Answers to Common Questions About the Unwanted Side-Effects of Some Medicine

 So, you’ve taken a drug and experienced a side-effect. Most are minor and go away quickly. But others can be serious or fatal. As a result, we’ve put together the following questions and answers to help you understand your rights if you experience side-effects from medicine.

  • When a doctor prescribes medicine, do we have to read all the lengthy print-outs, pamphlets and warning labels?
    • Manufacturers or physicians may be held liable to pay damages caused by their failure to warn a patient about side-effects of medication. Federal law requires a manufacturer to provide warnings about potential risks on prescription labels and instructions. The strongest warnings a manufacturer must provide are black box warnings. Similarly, physicians must know about these warnings, and have a duty to inform the patient about them before prescribing the medicine.
  • What if you have an adverse reaction to a drug and believe that your doctor failed to take the proper steps or that the manufacturer didn’t warn you about the side-effects?
    • The failure to warn about potential side-effects may be a basis for a lawsuit against either the physician or manufacturer or both. If a manufacturer or a physician fails to warn to patient of a risk, then either may breach the “duty of care” to the patient. Expert testimony can establish that a drug caused an injury. See Stange v. Janssen Pharma. et al., 2018 PA Super 4 (Pa. Super. Jan. 8, 2018).
  • What should I do and what should my doctor do to reduce the possibility of these side effects?
    • First, a doctor should know the characteristics of the drug.
    • Second, the doctor must also know the safe amount of the drug to prescribe.
    • Third, you should tell your doctor about any medication you are taking.
    • Fourth, your doctor should advise you of “any dangers or side effects associated with the use of the drug.”
    • Fifth, the doctor should explain to you how and when to take the drug.

If you believe that a prescription caused you injuries, contact the Law Offices of Daniel J. Siegel, LLC. We can review your situation, and we work with other law firms that handle these types of claims.


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