Allergies and asthma are two extremely common conditions in the United States. These two conditions affect both children and adults. They’re pervasive among both men and women.
With so many people being affected by these conditions, it isn’t hard to figure out that the medicines used to treat these conditions are also widely used. As with any medications, they too carry risks.
Experiencing adverse reactions to these medications isn’t impossible, but understanding the ones you or your loved one takes, what they are supposed to do, and what you can do if something goes wrong, are all imperative parts of your treatment.
This is because sometimes adverse reactions are the result of medical malpractice. So what do depression and suicidal thoughts have to do with allergy and asthma meds anyway?
Let’s take a look…
Important Side Effects of Allergy and Asthma Medications
All medications have potential side effects and allergy and asthma medications are no different. Some of the most common side effects people experience with these drugs include dry mouth, dizziness, drowsiness, and nausea.
In rare cases, however, users are also experiencing depression and worse, suicidal thoughts. One medication, in particular, has come under fire by the FDA.
Montelukast, which goes by the brand name Singulair, is one of the most popular prescription drugs for the treatment of allergies and asthma. An estimated 31 million people in the United States have a prescription.
Singulair recently received a “Black Box Warning,” the most severe on-label warning that medication can receive from the FDA.
The packaging update is in response to reports over adverse mental health issues. The warning suggests that Singulair only be prescribed when no other option is available.
What FL Allergy and Asthma Medication Users Should Know
While a black box warning is important for helping users understand the various side effects they could experience, it also shifts the burden onto the end-user to be aware of these side effects.
It is harder to make a claim of medical malpractice when there is a warning clearly displayed on the side of the medication’s packaging.
This means that users of the medication who experience extreme adverse reactions, or the survivors of a wrongful death caused by it, will have a harder time bringing a medical malpractice suit for this medication.
When a Situation is Considered Florida Medical Malpractice
When it comes to prescription medications, for medical malpractice to take place, there needs to be an element of negligence or failure to disclose information about potential side effects.
From a legal perspective, a side effect is any unintended symptom that arises from the taking of the medications and is unrelated to the initial condition.
Doctors who prescribe medications have a legal responsibility to disclose the benefits vs. risk in relation to a patient’s health as well as any known side effects.
The black box warning can negate that responsibility. If you or a dependent of yours is prescribed this type of medication, here are important steps to take:
- Always take the medication in accordance with the prescription. Never take more than necessary and try not to miss doses.
- Ensure that you ask your doctor about any possible side effects. This can provide a legal basis for a medical malpractice claim if something happens later on.
- Make sure what you are given by a pharmacist matches the original prescription. If there are any dispensing errors with the medication, this can also serve as the basis for a medical malpractice claim.
- If you begin to experience side effects from the medication you are taking, talk to a doctor immediately. It is important that you can demonstrate you were caused harm by the medication.
If you experience adverse reactions to medication, and you believe it to be the result of negligence, it’s important to speak with a lawyer as soon as possible.
There is a statute of limitations for medical malpractice and the faster you move the easier it is to carry forward with the claim. Keep all of your records and make sure you have documented every step of the process.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm of Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all kinds of personal injury cases, with a particular focus on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in the representation of injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2017 – an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – and was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite” and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015, 2016, and 2017.