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
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Why was Fenfluramine withdrawn?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
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
What are my legal rights
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.
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.
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.
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.
When did fen-phen side effects first surface?
According to the New England Journal of Medicines
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.
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.
Why is phentermine still on the market?
The FDA thinks that phentermine used alone does
not lead to heart valve disease.
Why were fen-phen complications initially
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.
What are the side effects and health
complications of fen-phen?
-shortness of breath
-primary pulmonary hypertension
-a heart murmur
-finger, foot, ankle, and leg swelling
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
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.
What are my legal
rights involving fen-phen?
Phen-fen is in the midst of numerous class-action
lawsuits for the drug companys 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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