The medications doctors and medical professionals prescribe to their patients must undergo a battery of testing by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before they are deemed safe for patient use. If medications are not properly tested, they put patients at risk of experiencing dangerous side effects. Unfortunately, in their rush to get new prescription drugs on the market quickly and start turning a profit, pharmaceutical companies do not always follow the strict guidelines set forth by the FDA.

When pharmaceutical companies fail to properly test their medication or withhold information from the FDA in an effort to get their drugs approved quickly, they put corporate profits above patient safety.

Many prescription drugs used to treat a wide range of medical conditions have been shown to cause serious harm to patients.

If you or a loved one experienced severe side effects or were injured after taking a prescription medication, you may be entitled to compensation for your pain, suffering and medical expenses. At Fellows Hymowitz Rice, our Defective Drug Attorneys have extensive experience standing up to pharmaceutical companies to protect our clients’ rights.

At Fellows Hymowitz Rice, we will work tirelessly and leave no stone unturned when it comes to securing the best possible outcome in your dangerous drug case. Call us today at 845-639-9300 for a FREE, confidential consultation. We represent patients harmed by a variety of drugs, including:

Zoloft and Antidepressant Birth Injuries

Zoloft is an antidepressant medication taken by millions of Americans. Zoloft is part of a family of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which also include other popular medications such as Paxil and Prozac.

The FDA and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have warned female patients taking Zoloft and other SSRIs that using these medications during pregnancy could be linked to serious birth defects. In 2006, an FDA study found that women that used SSRIs after the 20th week of pregnancy were six times more likely to give birth to babies suffering from a rare condition known as persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) compared to women that were not using SSRIs. Symptoms of PPHN include:

  • Cardiac defects
  • Pulmonary defects
  • Brain and spinal cord defects
  • Abnormally shaped skull
  • Abdominal wall defects
  • Club feet
  • Anal atresia

The FDA advises all women that are pregnant or may become pregnant to talk to their doctors about use of antidepressants such as Zoloft during pregnancy. For more information on the use of antidepressants during pregnancy, click here.

Proton Pump Inhibitors

Heartburn drugs such as Prisolec, Nexium, Prevacid and others are part of a family of medications known as proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs). PPIs are some of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the U.S. and are used to treat chronic heartburn conditions including gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and erosive esophagitis (EE).

PPI medications have been linked to serious potential side effects in patients. Studies have shown that regular users of these drugs may significantly increase a patient’s risk of suffering from severe medical conditions including:

  • Heart Attacks
  • Kidney Disease
  • Dementia

Additionally, a 2016 study by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that PPI drugs may be widely overprescribed by doctors. The study concluded that “an estimated 25 percent to 70 percent of these prescriptions may have no appropriate indication for use” in the U.S.


Xarelto is a blood thinner, or anti-coagulant, medication used to treat blood clots that has been linked to potentially fatal side effects. Xarelto was originally marketed as an alternative to older anti-coagulant drugs such as Warfarin which require patients to receive monthly blood tests from their doctor. The manufacturers of Xarelto claimed that patients would no longer require regular blood tests, but multiple studies have shown that the manufactures had no data to back up this claim.

The manufactures of Xarelto mislead patients and doctors with false and misleading statements. Additionally, in 2013 the FDA issued their strongest, “Black Box” Warning for Xarelto, alerting patients and doctors that the drug has been linked to serious side effects including:

  • Stroke, heart attack, deep vein thrombosis & pulmonary embolism
  • Spinal/epidural hematoma possibly leading to permanent paralysis
  • Serious and fatal bleeding
  • Pregnancy-related hemorrhage

There is no known cure to the dangerous side-effects associated with Xarelto.


Abilify is an antipsychotic medication used to treat psychological conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. In 2013, Abilify was the top selling prescription drug in the U.S., generating more than $6 billion in sales. Abilify has been linked to an increase in dangerous, compulsive and addictive behaviors in many patients including:

  • Hypersexuality and greater sexual preoccupation
  • Compulsive gambling
  • Compulsive eating
  • Compulsive shopping
  • Other compulsive behaviors

The FDA issued a warning letter to Abilify’s manufacturers Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka America Pharmaceuticals in 2013. The letter stated that the manufacturer’s marketing of Abilify made “misleading claims and presentations about the drug.” The FDA warned that the company’s marketing overstated their understanding of how Abilify works in humans.


Risperdal is an antipsychotic medication that was originally approved by the FDA for the treatment of schizophrenia and other mood disorders. Johnson & Johnson, manufacturers of Risperdal, marketed the drug to treat unapproved medical conditions in many patients, a practice known as “off-label usage.” In the case of Risperdal, J&J claimed that “off-label” usage of the drug included effective treatment of bipolar disorder and Autism.

Unfortunately, many patients that received Risperdal for this “off-label” usage suffered from a severe and distressing side effect known as gynecomastia, or the development of female breast tissue in adolescent males.

Many patients and families have stepped forward to seek compensation from J&J for pushing these off-label uses without proper testing. In 2015, the first Risperdal lawsuit to go to trial resulted in J&J paying more than $2.5 million in damages to the family of a boy that developed gynecomastia after taking Risperdal. The jury found that J&J failed to warn patients of the risks associated with “off-label” use of the drug.


Invokana is a medication that helps patients with type 2 Diabetes manage their blood sugar levels. Invokana has also been linked to several severe side effects in many patients including:

  • Keotacidosis
  • High risk of bone fractures
  • Loss of bone density

Ketoacidosis is a medical condition where the body produces high levels of blood acids called “ketones.” If left untreated, this condition can be dangerous and even fatal. Symptoms of ketoacidosis include:

  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Weakness or fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fruity-scented breath
  • Confusion

The FDA has issued multiple safety warnings about the link between Invokana and ketoacidosis, as well as the increased risk of bone fractures.

Fellows Hymowitz Rice Can Help

These are just a few of the prescription drugs that have been linked to dangerous and severe side effects in patients. If you or a loved one are injured after taking any prescription medication, Fellows Hymowtiz is here to help. Our New York and New Jersey Defective Drug Attorneys have extensive experience standing up to pharmaceutical companies to protect our clients’ rights. Let us help you too.

Call us today at 845-639-9300 for a FREE, confidential consultation. When you call, one of our caring, dedicated attorneys will investigate every detail of your situation at no cost to you. We will help you find answers and fight hard to protect your rights.

At Fellows Hymowitz Rice, you will never pay an attorney’s fee up front and you owe us nothing unless we recover for you. Call us today to learn how we may be able to help.

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