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Fen-Phen Lawsuit Lawyer

by Anna Henningsgaard

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Fen Phen was used as a diet drug for many years. It is a combination of two drugs, fenfluamine and phentermine. The FDA requested its removal from the market late in 1997 when reports arose of fen-phen’s role in causing heart valve disease and pulmonary hypertension. Echocardiograms of women taking fen-phen revealed a 30% rate of heart valve abnormality, even though patients had no symptoms. In July of 1997, researchers at the Mayo Clinic reported dozens of cases of a rare valvular disease among women who took fen-phen. It was at this point that doctors were alerted to start warning patients of the dangers of fen-phen.

Fen-phen works by increasing seratonin levels in the brain. Seratonin is responsible for moods including a feeling of satiety, or being full. The “fen”, fenfluramine, alone causes severe mood swings and depression, which made it unpopular. By adding the stimulant phentermine to counterbalance the depressing effects, people did not feel depressed by the drug-imposed chemical imbalance, they only felt less hungry. Unfortunately, the excess seratonin was also found to be responsible for the serious heart valve problems.

Directly after the link between fen-phen and heart disease was revealed, 66 reports came in of heart valve disease associated with the drug. Also, patents who were only taking one of the two, fenfluramine or dexfenfluramine, experienced the same symptoms. Fen-Phen went off the market in 2004, and is now no longer widely available. As recently as April of 2005, American Lawyer magazine reviled that more than 50,000 product liability lawsuits have been filed by fen-phen victims. Total liability paid out to these victims could reach as high as $14 billion.

Millions of dollars in damages have already been rewarded, as Wyeth, the pharmaceutical company that marketed fen-phen, is found responsible for the damage they have caused. Two plaintiffs in Philadelphia were each rewarded $100 million for the damage they suffered from fen-phen. If you or a loved one has been hurt by this disease, contact a lawyer immediately and you can get the drug company to pay.

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Steven J. Williams, P.C.
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