CRPS/RSD PART 23: Stronger NSAID Warnings Issued by the FDA

By Steve Heintz of Heintz & Becker posted in CRPS on Monday, May 30, 2016.

In our most recent CRPS/RSD post we told our readers about how some pharmacies are refusing to fill valid pain medication prescriptions that chronic pain patients need to control their pain.

With prescription medications becoming more difficult to obtain, many chronic pain sufferers may be resorting to taking large doses of over the counter NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) in an attempt to find relief, and in doing so, they may damaging their health and putting themselves at risk for a heart attack, stroke and other complications.

drug label-thumb-350x213-59817Just a few days ago the FDA issued a Drug Safety Communication containing stronger warnings about the increased risks of heart attack and stroke associated with NSAIDs.  NSAIDs include ibuprofen and naproxen and are found in many over-the counter pain medications, including Advil, Motrin and Aleve.  Despite warning labels stating that that the drugs should not be used longer than 10 days for pain or three days for fever, people, especially those with chronic painful conditions, take larger doses than recommended on a daily basis.

The new FDA warnings make it clear that people need to change their thinking and realize that NSAIDs can be dangerous.  People using NSAIDs are being advised to take the lowest effective dose for the shortest amount of time possible and to be especially careful not to take more than one product that contains an NSAID at a time.  (Although aspirin is also an NSAID, the FDA’s revised warning doesn’t apply to aspirin.)  Symptoms of a heart attack or stroke include chest pain, difficulty breathing, sudden weakness in one part or side of the body and/or slurred speech.  Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek immediate medical help.

The Heintz & Becker CRPS/RSD series highlights how debilitating and difficult it can be to treat chronic pain.  Our attorneys are strongly committed to providing legal help to people suffering from chronic pain due to accidents caused by the negligence of others.  If you or a member of your family is in need of an attorney who understands CRPS and RSD, please contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Source(s): CBS News, “FDA issues strong heart attack, stroke warning for common painkillers”, posted July 10, 2015; The Washington Post, “Should you take painkillers? FDA bolsters safety labels, warns of heart attack, stroke risk”, posted July 10, 2015; U.S. Food and Drug Administration, “FDA Strengthens Warning of Heart Attack and Stroke Risk for Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs”, posted July 9, 2015

Urgent Warning: Exploding E-Cigarette Batteries Resulting in Serious Injuries

Exploding E-Cigarette Batteries

Some e-cigarette batteries are exploding without warning and causing blindness, serious burns and permanent injuries.  A teenager in New York was blinded in one eye and may have permanent damage to his hands. An  e-cigarette he was testing at a mall kiosk in Brooklyn exploded.  In Florida, a 21 year old man almost died Exploding E-Cigaretteafter his e-cigarette exploded in his face. This left the man with third degree burns to his entire face, serious burns to his esophagus and battery acid in his lungs. Another man from Longboat Key was hospitalized with serious burns and required skin grafts after his e-cigarette exploded in the pocket of his shorts.  These are just a few examples of the growing number of exploding e-cigarette tragedies which have prompted numerous lawsuits and calls for mandatory consumer warnings and regulation of the e-cigarette industry.

Exploding E-Cigarette Cause

What is it that’s causing these explosions?  It’s the small rechargeable lithium ion batteries that power the devices.  These batteries contain highly flammable electrolytes that can ignite with explosive force if overheated, overcharged or misused.  Carrying e-cigarettes and/or spare batteries in your pocket with car keys or other items can also lead to battery damage and explosions.  There are also a lot of shoddy “no name brand” batteries and chargers on the market that may be more likely to explode than their more expensive brand-name counterparts.

Injured by Exploding E-Cigarette?

Since there are very few laws currently applicable to e-cigarettes in the U.S., e-cigarettes are not subjected to mandatory safety testing and regulation.  Consumer advocates are hoping that this will change, but even with mandatory testing and regulation, as long as lithium ion batteries continue to be used to power the devices, there will be a risk of fire and injury.  In addition to wanting to get to get the word out about the dangers of e-cigarettes, the attorneys at Heintz & Becker have made it a priority to hold e-cigarette sellers and manufacturers responsible for the injuries and damages they have caused.  If you or a member of your family has been injured by an e-cigarette battery, dispenser, or e-liquid, call us for a no-obligation consultation and evaluation of you case.

Source(s): FOX 13 News, “Longboat Key man has grafts after e-cig battery burns”, posted May 10, 2016; FOX 13 News, “Video shows e-cigarette explode in man’s pants”, posted February 25, 2016; FoxNews.com, “14-year-old boy left blinded after e-cigarette explodes at Brooklyn mall”, posted April 15, 2016; FoxNews.com, “Florida man placed in a coma after e-cigarette explosion”, posted October 28, 2015; Naples Daily News, “Exploding e-cigarette sparks lawsuit”, posted January 27, 2016; CBS Chicago, “2 investigators: Smokers Get Burned From Exploding E-Cigarettes”, posted February 16, 2016; HowStuffWorks, “How Lithium-ion Batteries Work”; Wired, “Why Hoverboards Keep Exploding”, posted December 12, 2015

Related Posts: Urgent Health Warning: Keep E-Cigarettes and Poisonous Liquid Nicotine Away From Children, News about Electronic Cigarettes and Minors, Health Alert: Warnings Issued for Contaminated Tattoo Ink

CRPS/RSD PART 22: News Probe Reveals Pharmacies Refusing to Fill Prescriptions for Pain Medication

People suffering from chronic pain with valid prescriptions issued by reputable physicians are being turned away by pharmacies that are refusing to fill their pain medication prescriptions.  Why is this happening and who is responsible?  An in-depth probe aptly named “State of Pain” by Orlando television WESH 2 has reportedly gathered thousands of stories of prescription medication denials, where real people describe themselves as being left in pain and feeling judged,  humiliated, betrayed, appalled and “MAD AS HELL”.  The WESH 2 probe has shed light on the magnitude of the problem and has received the attention of the Florida Board of Pharmacy – the state agency responsible for regulating Florida’s pharmacists.

An atmosphere of finger pointing has dominated discussions of the prescription refusal issue.  The governor, the attorney general and pharmacists statewide have attempted to place the blame for the problem on Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”) regulations and pain medication quotas that have created pill shortages.  An additional complication, previously highlighted in our Heintz & Becker Blogs, which added tighter controls on certain pain medications, is the DEA’s reclassification of Hydrocodone Combination Products (“HCPs”) from Schedule III Drugs to Schedule II Drugs in 2014.  However, the DEA has refused to accept the blame and says that pharmacists who refuse to fill real prescriptions are not doing their jobs and that problems concerning the actions of individual pharmacists are the responsibility of the state’s board of pharmacy to manage.  Indeed, Florida’s Board of Pharmacy and itsControlled Substances Standards Committee may be taking action.  Five members of the Board of Pharmacy will meet in Orlando on June 9, 2015 to look at the issue from the perspective of patients, doctors, pharmacists and suppliers.  The agenda and meeting materials, which include numerous emails containing personal patient testimonials, including the one quoted above, are available in the“Public Book” posted online.

Heintz & Becker is posting this information to further publicize the existence of this problem and to give credit to WESH 2 Orlando for its valuable investigation.  We will continue to publish news on this and other topics of interest to people who suffer from chronic pain and invite you to check our website regularly for updated information.  If you or a member of your family suffers from chronic pain due to an accident caused by the negligence of someone else, please contact one of our attorneys for a free, no-obligation evaluation of your claim for financial compensation.

Source(s): WESH 2 Orlando, “WESH 2 gets answers on state’s prescription problems”, posted May 19, 2015; WESH 2 Orlando, “DEA, FDA discuss prescription problems at U.S. Senate hearing”, posted May 7, 2015; WESH 2 Orlando, “DEA questioned on prescription problems at Senate hearing”, posted May 6, 2015

Heintz & Becker Boating Safety Series Part 2: Nighttime and Pre-Dawn Boating

Last month one Florida teen was killed and five others were injured when their small boat ran into a bridge on the Middle River near Ft. Lauderdale.  The accident happened around midnight and it was immediately obvious that darkness was the likely cause.  The teens were all experienced boaters who were very familiar with the area, but “it was just dark, you know” said one of their friends.  “It’s tough.”  Sadly, this tragedy probably would never have happened if the teens had not been on the water at night.

Boating Safety Tips

Clearly, the best advice for boaters is to always wait until dawn to go out on the water and to try to return to shore before it gets too dark to see.  We all know that is not always possible, so if you will be out on the water before dawn or at night, please be extra cautious and observe the following safety tips:

  • Don’t boat at night unless you know how to read red, green and white navigation lights.  If you see only a red light that means the other captain has the right of way.  Seeing both a red and green light together means your boat is heading directly toward the other boat and you should alter course.  Seeing a white light indicates that the other boat is moving away from you.
  • Take it slow and easy as everything will be hard to see and you may not be able see what is coming at you until you are nearly on top of it.
  • Stay focused and avoid distraction.  Keep your eyes above the windshield and listen for other boats and beacons.
  • Use high beams with care.  The last thing you want to do is blind other boaters or make it hard for them to see your navigation lights.
  • Know how to use a compass and GPS devices and use them to keep track of your location and direction.
  • Know how to call for help if you need it.  We’ll be covering this topic in detail in one of our upcoming posts and hope you will make sure to come back to our site for this very important information.

Bradenton Boating Attorneys

Heintz & Becker is posting this information to remind everyone of the extra degree of caution required when boating in nighttime or pre-dawn conditions.  If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident caused by someone else, the experienced accident attorneys at Heintz & Becker are available to consult with you about your case and rights to seek financial compensation.  We urge you to contact us for a free analysis of your claim.

Source(s): The Christian Science Monitor, “Florida teen killed in boat crash: How to lessen risks of late-night boating”, posted August 13, 2015

Volkswagen’s Shameless Deception Destroys Owners’ Trust and Loyalty

What was once the iconic and beloved Volkswagen has now fallen from grace after the recent revelation that the company intentionally manipulated its “environmentally friendly” diesel cars. These cars cheated on emissions tests and secretly spew up to 40 times the level of pollutants allowed by current regulations into the environment, thus resulting in massive Volkswagen recalls.

VolkswagenEven though Volkswagen has admitted wrongdoing and has issued an apologetic message to its customers, the fallout continues to grow.  Volkswagen’s top officials are resigning, a criminal probe by the U.S. Justice Department is pending, and betrayed consumers are demanding justice.  “I want nothing to do with the brand,” said the owner of a 2012 Volkswagen Golf TDI.  Another owner of a 2013 Volkswagen Jetta SportsWagen TDI commented that the car’s appeal is now “ruined” and wants VW to buy the car back.

Volkswagen Recall

Here is a list of the cars known to be affected by the emission cheating scandal, however, investigations are continuing and this list could grow:

Year Make Model
2009-2015 Volkswagen Jetta
2009-2014 Volkswagen Jetta SportsWagen TDI
2012-2015 Volkswagen Beetle
2012-2015 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible
2010-2015 Audi A3
2010-2015 Volkswagen Golf
2015 Volkswagen GolfSportsWagen TDI
2012-2015 Volkswagen Passat

 

Bradenton Attorneys

The scandal is expected to result in massive costs to Volkswagen, both financially and in customer losses, and angry consumers are already lining up to sue the company for compensation.  The attorneys at Heintz & Becker are standing ready to help Volkswagen owners.  If you or a member of your family is the owner of one of the cars affected and you are wondering what to do, we urge you to contact Heintz & Becker for free, no-obligation information about your legal rights.

Source(s): Green Car Reports, “VW Diesel Drivers Hurt, Confused, Angry, Remorseful”, posted September 28, 2015; The Dallas Morning News, “Sell, sue or stay put: considerations for Volkswagen Owners”, posted September 27, 2015