Fen Phen Health
Problems


shortness of breath

chest pain

primary pulmonary hypertension

a heart murmur

finger, foot, ankle, and leg swelling

weakness

fatigue

fainting

death

Fen-Phen Frequently Asked Questions

If I am currently part of the nationwide class action can I still opt out
and pursue an individual lawsuit?

What is Fen-Phen?

Why is using Fen-Phen a dangerous combination?
What are the results of using Fen-Phen?
What is Primary Pulmonary Hypertension?
When did Fen-Phen side effects first surface?
Why was Fenfluramine withdrawn?
Why is phentermine still on the market?
Why were fen-phen complications initially overlooked?
What are the side effects and health complications of fen-phen?
What type of treatment is available for the lung and heart damage that fen-phen causes?
What are my legal rights involving fen-phen?

If I am currently part of the nationwide class action can I still opt out and pursue an individual lawsuit?

The initial opt-out period before March 31, 2000 had less than fifty thousand claimants fill out paperwork. The majority of cases did not opt out by March 30, 2000, and it is these people that make up Round Two of the fen-phen litigations. There is a brief window where claimants can register with the Settlement Trust and request and then either request benefits or opt-out and return to the civil litigation system. An individual must meet certain medical parameters within the next year and file specified documents with the American Home Products Settlement Trust shortly after that in order to receive any type of substantial benefits from the Class Action.

What is fen-phen?

Fen-phen is the combination of fenfluramine and phentermine, prescription medications that were approved by the FDA for appetite suppressants that was intended for the short-term management of obesity. The drug phentermine was first approved in 1959 and fenfluramine was approved in 1973. Fen-phen never gave the FDA studies showing the safety or effectiveness of the drugs.

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Why is using fen-phen a dangerous combination?

Rare heart conditions have been linked to the use of the diet drug fen-phen. Studies have shown that heart valve damage appeared in a high percentage of long-term fen-phen users especially. Primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH) occurs in the blood vessels in the lungs. These complications are very hard to treat and diagnose and lead to heart failure and death in some instances.

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What are the results of using fen-phen?

Fen-phen has lead to very serious conditions as well as death. The aortic and mitral valves of the heart, as well as primary pulmonary hypertension, or PPH, is associated to the use of fen-phen.

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What is primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH)?

Primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH) is a disorder where the blood pressure in the arteries of the lung is abnormally high without being accompanied by other diseases of the heart or lungs. Primary pulmonary hypertension develops as a response to increased resistance to blood flow. Progressive heart failure may eventually develop, as the increased workload caused by the resistance will cause the right side of the heart to become enlarged.

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When did fen-phen side effects first surface?

According to the New England Journal of Medicine’s study they performed in August of 1996 they concluded that using fen-phen for three months or longer on average lead to a twenty-three-fold increase in pulmonary hypertension.

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Why was fenfluramine withdrawn?

In 1997, the Mayo Clinic reported they had seen 24 patients that had developed heart valve disease from taking fen-phen. The valves of the patients who had the valve replacement surgery had similar diseased valves to carcinoid syndrome, indicating a correlation between fen-phen and valve disease. The FDA then issued a Public Health Advisory describing what the Mayo Clinic had found with fen-phen use. More information surfaced that made the FDA even more concerned about the safety issues relating to fen-phen use and heart disease.

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Why is phentermine still on the market?

The FDA thinks that phentermine used alone does not lead to heart valve disease.

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Why were fen-phen complications initially overlooked?

The FDA thinks that fen-phen leads to an unusual type of drug reaction that results in valve disease. Valve disease and drug use is not too common so it is thought that fen-phen and valvular heart disease was not screened in the clinical trials.

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What are the side effects and health complications of fen-phen?

-shortness of breath

-chest pain

-primary pulmonary hypertension

-a heart murmur

-finger, foot, ankle, and leg swelling

-weakness

-fatigue

-fainting

-death

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What type of treatment is available for the lung and heart damage that fen-phen causes?

Medication or surgery to replace the damaged valves is available for heart conditions, like primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH), that is caused by the use of fen-phen. Some patients suffering the adverse effects of fen-phen enlarge the blood vessels in the lungs to reduce the risk of developing blood clots. In severe cases of PPH a heart-lung transplant may be recommended.

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What are my legal rights involving fen-phen?

Phen-fen is in the midst of numerous class-action lawsuits for the drug company’s failure to disclose information that could have prevented the health risks and complications of hundreds and possibly thousands of patients. Many fen-phen takers have found that their health has had further deterioration due to their use of the diet drug over time. Our fen-phen lawyers can provide the highest level of legal expertise to ensure that the proper compensation is received. If you have any questions regarding your legal rights, please contact us, and a phen-fen lawyer can discuss your case with you.


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Fen-Phen Medical Issues
Valvular Heart Disease- The injury frequently associated with the use of pondimin or redux. The two drugs cause the valves in the heart to allow blood flow backwards through them.

Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH)- PPH is a disease that result in increased pulmonary artery pressure that is caused by pondimin or redux and is the most dangerous and deadly effect of fen-phen.

Endocardial Fibrosis- This injury is diagnosed by fibrosis and restrictive cardiomyopathy.

Feature Article
“FDA Doc Claims Fen-Phen Cover-Up,” April 7, 2000

-CBS News

Diet medication fen-phen is linked to heart ailments and is accused of covering up problems with the drug. The drug fen-phen, manufactured by American Home Products was removed in 1997 from the market for the health complications that arose. Dr. Leo Lutwak was the FDA’s key reviewer of fen-phen and thinks that the company knew about the problems prior to fen-phen being pulled from the market. The FDA was not allowing Dr. Leo Lutwak to testify and Lutwak claimed he would retire so that he would be able to testify in fen-phen cases. American Home Products settled $4.83 billion for more than 11,000 fen-phen lawsuits, which is the biggest product liability settlement ever while still admitting now wrongdoing.










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