What You Should Know About Fen-Phen and Redux
In 1996, more than 18 million prescriptions were written for Fen-Phen, a drug “cocktail” combination of fenfluramine and phentermine On September 15, 1997, the drug was withdrawn from the market at the request of the Food and Drug Administration. Studies of patients taking Fen-Phen have shown that the drugs are linked to heart valve damage and primary pulmonary hypertension, a potentially fatal progressive disease with no known cure. The FDA has stated that “the data we have obtained indicates that fenfluramine, and the chemically closely related dexenfluramine (Redux®) present an unacceptable risk at this time to patients who take them.”
What is Fen-Phen and how does it work? Fen-Phen is a drug combination intended for the treatment of obesity. Phentermine suppresses appetite and increases the rate at which calories are burned, but can cause insomnia, restlessness and an increase in blood pressure. Fenfluramine releases the blood chemical seratonin – which appears to play a role in regulating mood and appetite. It was combined with phentermine because of its ability to counter phentermine’s stimulating effects.
However, in August 1997, a report in the New England Journal of Medicine described a study of women who took Fen-Phen and Redux and had no previous history of cardiac disease. The women showed symptoms of a heart murmur. Twenty percent required cardiac surgery. The report identified Fen-Phen as a possible cause of “valvular damage”. The study concluded that “Candidates for fenfluramine-phentermine should be informed about serious potential adverse effects, including pulmonary hypertension and valvular heart disease“
In a later study of additional patients, some were found to have no symptoms, although an echocardiogram showed the presence of a heart murmur. Other patients who have taken Fen-Phen showed symptoms such as shortness of breath, swelling of the feet, and heart murmur. Symptoms such as chest pain and fainting indicate more severe symptoms of limited cardiac output.
People who have taken Fen-Phen and Redux even for a brief period of time may be at risk for heart valve damage or primary pulmonary hypertension. Both are very serious medical conditions. You may want to consult a doctor other than the one who issued your prescription.
Since these medical conditions are certain to involve the manufacturing pharmaceutical company and significant medical expenses, you may also want to contact an attorney. The Law Offices of Nadrich & Cohen currently represents individuals in connection with their use of Fen-Phen and Redux. Because these cases are in national litigation, we can represent individuals from all 50 states. We represent people in both private litigation and class action settlement against the manufacturers of these diet drugs. If you have any questions about these drugs or about your legal rights, contact:
The Law Offices of Nadrich & Cohen at (800) 718-4658.