A growing number of patients around the country being treated with the widely-prescribed anti-arrhythmic drug Pacerone have died from lung and liver damage, gone blind, or suffered severe skin reactions. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Pacerone for severe disorders known as ventricular arrhythmias, and it should only be used when all other courses of treatment have been exhausted.
What’s the Problem with Pacerone?
Pacerone, which is also known as amiodarone, is an FDA-approved prescription drug designed to treat heart rhythm disorders, including atrial fibrillation and atrial flutte. Despite only being approved to treat these conditions, more and more doctors around the country have been prescribing Pacerone for so-called ‘off-label’ purposes, for which it was neither tested nor approved by the FDA. When patients receive Pacerone in an off-label capacity, the individual is not informed of the drug’s potentially life-threatening side effects.
Recent studies have determined that Pacerone has the potential to be highly toxic. Some research has concluded that up to 20% of all patients who take the drug suffer some form of lung damage, 10% of whom eventually die from their injuries. These statistics are even more startling when considering the fact that approximately 2.3 million patients are prescribed Pacerone each and every year. Additionally, it has been found that more than 80% of all prescriptions for Pacerone were written for indications other than heart rhythm disturbances.
Pacerone Side Effects
Pacerone has recently been linked to the following serious side effects:
- Lung diseases
- Interstitial lung disease
- Pulmonary fibrosis
- Thyroid damageLiver damage
- Allergic reactions
- Nervous system complications
- Toxic Epidermal Necrosis (TEN)
- Respiratory failure
- Kidney failure
- Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)
- Heart arrhythmias
- Sinus arrest
- Ventricular tachycardia
- Cardiogenic shock
- Torsades de pointes
- Bone marrow depression
Pacerone continues to be prescribed to millions of patients around the country despite adequate warnings that were promised by the FDA long ago. Labels of Pacerone are supposed to include an updated warning detailing the drug’s many risks, symptoms of potentially fatal side effects, and information about how the drug is supposed to be used. Despite being planned all the way back in October 2003, the updated warning labels continue to remain in draft form. Senator Charles Grassley, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has stated that he will investigate the holdup with the Pacerone warning label, and that the problems with getting the warning out goes to the heart of why it takes the FDA so long to act when known risks and dangers exist with certain drugs.
If you or someone you love suffered a serious injury you believe may have been caused by Pacerone, you should contact the law offices of Schmidt & Clark, LLP, today. Our Pacerone Lawyers are currently offering free, no-obligation consultations to individuals injured by Pacerone side effects. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means that there are never any fees unless we achieve a favorable outcome in your case. Contact us today to learn more about your legal rights.