Fen phen is a pharmaceutical diet drug composed from a combination of fenfluramine and phentermine. In 1997, it was reported that a significant number of fen phen users developed serious and life-threatening side effects, such as heart valve disease, as a result of using the drug.
Continued reports of serious side effects associated with the use of fen phen resulted in a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommendation of a voluntary withdrawal of the appetite suppressant drug from US markets.
As a result of these dangerous side effects, Fen Phen is considered to be a defective drug. Because the manufacturer of Fen Phen failed to properly inform patients and physicians of these side effects, individuals who have been injured by the drug may be entitled to receive compensation for their injures.
Fen Phen Side Effects
There are a number of common side effects associated with the use of fen phen, most of which result from the individual components of fenfluramine and phentermine.
Common side effects associated with fenfluramine use include drowsiness, dry mouth and diarrhea; however, use of the drug could also result in: dizziness, confusion, nervousness, insomnia, constipation, abdominal pain, blurred vision, rash, fever, fainting, hypertension and heart valve disease.
Common side effects associated with phentermine use include headache, insomnia, irritability and nervousness; however, use of the appetite suppressant could also result in: tremor, dryness of the mouth, palpitation, tachycardia, euphoria, gastrointestinal disturbances, psychotic episodes, hypertension and heart valve disease.
Fen Phen Use & Primary Pulmonary Hypertension
Fen Phen use has been linked with the development of a serious condition called primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH). Primary pulmonary hypertension results from a dangerously elevated blood pressure in the pulmonary artery (artery transporting blood from the heart to the lungs for oxygenation). The dangerously elevated blood pressure forces the heart muscles to work harder to pump sufficient quantities of blood to the lungs. Over time, the heart muscles can become weakened to such an extent from overexertion that they fail, culminating in heart failure and death.
Fen Phen & Dexfen Phen
In addition to a fenfluramine and phentermine combination, patients may have also been administered a dexfenfluramine and phentermine cocktail that was labeled as dexfen phen. Like fen phen, dexfen phen has also been linked with the development of a number of serious health conditions.
Fenfluramine was first introduced to the US market in 1973 as a drug designed to increase levels of a neurotransmitter called serotonin, depressing the central nervous system and helping to moderate a patient's mood and appetite. As a single agent, fenfluramine is also known by its brand name of Pondimin. Fenfluramine was withdrawn from the US market in 1997.
Phentermine was approved for use in 1959 as an appetite suppressant for individuals facing an increased medical risk as a result of their weight. Although phentermine has been linked with the development of a number of side effects (including hypertension), it is currently still available for prescription as a single agent in the United States.
Dexfenfluramine was approved for use as an appetite suppressant in 1996 under the brand name of Redux. Dexfenfluramine was manufactured as an alternative to both fenfluramine and phentermine. Dexfenfluramine and Dexfen Phen (dexfenfluramine / phentermine combination) were withdrawn because of the drugs' propensity towards causing heart valve disease and pulmonary hypertension.
Fen Phen Lawsuits
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of using Fen Phen, then you may be eligible for compensation. It is the responsibility of GlaxoSmithKline to take steps to protect those who use their drugs. Please contact the defective drug lawyers of Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis & Overholtz at 877 810 4808 to learn more about your legal rights associated with Fen Phen.