia and cardiac arrhythmia, which, if not appropriately treated, may culminate in cardiopulmonary arrest. This product may cause serious adverse health consequences, including death.

If you, or someone you love, has suffered a heart attack or if you have lost a family member due to sudden cardiac event after undergoing dialysis, we can help. For a Free Case Evaluation, please call our firm today.

Invokana or Canagliflozin:

Invokana or canagliflozin is a drug used to treat type 2 diabetes and is part of the drug class referred to as SGLT2. SGLT2, or sodium/glucose cotransporter 2, is sodium-dependent glucose transport protein. Invokana was developed by Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma, and is now produced by Jansen Pharmaceuticals, a subdivision of Johnson & Johnson. The drug was FDA approved in March of 2013 for treatment of type 2 diabetes. However, SGLT2 inhibitor medications, like Invokana, have been linked to a higher-than-normal development of ketoacidosis, a life-threatening condition. Ketoacidosis is a serious medical condition that can lead to a coma or even death. It occurs when the body produces too many ketones, an acid that breaks down fat in the body. This happens when your cells to do not get enough glucose for energy and must burn fat in order to get an energy source. Some warning symptoms of ketoacidosis include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Confusion, dizziness, or fainting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue

If you or someone you know has developed ketoacidosis after taking Invokana, or someone you know has died in associated with treatment by Invokana, please contact us right away for a free confidential evaluation.

Lipitor® or Atorvastatin

Lipitor® is the brand name for a Pfizer pharmaceuticals-produced drug called atorvastatin. The drug is intended to control high cholesterol, but since its release in 1996, some female patients taking Lipitor® began to develop type 2 diabetes.

The problems with Lipitor® became so bad that in 2012, the FDA demanded that Lipitor® labels be updated to include warning of these severe side effects. The drug was also “black-boxed”, which means that doctors were required to inform patients of these side effects before the patient took the drug.

While sometimes women taking Lipitor® develop type 2 diabetes due to weight gain, in many cases, it is Lipitor that causes the diabetes. If you think you might have type 2 diabetes related to your use of Lipitor®, and you identify with the below, you may be entitled to compensation for the complications Lipitor® caused.

Our Firm may be able to help if:

  • You are a woman under the age of 65
  • Your doctor prescribed you Lipitor® before 2012
  • You had taken Lipitor® for at least six months before you developed type 2 diabetes
  • You developed type 2 diabetes while on Lipitor® or within six months of stopping Lipitor®
  • Your BMI (body max index) did not change dramatically during the time you were taking Lipitor®

Pradaxa or Dabigran

Pradaxa, also known by its generic name, dabigatran, is an anticoagulant, a type of medication used to prevent the clotting of blood. Pradaxa is a thrombin inhibitor, which works by blocking the body’s natural chemical reaction to clot blood by preventing thrombin (an enzyme) from forming. Pradaxa has been an alternative choice to warfarin, an anticoagulant that has been on the market for many years.
Pradaxa was first FDA approved in 2010 and is manufactured by Boehringer Ingelheim. It is FDA approved for treatment in the reduction of the risk of stroke in patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation, as well as, treatment for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism.
However, Pradaxa has been linked to thousands of adverse events. As of 2010, the FDA has received over 4,000 reports of negative side effects and more than 500 deaths among those who have used the drug. The most serious medical complication is uncontrolled internal bleeding. Different types of internal bleeding associated with Pradaxa are gastrointestinal bleeding, brain bleeding, and severe rectal bleeding.

Side effects of taking Pradaxa include:

  • Unusual/easy bruising
  • Easy/continuous bleeding
  • Pink or brown urine
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Frequent nose bleeds
  • Bleeding gums
  • Coughing up blood
  • Swelling or joint pain

We may be able to help you if you have experienced uncontrollable bleeding or other serious side effects after use of Pradaxa. Call our office today to discuss your potential claim in detail.

Proton Pum Inhibitors : Prilosec, Nexum and Prevacid

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), a type of heartburn medication, with brand names like Prilosec, Nexium and Prevacid, have been associated with long-term kidney damage. These drugs are used to treat heartburn and acid reflux by lowering the amount of acid produced by the stomach. Prilosec was the first of these PPIs introduced to the public back in 1988, other drugs quickly followed.

A large study released in the February 2016 issue of JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows an increased risk of development of chronic kidney disease (CKD) by 20 to 50 percent in those who regularly took a PPI. It also indicated that the longer a PPI is taken, the greater the risk. CKD (or chronic renal disease) is the gradual loss of kidney function over time. As the disease progresses, waste can build up in your internal system creating medical complications including high blood pressure, anemia, weak bones, and nerve damage. This disease can lead to complete kidney failure.

Symptoms of chronic kidney disease include:

  • Feeling more tired and having less energy,
  • Trouble concentrating,
  • Poor appetite,
  • Trouble sleeping,
  • Muscle cramping at night,
  • Swollen feet and ankles,
  • Puffiness around your eyes,
  • Dry, itchy skin,
  • The need to urinate more often, especially at night.
  • PPIs have also been linked to other safety concerns including:
  • Increased risk of heart attack.
  • Increased risk of bone fracture.
  • Increased risk of low magnesium levels or hypomagnesemia.

If you have used a heartburn medication and have suffered from kidney damage or heart problems, you may be entitled to compensation. Please contact us today at (860) 218-2122 for a free and confidential case evaluation.

Risperdal® or Risperidone

Risperdal® is a drug that has been on the market since 1994 and is approved to treat schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, and irritability associated with Autism. Invega is another drug that has the same chemical make-up as Risperdal®, but which was released under a different name when Risperdal® went off patent in 2008. Both drugs are used to treat similar things, and both have been known to cause the same injuries.

While Risperdal® is approved to treat the above issues, it has been prescribed heavily for off-label use, including for ADHD, PTSD, and as a sleep aid to patients taking other drugs.

Problems Associated with Risperdal®:
Risperdal® can cause hyperprolactinemia leading to gynecomastia, or enlarged breasts, in men. Risperdal® is not the only antipsychotic that can cause gynecomastia.

How do I know if I have a case:
Our Firm is currently taking clients who have experienced complications due to Risperdal®, particularly pre-teen males and females or males and females in their early 20s who:

  • Developed gynecomastia while taking Risperdal®
  • Used Risperdal® prior to 2009
  • Were prescribed Risperdal® for off-label use, such as for ADHD
  • Had breast reduction surgery as a result of developing gynecomastia

Testosterone Therapy Products and AndroGel for treatment of Low-T

Testosterone is an androgen, or male hormone, produced by the body — specifically in the testes. It is responsible for helping to maintain reproductive tissues and bone strength, stimulate and maintain sexual function and sperm production, and increase muscle mass and strength.

Related to the male body, there is a numerical range that describes a normal level of testosterone, which is maintained in tandem by the brain and testes. After the age of 30, testosterone levels naturally begin to decline, although the level should not generally fall below 300 ng/dL.

Low testosterone, or Low-T, can result from signaling issues between the testes and brain or a defect in the testes. Medically, this condition is called hypogonadism. Decreased energy, reduced sex drive, sexual dysfunction, and mood or body changes can all be signs of Low-T. In addition to symptoms which sometimes mirror those of other medical issues the main way to identify Low-T is by performing blood tests.

Therapy products developed to treat low testosterone which come in the form of gels, patches, pellets, and injections are a popular solution among older men seeking to temper the affects of aging as well as younger men who desire physical enhancement. However, in recent years, testosterone therapy lawsuits have developed due to injury reports by thousands of men who have used AndroGel and similar testosterone therapy products.

Increased risks associated with Low-T treatments include:

  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Heart disease
  • Pulmonary embolism

In some cases, Low-T treatments have even been linked to death. There is also ongoing dialogue about the increased risk of prostate cancer in connection with testosterone therapy.
You may have a case if you or someone you love has experienced any of the adverse effects associated with Low-T treatments while participating in a prescribed therapy. Our Firm may be able to help you if:
You have suffered a heart attack or stroke while undergoing a therapy treatment for low testosterone.
You have developed heart disease.

Taxotere (Docetaxel)

Taxotere (docetaxel), a popular chemotherapy drug manufactured by Sanofi-Aventis, has been linked to permanent hair loss, or alopecia, in some women. While hair loss is a common side effect for patients undergoing chemotherapy treatment, this drug has been known to prevent future growth of hair. The manufacturer failed to warn women of this risk.

Taxotere is often given to women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and must undergo chemotherapy as part of their treatment. Taxotere requires patients to take the drug once every three weeks, as opposed to a weekly treatment like other common chemotherapy drugs. This can be of great convenience to patients who do not have the time to come in for treatment on a weekly basis.

Alopecia is a common, but distressing, a side effect of chemotherapy. However, permanent and irreversible hair loss is not intended.

If you or a loved one has suffered permanent hair loss after taking Taxotere, plese contact our Firm for a free case evaluation.

Zofran® or Ondansetron Birth Defects

Zofran, or ondansetron hydrochloride, is most commonly available as an oral rapidly disintegrating tablet produced by GlaxoSmithKline to treat nausea and vomiting. It is also available as a solution for injection. The FDA approved Zofran for use as an anti-nausea medication for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgery. Doctors have also prescribed the drug to treat an extreme form of morning sickness, hyperemesis gravidarum, in pregnant women.

The FDA approved Zofran in 1991 to treat cancer patients with nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surgery. Zofran works by blocking chemical reactions in the body that trigger nausea and vomiting. It is a serotonin 5-HT3 receptor antagonist.

In 2012, GSK pled guilty to promoting Zofran to doctors for the off-labeled use in the treatment of morning sickness in pregnant women. Zofran is not labeled for use in the U.S. or Canada to treat severe morning sickness; it is only approved to treat cancer patients.

Birth Defects and Zofran
Studies have shown an increased risk of children being born with a cleft lip/palate if their mother used Zofran to treat morning sickness during her first trimester.
Zofran has also been linked to other serious health conditions and side effects in children, whose mothers used Zofran while pregnant, including:

  • Musculoskeletal anomalies
  • Mouth deformities
  • Jaundice
  • Heart defects
  • Kidney malformations

The FDA has warned that Zofran can lead to abnormal and potentially fatal heart rhythms such as long QT syndrome and Torsade de Pointes. The drug can also cause serotonin syndrome, which can be potentially dangerous, even deadly, to both the mother and fetus.

Our Firm may be able to help you if:
You took Zofran while pregnant and your child was born with a cleft lip/palate or other craniofacial (head and face) deformity.

You took Zofran while pregnant and your child was born with a congenital heart defect.
If you or someone you know took Zofran while pregnant and the child born from that pregnancy experienced any symptoms listed above, please contact us today for a confidential case evaluation.

Xarelto (Rivaroxaban) and Praxada

Xarelto (pronounced “za-RHEL-toe) was created to replace warfarin, the standard treatment for blood thinning since the early 1950s. Xarelto (rivaroxaban) was introduced in 2011 as a joint anti-coagulant product developed by Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and Bayer HealthCare.

Xarelto is being marketed as an easier to use alternative to warfarin because it does not require medical monitoring, there are no diet restrictions, and it is a “one-fits-all” medication. However, Xarelto’s drug manufacturers are failing to warn people that Xarelto lacks an antidote to reverse serious uncontrollable internal bleeding and other serious, life-threatening complications.

In the few years that Xarelto has been on the market, a significant number of serious injuries, including death, have been associated with the use of Xarelto. According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the agency received a total of 680 Xarelto complications reported in the first quarter of 2013 alone. This number was almost double the amount of serious, disabling, or fatal injuries that had been reported just a year earlier in the first quarter of 2012 – only a couple months since Xarelto was on the market.

The Known Major and Potentially Fatal Side Effects of Xarelto Are:

  • Irreversible bleeding
  • Brain Hemorrhage
  • Spinal and Epidural Hematoma
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage
  • Abnormal liver function
  • Stroke
  • Embolism (obstruction of an artery by blood clot or air bubble, higher risk of developing once discontinuing Xarelto)
  • Wrongful death from Bleeding Problems
  • Irreversible Internal Bleeding

Xarelto has been linked to an increased risk of internal bleeding complications, which, if left untreated, can be fatal.

Xarelto, unlike warfarin, cannot be cured by any known antidote or reverse agent that can reduce the risk of bleeding. There is NO effective way to stop the bleeding.

Instead, Xarelto must naturally be flushed out of the system. Often this cannot be done in time. When internal bleeding happens in one of the major organs – brains, lungs, kidneys or somewhere else – the blood flow becomes restricted, leading to the loss of function of that organ. If it’s not detected in time, then a patient can experience severe injury and even death. Additionally, the pooling of blood that forms within the body because of internal bleeding can lead to other severe health complications.

For these reasons, Xarelto does not appear to offer enough benefits to justify the risks associated with taking it. Particularly since Xarelto has not been clinically proven to be more effective than warfarin and has no reversal agent.

Similar Problems with Pradaxa
These reported complications are very similar to those reported with Pradaxa, which was the first member of this new generation of blood thinners to hit the U.S. market in 2010. Pradaxa had very similar serious bleeding complications and deaths, and like Xarelto, Pradaxa was marketed as an easy to administer anticoagulant that did not require medical monitoring.

Similar to Xarelto, the makers of Pradaxa failed to inform consumers, and the medical and healthcare community, that it had no known reverse antidote should serious internal bleeding complications arise. After several years of litigation, the makers of Pradaxa agreed to pay approximately $685 million in settlement to resolve Pradaxa bleeding claims.

If you or someone you know was affected by the health risks listed above or someone you know has died in association with treatment by Praxada or Xarelto, please contact us for a confidential and free case evaluation.