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This popular weight loss drug Fen Phen has been linked to a number of serious health risks, and in a large number of patients it has caused primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH), which is a deadly lung disorder. PPH and other serious medical conditions are directly linked to Fen Phen.
Fen Phen (fenfluramine & phentermine) is a combination weight-loss drug marketed fewer than two trade names: fenfluramine (Pondimin) and dexfenfluramine (Redux). One component of the drug suppresses appetitive while the other prevents drowsiness. During the mid-1990’s, many overweight Americans turned to this so-called ‘miracle drug’ because of its promise for quick and effective weight loss.
If you or someone you love has suffered serious side effects after using Fen Phen, you should speak with our experienced nationwide denture cream lawyer. You need experience on your side.
Fen Phen Pulmonary Hypertension Side Effect
Primary pulmonary hypertension is a rare but extremely serious lung disorder where the blood pressure in the pulmonary artery rises far above normal levels for no apparent reason. The pulmonary artery is the blood vessel that carries oxygen-depleted (blue) from the right ventricle to the lungs. Once it is in the lungs, oxygen in the blood is replenished and sent to the heart’s left side, where the left ventricle pumps it to the rest of the body through the aorta.
When the blood vessels of the lungs become narrowed, they cannot carry adequate amount of blood. As pressure builds up, pulmonary hypertension occurs. The heart is then forced to work harder in order to move blood through the vessels against the pressure. If PPH is not untreated, the right side of the heart becomes enlarged, and heart failure occurs.
Symptoms of Fen Phen-induced primary pulmonary hypertension may include:
|• Increase in the pulmonic second heart sound||• Chest pain (angina)||• Color change in hands||• Coughing up blood|
|• Enlargement of the main pulmonary artery||• Difficulty breathing||• Fainting||• Fatigue|
|• Lightheadedness or dizziness||• Hyperventilation||• Progressive cyanosis||• Progressive weakness|
|• Progressive shortness of breath||• Shortness of breath||• Swelling of ankles or feet (edema)|
Later symptoms include:
|• The pumping action of your heart grows weaker||• Decrease in energy|
In still more advanced stages:
|• Are able to perform very little activity||• Symptoms present even when resting||• May become completely bedridden|
Because many of these symptoms appear in obese individuals, PPH is often overlooked and remains undiagnosed until the disease is full-blown. Symptoms may take as long as a decade to manifest themselves in certain patients, which is long after the person has stopped taking Fen Phen. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, you should talk to your doctor immediately.
Fen Phen Heart Valve Problems
In addition to causing PPH, Fen Phen can affect the heart in the following ways:
Mitral Valve Stenosis - The mitral valve narrows, which can impede blood flow from the left atrium to the left ventricle. Fen Phen can also cause mitral insufficiency, leading to regurgitation of blood to the left ventricle.
Aortic Stenosis – Commonly diagnosed in previous Fen Phen users. Aortic stenosis causes an increase in ventricular volume and a decrease in efficiency of the heart because of the regurgitation of blood.
Tricuspid Stenosis - Encountered in association with mitral stenosis, tricuspid stenosis causes pulsations of the jugular veins.
Fen Phen Studies
Medical experts warned that Fen Phen should only be prescribed to the clinically obese. However people everywhere went to great lengths to get their hands on the drug. Within a few short months of its release, weight loss clinics were opening up everywhere prescribing Fen Phen to eager customers.
The popularity of Fen Phen was short lived, as increasing amounts of research along with a number of studies linked Fen Phen to severe heart valve damage and a potentially-fatal lung condition called primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH). However, by the time this information was made public, millions of Americans had been prescribed Fen Phen.
Fen Phen Recall
In September 1997, the FDA sent a letter to Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories asking the company to pull Fen Phen off the market because the risks associated with Fen Phen were potentially fatal. Shortly after, Phen Fen lawsuits began popping up around the country.
Cases likely to be referred.