Weitz & Luxenberg Responds to Study of Off-Label Use of Drugs Such as Seroquel
Drugs such as Seroquel used off-label carry a risk for dangerous side effects. Our firm is able to help children and young adults under 25 seek compensation for serious Seroquel-related health problems.
An analysis produced by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, says the evidence is weak that the drugs are effective for these so-called “off-label” uses, and they come with increased health risks.
Of the study’s findings, Paul J. Pennock, Director of the drug and medical device litigation unit at Weitz & Luxenberg, P.C., said, “Many drug companies monitor the prescriptions doctors write for both on- and off-label use through vendors. So, these drug companies are fully aware of the extensive off-label use, from which they greatly profit. They should therefore be held accountable to ensure proper warnings are given to prospective users of their drugs.”
The exhaustive review examined 84 published studies on atypical antipsychotic drugs such as Seroquel (quetiapine fumarate). Researchers found that not only is quality scientific evidence lacking to support the off-label uses, there is strong evidence of very dangerous side effects to many of the drugs, including risk of death and strokes, significant weight gain and gastrointestinal problems.
In their analysis of whether atypical antipsychotic drugs such as Seroquel work when used to treat dementia, researchers found scant evidence to support their use. Instead, they found that a large clinical trial concluded that when Risperdal, Zyprexa and Seroquel were given to Alzheimer’s patients, that the risks of adverse side effects offset the potential benefits.
Seroquel is marketed by AstraZeneca as a treatment for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. However, it is often prescribed off-label for anxiety and sleep disorders. The drug has been linked to the development of diabetes, a debilitating, deadly disease.
Research is accumulating on Seroquel and possible adverse reactions, including a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in January 2009 that highlighted a risk of taking newer antipsychotics such as Seroquel and sudden cardiac death. An accompanying editorial urged doctors to limit prescribing atypical antipsychotics especially to children, who can be particularly susceptible to the drugs’ serious side effects.
Those side effects, said the FDA, “are of particular concern in pediatric patients because of the life-long nature of these disorders and the fact that these patients are particularly vulnerable, in part because they may be exposed for many decades, and in part because of possible effects on growth and development.”
Weitz & Luxenberg, one of the leading plaintiffs’ litigation law firms in America, believes the public should be fully informed about all pharmaceutical medications before choosing to take them. The firm has spearheaded litigation related to Seroquel, filing cases in the Southern District of New York. Those cases are now being transferred into the Federal Multi-District Litigation (MDL) located in Middle District of Florida (MDL docket number 1769).
Seroquel drug lawsuit resources
If your child or teenager has been diagnosed with diabetes after taking the drug Seroquel, our lawyers may be able to help you to seek compensation for their disease, pain and suffering, and other financial compensation.
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