Amiodarone is used to treat those suffering from heart arrhythmia when all other measures have been exhausted. It is a highly risky treatment method, however, due to the numerous side effects and known risks associated with the controversial medication. Some doctors are now choosing to prescribe the medication off-label despite the inherent risks to their patients in doing so. If you or someone who you love has suffered an injury due to the incorrect use of Amiodarone, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers may be able to help you and your family recover fair compensation for your injuries.
What is Amiodarone?
Developed as an alternative for patients who are considered to be high risk, Amiodarone is used to treat heart arrhythmia when other medications have failed. For those who are facing the prospect of being placed on this medication, there is seldom an easy decision to be made on how best to proceed with medical treatment. In the majority of cases, the patients have not responded well to safer medications and treatment options and can either accept the risks that accompany the use of Amiodarone or face the likelihood of death.
Some of Amiodarone’s side effects and risks can include the following.
- Degenerative muscle diseases, such as ALS.
- Damage to the optic nerve.
- Complications stemming from thyroid disease.
- Damage to the liver.
- Pulmonary fibrosis.
- Toxic epidermal necrosis.
- Worsening of the patient’s heart arrhythmia.
The FDA recommends that doctors exhaust all other treatment methods before considering the use of Amiodarone, but some may choose to write the prescription off-label if they feel that other courses of treatment will not be effective. This medication is considered high risk according to the FDA and many patients who have been prescribed Amiodarone now face serious or life-threatening side effects that may have been avoided through the use of medications that are safer in the eyes of the medical community.
Increased Risk of Pulmonary Fibrosis
Pulmonary Fibrosis is an extremely rare and incurable lung disease. Patients suffering from this disorder suffer from scar tissue in the lungs that inhibit their ability to breathe and the buildup of scar tissue over time eventually leads to death. Most patients diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis are given under five years to live.
Studies have linked the use of Amiodarone with an increased risk of Pulmonary Fibrosis. Once a patient develops this condition, it is impossible to repair the tissue damage to the lungs.
Adverse Drug Interactions
Another reason doctors consider Amiodaron as a last resort for patients with heart arrhythmia is that it often interacts with other medications these patients are likely to be already taking. It can cause adverse reactions when combined with blood thinning medications such as Warfarin or medications used to treat high cholesterol or blood pressure. Before prescribing this medicine, doctors must consider these interactions and determine whether the benefits truly outweigh the risks.
Failure to Warn Patients of Risks
Every patient deserves to receive education on the risks associated with each of his or her treatment options so that he or she can make an informed decision before accepting the associated risks. The choice to use a high-risk medication such as Amiodarone cannot be taken lightly, and while many patients placed on this medication have few or no alternatives, they still deserve to be informed.
Doctors who have chosen to place their patients on this medication without first considering safer alternatives may be considered negligent. They may be held liable for the cost of medical care required to treat conditions brought on by its use and for the pain and suffering and diminished quality of life the victims endure as a result.
If you or a loved one was harmed by the use of Amiodarone, the Chicago Amiodarone attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers can help you seek the compensation you are entitled to for all that you have endured. We invite you to arrange a free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys so that you can learn more about your rights and legal options before deciding how to proceed with your claim.
Should we fail to recover damages on your behalf, our services will be free of charge.