Common Injuries Caused by Defective Medications

By Osborne & Francis
October 25, 2023

The scientific advances in medicine in the past century have completely changed the way we live our lives. Because of those advances, many people have learned to trust these medications implicitly. Unfortunately, sometimes defective medications can do more harm than good. 

If you’re taking a medication that’s causing undesirable and dangerous side effects, you may have a defective drug case on your hands. Here are a few common injuries and issues caused by defective medications. 

Recalled drugs include:

  • Zantac
  • Phenylpropanolamine 
  • Belviq
  • Darvon/Darvocet
  • Vioxx
  • Seldane


Some drugs, like Tasigna—which is used to treat cancer, can put patients at a higher risk of stroke. To treat cancer, Tasigna slows the growth of cancer cells. 

Intracranial atherosclerosis may occur when there’s a buildup of plaque in the arteries that supply blood to the brain. The buildup of plaque can cause a blockage in the arteries, potentially causing a stroke. 

Strokes can be difficult to recover from, causing long-lasting damage to the brain. In many cases, strokes can cause impaired speech, impaired physical abilities, weakness, and even paralysis. 

Heart Attack

When blood flow to the heart is severely reduced or completely blocked, a heart attack can occur. This blockage is frequently caused by a buildup of fat, cholesterol, or other substances in the coronary arteries. However, sometimes they may be caused by defective medications. 

One medication, called Actemra, used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, works to reduce pain and inflammation. Unfortunately, it also interrupts blood flow and can cause heart disease and an increased risk of heart attack. 

A heart attack isn’t just painful, but it can cause lasting consequences. For example, those with heart attacks are at increased risk of repeated attacks and other dangers, like stroke and kidney disease. 


Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. Cancer can take many forms, and while defective medications aren’t the most common cause—they can be responsible. Incretin mimetics, a class of drugs used to treat diabetes, are known for their increased risk of pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. 

Cancer, obviously, is a lot to deal with. It can decrease your quality of life and cost a lot of money for victims. By filing a defective lawsuit, you may be able to recover the damages you incur from cancer. 

Organ Perforation

Medications aren’t the only thing that can cause damage to the body. Medical devices can be defective also. Certain medical devices can cause organ perforation. Organ perforation occurs when an organ wall is penetrated. These types of injuries can result in serious infections and even cause death. 

Organ perforation can drastically change one’s quality of life. Close monitoring is required after one of these types of injuries, and you may even need surgery and further medication or even a new medical device. 

Birth Defects

FDA regulations exist in part because of unsafe medications that were used on pregnant women. The following medications have caused severe birth defects: 

  • Accutane
  • Antibiotics
  • SSRIs
  • NSAIDs
  • Anticonvulsants 

The FDA closely monitors drugs to ensure that they’re safe for everyone (and pregnant women). Unfortunately, sometimes drugs can go to market without being tested on specific people or situations. For example, a medication used to treat anxiety or depression may not be specifically tested for safe use for pregnant women. 

If a medication causes a birth defect, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the drug. If a doctor prescribes a medication that causes a birth defect without warning you of the consequences, you may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor or hospital. 


“Deformity” is a category that encompasses things like hair loss and other changes to the body. For example, a drug called Risperdal caused enlarged breasts in teenage men. Risperdal was used to treat schizophrenia, but because it caused deformities at an alarming rate, it was taken off the market. 

While deformities may not have a huge impact on your physical health, the change to one’s physical appearance can be hard to adapt to. 

Defective Medications’ Effect on Mental Health

Some defective medications have side effects that aren’t physical. Some side effects can be mental, such as causing an increased risk of depression, anxiety, or even suicidal thoughts. Not only that, but physical injuries caused by defective medications can also cause an increase in mental health issues. 

Recovering Damages for Your Injuries 

Having an injury is expensive in more ways than one. You’ll likely have medical bills for treatment (both short and long-term), including bills for ambulance rides, surgeries, doctor visits, and more. You’ll likely also miss work—resulting in lost wages in the present and future. 

You can also recover damages for more abstract losses, such as pain and suffering, disfigurement and scarring, or mental anguish. 

With an experienced defective drug attorney by your side, you’ll be able to receive compensation for all of these damages and more. 

Contact Osborne & Francis ASAP to Schedule a Free Evaluation of Your Defective Drug Case

If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective medication, it’s time to seek help. Our talented team of defective drug attorneys has years of experience with cases like these. We’re ready to help you earn the most compensation possible for your damages. 

To learn more about Osborne & Francis or to schedule a free case evaluation, please contact us online or at (561) 293-2600

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