Illinois Vioxx Lawyer

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If you are a resident of the state of Illinois and have suffered a medical complication as a result of taking Vioxx, please contact a lawyer. A lawyer may be familiar with your type of case and able to discuss your rights with you. The negative side effects of extended Vioxx use could have been prevented if only the pharmaceutical company, Merck and Co., would have listened to the many warning signs.

Vioxx was originally created as a part of the new generation of COX 2 inhibitors. A COX 2 inhibitor is an anti-inflammatory drug that is designed to work much like ibuprofen or naproxen. Vioxx was a leader among new arthritis medications that were created to alleviate the pain associated with arthritis, without any of the negative side effects that the older medicines tended to exhibit. Vioxx, in only a few short years, proved to be more deadly then anyone imagined. It is estimated that over 30,000 people have died as a result of using this drug. Unfortunately, 91 million people were still prescribed Vioxx in the United States, and 84 million Vioxx users were reported worldwide. With such high rates of use, Merck and Co. was earning a yearly profit of over $2 billion dollars. This was 12 percent of the company's generated revenue. Vioxx was considered, for a time, to be a miracle drug. Sadly, this was far from the truth, as the dangers of Vioxx became known.

Vioxx users have suffered from heart attacks, strokes and blood clots. Another severe medical issue that has been associated with the drug is liver damage. Symptoms of liver complications include tiredness, tenderness in the abdomen, itching, nausea, and flu-like symptoms. The use of Vioxx has also been linked to acute kidney diseases and kidney failure. Also, Vioxx studies have shown a direct relationship between prolonged use of the drug and intestinal and stomach bleeding. If these side effects are left untreated, they can lead to hospitalization or death.

Less critical side effects linked to the drug include various types of allergic reactions. These reactions usually show up as an uncomfortable swelling in the throat, tongue, lips and face. This particular type of swelling can cause a person to experience trouble swallowing and difficulties breathing. Vioxx users have complained of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, heart burn, stomach pain, back pain, respiratory inflammation, respiratory infection, swelling of the legs and feet, high blood pressure, and headaches. The complications associated with Vioxx prove to be life-threatening when not properly treated.

Many speculate that Merck & Co. knew about the cardiovascular risks from use of Vioxx, but chose to withhold this information. As a result, the data the FDA received was a misrepresentation, and patients were at higher risks than had previously been thought. Not only did the public begin to view pharmaceutical companies with distrust, but they also felt the FDA was partially responsible for not taking tougher initiatives to prevent drug hazards.

Mainly, the drug poses the greatest risks to patients 65 and older, and people taking the drug longer than 18 months. Later studies concluded that the drug's lethal complications were present within the first two weeks. The most recent studies, financed by the FDA, found that, out of 40,405 patients studied, there was a 50 percent higher chance of heart attacks and cardiac deaths than from other painkillers. Merck & Co. questioned the study, suggesting that observational data is not a reliable resource of information. Nevertheless, Merck's deceitful manipulation of data from clinical studies resulted in thousands of lawsuits against them. It is estimated that, by 2007, the company spent over $4.85 billion dollars in settlements for personal injury and product liability claims. Moreover, many of the claims were still pending at the time. Since then, Merck & Co. and the FDA have worked to improve drug safety regulations. The company voluntarily withdrew Vioxx from the market in 2004.

If you have suffered from the adverse complications associated with this painkiller, contact a lawyer as soon as you can. The best attorney is one with experience handling pharmaceutical cases. He or she should be able to provide you with the resources needed to win your claim, and a willingness to reach the best settlement. It is important to act quickly, as Illinois statute of limitations laws state that product liability and personal injury claims need to be filed within two years. Contact an attorney in your area to handle the litigation processes in a timely manner.