In an era where a pandemic exists, the general health of the public seems to be more important than ever before, and there’s consequently a rise in the sales of both OTC and prescription medicine. Unfortunately, sometimes these drugs can do more harm than good to those who consume or apply them, resulting in drug injuries. Injuries from drugs include severe reactions, serious side effects, or in extreme cases, fatality. This article can help you find out the important steps you should take if a drug injury happens to you or to a loved one.
Seek Medical Attention
Before you take any other steps, the first and most important thing to do is to seek treatment for the side effects you are facing. You shouldn’t ever take them lightly. If you feel like you need to go to the ER, do so. Otherwise, you still need to schedule an appointment with your doctor as they will be able to determine if the side effects you are facing are normal or not. You should be honest with them about what drug you have taken and if you have consumed any other medications simultaneously or recently so that they can properly assess the situation. You should never stop taking any previously prescribed medication without first consulting with a physician.
It’s also critical to keep all drug packaging, the receipt of your purchase, and the name of the pharmacy that you got the drugs from. Furthermore, you should try to hold onto any prescriptions your doctor has written and take note of what they said during your medical appointments. If the severity of your symptoms lessens after some time, it’s still a good idea to keep a personal medical journal where you can write down when you started suffering from each side effect. In it, you should write down the problems that have been occurring and if possible, take pictures if the injuries are visible on your skin. Be sure that some of the pictures contain identifying features such as your face so they can be permissible in legal court if so needed.
Report to FDA’s Medwatch Program
If you are facing a drug-induced injury, it’s critical to report it immediately to prevent other people from facing the same injury. The symptoms you are facing should be reported to the MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program set up by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which you can do by calling their hotline. This is especially important with topical treatments such as ointments and eye drops. You can click here to learn more about publicizing the health-related issues you are suffering from. In your report, you should be candid about whether you have any prevalent health problems and about your family’s medical history so that the drug can be fairly assessed.
Contact a Lawyer
If your symptoms are severe and your doctor is sure that they are a result of taking the suspected drug, you should contact a lawyer. Always look for a lawyer who has enough experience in handling drug injury cases, as pharmaceutical companies usually have excellent teams of lawyers on their side, ready to fight back lawsuits in order to protect the company’s reputation. Time is of the essence when it comes to drug injury cases, so make sure you get in touch with a lawyer as soon as possible. They should be able to determine who is at fault and help you seek justice.
Consider a Class-Action Lawsuit
A class-action lawsuit is when an action is taken by several people against one defendant, and it’s typically a big organization. This kind of lawsuit is most appropriate when a single individual’s case would otherwise be dismissed as an aberration. Luckily, these claims pose a noteworthy threat to the defendant. Besides consulting with your lawyer about whether you are eligible for such a lawsuit, you should do your own research on the FDA’s website. There, you can find out if others have suffered from similar side effects by taking the same medicine you have. If that is the case, your lawyer can help you proceed with the legal process of joining the lawsuit.
Before you are prescribed medicine, the FDA has to approve the drugs in question to make sure they are suitable for mass consumption. However, sometimes mistakes happen, and unbefitting drugs are wrongly approved. As a result, this can harm tons of people. If you, or someone you care about, has suffered from a drug-related injury, you should make sure to urgently seek medical attention, report the incident to the MedWatch program and perhaps contact a lawyer if you feel you are eligible for a class-action lawsuit.
That way, the entity at fault, whether it is the drug manufacturer, the doctor who prescribed it, or the pharmacist who incorrectly labeled the bottle can be held accountable for their actions.