Pharmaceauticals should properly label medicines when packaging them. The manufacturing and packaging process should follow stringent measures to ensure each bottle or packet has the correct labeling and contents inside to avoid putting patients at risk. The label should also include all possible side effects of using the drug to give potential users adequate warnings.
This way, you use the medicine under a caveat to take any eventualities that may arise. While the regulations guiding the manufacture and retail process of medications are available for reference, cases of incorrect labeling and distribution of Hydrochlorothiazide have affected consumers who were unaware of the existing problem. Consequently, some patients died after consuming the wrongfully labeled medication due to the severity of the side effects.
The mislabeling of Hydrochlorothiazide is a severe error, as the medication imanages high blood pressure. Hence, most complications from consuming the wrong prescription caused irreversible damage to the affected persons, including wrongful death. Thus, seeking lawful compensation for the harm that you or your loved one suffer after using mislabeled Hydrochlorothiazide is advisable to help you recover from the losses and damages experienced.
However, seeking compensation by yourself may take a toll on you from the complicated legal processes you will handle. When you work with experienced legal professionals, you will increase your chances of winning in a mass tort lawsuit. Moreover, you benefit from more convenient access to accurate information and legal counsel.
At Consumer Alert Now, we dedicate our services to clients all over the country to help in joining mass tort lawsuits for defective medical products. Our team consists of experts in product liability law to provide the best guidance and legal support as you prepare for your suit.
The Medical Use of Hydrochlorothiazide
Usually, you will receive a Hydrochlorothiazide prescription to help manage hypertension or high blood pressure. The condition arises from various circumstances related to your health and lifestyle, including your diet, exercise frequency, and stress level. The symptoms and effects of hypertension occur differently in each patient, depending on the severity.
For example, if your diet consists of fast foods with high cholesterol levels, the accumulating fats may clog your blood vessels, leaving limited space for blood to pump into and out of the heart chambers. Subsequently, your blood will move at higher pressures than usual, creating the probability of suffering from hypertension.
Similarly, increased stress levels may ramp up your blood pressure based on the fluctuation of hormones in the body. Moreover, when you are stressed, your heart tends to beat faster, making your arteries narrower and unable to transport average amounts of blood at a time. As a result, the narrower blood vessels increase your blood pressure because of the continuously increased heartbeat.
When the condition warrants medical attention, your doctor will diagnose and prescribe Hydrochlorothiazide to reduce the blood pressure you experience. The medicine is a diuretic classified under the thiazide group and works by regulating salt and water levels in the body.
Thus, when you begin your prescription, the drug reduces the number of salts in your bloodstream, contributing to increased blood pressure. When your body is running on less salt, your heart chambers will pump blood to different parts of the body more comfortably, leading to reduced cases of severe hypertension. Moreover, the medicine reduces inflammation or swelling by lowering the salt concentration in the inflammatory fluid forming around the heart and blood vessels.
The Mislabeling of Hydrochlorothiazide as Spironolactone
The manufacturing company responsible for producing Hydrochlorothiazide has received several mass tort lawsuits for the improper labeling of drug bottles that caused severe side effects for the users involved. The problem occurred after an error led to the labeling of Spironolactone bottles with the Hydrochlorothiazide bottles. Consequently, patients who were supposed to use the Hydrochlorothiazide medication ended up using the Spironolactone prescription, exposing them to medical complications that were previously non-existent.
Hydrochlorothiazide pills contained one hundred tablets of the drug, with each dose holding 12.5 milligrams of the medication for prescription use. On the other hand, Spironolactone drugs had 25 milligrams of each tablet’s prescription, with each bottle holding one hundred tablets. Therefore, the packaging similarity may be the primary cause of the labeling error, although the pills have a different physical appearance.
Usually, Hydrochlorothiazide tablets are bright orange or a peachy color, compared to the Spironolactone pills that are white. Also, the Hydrochlorothiazide pills are oval, giving them a biconcave appearance. The differing physical appearance may not have been apparent in the mislabelling period. Most consumers were unaware of any probabilities that would lead to a mix up in the labeling.
The mislabeling raised significant concern from the Food and Drug Administration, causing the manufacturing company to recall the mislabelled medication circulating the market voluntarily. However, the recall may not be useful for all affected persons, primarily because it does not always reach the intended recipients on time.
On top of this, since the mislabeled medicine contained one hundred pills in the packaging, some patients may have taken a considerable amount of prescription before the recall, meaning that they were more exposed to the possible harm that comes with using Spironolactone instead of Hydrochlorothiazide for treatment.
The Effects of Mislabeling of the Hydrochlorothiazide Medication
As mentioned, Hydrochlorothiazide only contains 12.5 milligrams of the medication in each pill, while Spironolactonenolactone contains 25 milligrams. Hence, the increased amount of drugs in your system can cause severe complications to your body. The most common condition that arises from using Spironolactone medication instead of the recommended Hydrochlorothiazide is Hyperkalemia. The situation occurs because of too much potassium in the body that may cause further complications for affected persons.
Symptoms of Hyperkalemia
While patients may experience different symptoms, Hyperkalemia causes several symptoms that may serve as a reference point if you or your loved one wants to follow up on the complications of using Spironolactone instead of Hydrochlorothiazide. Common symptoms of Hyperkalemia to look out for include:
General Feeling of Weakness or Tiredness
As your body’s hormones work to regulate the potassium levels, you may experience extreme fatigue and weakness. The symptoms may last for long or short periods, depending on your condition’s severity and the duration of exposure to Spironolactone’s wrong prescription.
Sometimes, fatigue and body weakness may extend to cause additional symptoms like headaches. We recommend visiting a medical doctor to receive a proper diagnosis and medication to manage the fatigue in adverse cases. This way, you can get by if you take on lighter tasks and plenty of rest after receiving the drug.
Additionally, you may experience episodes of nausea caused by high potassium levels. In some cases, nausea occurs together with severe abdominal pains, diarrhea, and vomiting. While the distress level may recede with time, you are better off seeking medical assistance before the symptoms worsen and cause irreversible damage to your bowel.
Moreover, the symptoms may affect your acidity levels, leading to susceptibility to GERD or acid reflux. However, most cases are manageable and only require prescription medicine to reduce the effects and prevent dehydration in diarrhea and vomiting cases.
When you experience irregular heartbeats, the condition may cause additional complications based on blood’s improper transportation. The primary way to detect unusual heartbeats is by using a heart rate monitor that is available in hospitals and at home. If several checks reveal the same heartbeat results, you want to contact a medical doctor as soon as possible for further guidance.
Facing irregular heartbeats may be life-threatening, as some patients may go into cardiac arrest or suffer from sudden complications that lead to hospitalization. Moreover, the inadequate supply of oxygenated blood in the body is the leading cause of other body conditions.
Pain and Cramping in Your Muscles
Your muscles rely on various physiological processes to function normally. For example, your muscle cells need energy supply from mitochondria cells that convert food into the energy transported to different parts of your body. Additionally, if you have insufficient oxygen supply, you may subject your muscles to anaerobic respiration, leading to lactic acid accumulation in the muscles.
Consequently, you may experience pain and cramping from the accumulating acids, meaning your mobility will be lower. The problems related to the lactic acid accumulation and insufficient oxygen supply to your muscle arises from the reduced level of oxygenated blood you receive, as you are likely to suffer from irregular heartbeats.
As a result, it is vital to keep track of your blood pressure regularly, as the supply of oxygen in the blood should remain constant. In doing so, you will combat your muscle aches and pain severity, as the oxygen levels will remain constant.
Pressure in Your Chest
For some patients, the symptoms may also extend to a feeling of extreme pain or pressure on the chest. The pressure may occur for different reasons, including irregular blood pressure in arteries and veins, as well as an irregular heartbeat that may cause constrictions in your breathing system.
The pains may be periodic or constant and may often recede for sometime before resurfacing. Seeking the advice of a doctor is necessary, as the pressure can cause breathing complications. In return, you may fall victim to symptoms like shortness of breath and low oxygen levels in your body.
Dizziness that Occurs Suddenly
As mentioned, the irregular heartbeats caused by Hyperkalemia are dangerous, as they give rise to multiple complications that may occur at once. Therefore, the low oxygen supply may interfere with your normal brain functioning, leading to sudden episodes of dizziness and confusion. Usually, staying hydrated and well-rested may help reduce the occurrence of the dizziness. However, the condition will persist because the underlying problem comes from using the wrong medication to manage high blood pressure.
Other Side Effects of Hydrochlorothiazide
Apart from the medical problems that arise from consuming Spironolactone instead of Hydrochlorothiazide from mislabeling, the drug Hydrochlorothiazide also poses some side effects that you should learn about before beginning your prescription. The knowledge is essential for patients who may have severe underlying conditions or a hypersensitive immune system.
Learning of the possible side effects will also help you determine whether your symptoms occurred from using the medication or different exposures before deciding to join a mass tort lawsuit. Severe side effects associated with Hydrochlorothiazide include:
Like most medications, Hydrochlorothiazide poses health risks, particularly to patients who are prone to severe headaches when under a prescription. Thus, you may suffer from persistent headaches that do not recede even with painkiller medication. If your condition worsens with Hydrochlorothiazide’s prolonged use, we recommend discontinuing the drug and reporting the symptoms to your healthcare provider.
Cases of Erectile Dysfunction
Although Erectile dysfunction is not commonly reported, some consumers who have sued Hydrochlorothiazide for extended periods have experienced the condition. However, the situation is different for most affected victims and may occur along with other symptoms that are hard to trace back to use Hydrochlorothiazide.
When you take medication for long, your body may become too overwhelmed to clear out all the toxins, as the level of accumulation may be higher than that of excretion. Consequently, some patients have reported cases of kidney failure that occurred from prolonged use of Hydrochlorothiazide.
The condition often comes with various symptoms that should alert you to have your system checked before adverse complications cause irreversible damage. For example, if you experience general body weakness, it may be from the overwhelmed kidney and liver system that eradicates all the medication toxins. Moreover, you may be prone to experiencing shortness of breath and sudden confusion from kidney failure, as your general health faces challenges.
Additionally, the medication may cause your eyesight problems, whereby you may have blurred vision or partial blindness. The occurrence of the symptoms is often irregular and will be more severe in some patients. Mostly, the blurred vision occurs when you feel dizzy, as there will be inadequate oxygen supply to your head.
How to Join a Mass Tort Lawsuit for Hydrochlorothiazide/Spironolactone Mislabeling
Upon determining that you received wrongfully labeled medication, you or your loved one may decide to seek legal redress for the problem, especially if you have already suffered significant losses or damages. The first step involves scheduling a consultation meeting with your product liability attorney. During the meeting, you will have a chance to explain all relevant facts concerning your purchase of the medicine and the side effects that arose from Spironolactone’s consumption in place of Hydrochlorothiazide.
Moreover, during the consultation, you may present primary sources of evidence to support your plights. This way, your attorney will have enough time to scrutinize the documents and help you determine whether they may be admissible in a mass tort lawsuit. After going over the facts as you narrate them, your attorney will discuss all the requirements you must fulfill before joining the mass tort suit.
Firstly, the case’s facts must match or bear similarities with other affected consumers looking to join the same lawsuit. The need for similar points is beneficial for you and other plaintiffs. The judge presiding over your case will move the matters in a reasonably quick time compared to instances where each plaintiff has unique facts.
On top of this, your evidence sources should present high-quality proof that will be admissible in court. Thus, you and your attorney should make preparations as soon as possible to grant you access to all the necessary evidential sources. For example, if you need medical reports from a specific doctor who prescribed medication for your Hyperkalemia, it must reach the doctor on time.
Other sources of proof may come from witness statements and receipts of purchase to show that you bought the wrongfully labeled medicine. Since the court requires high-quality evidence, you want to present original documents and credible testimonies from the witnesses in your line up.
Further, you must receive a certificate that allows you to join the mass tort lawsuit, meaning that you will not have the liberty to register or merge with any other plaintiff posing similar grievances. The certificates are only available to plaintiffs who satisfy the list of requirements set out in court provisions to promote a smooth hearing process. As a result, your attorney will take you through the eligibility criteria to satisfy before accessing the certification.
Upon clearance to join the lawsuit, you may partner with your lawyer to build a case against Hydrochlorothiazide and Spironolactone’s manufacturers. It is important to remember that, while a mass tort suit incorporates many different plaintiffs presenting one claim against a single defender, each aggrieved party will have time to present case arguments. Hence, your lawyer will help you settle on the specific claim to offer when seeking compensation for the harm you face.
Mostly, manufacturers face negligent claims against them, whereby the plaintiffs work to prove the carelessness or inattention to detail that should have been present during the drug manufacture. If you decide to sue under negligence, you will have to source sufficient proof that shows that the manufacturer owed you a duty of care to ensure that all medical bottles had the appropriate labels.
Secondly, your lawyer should also produce enough proof that demonstrates the manufacturer’s breach of the duty of care. In this case, the improper labeling techniques applied will be a good source of evidence to show that the labeling procedures were flawed and bound to harm consumers. In mass tort lawsuits, the judge may also accept evidence from a general submission made on behalf of all plaintiffs, meaning that the weight of individual evidence does not rest on stringent requirements.
Thirdly, you need to prove that the medication from mislabeled bottles caused harm and that the damage does not link to any other possible health complications. Here, medical exam reports, doctors’ opinions, and any further proof from certified medical professionals will benefit. The medical professionals offer admissible opinion evidence to justify your claims and the nature of damages or injury you suffered.
Lastly, you will have to prove that you suffered harm by providing financial estimates of all subsequent processes you undertook. For example, if you had to undergo Spironolactone hospitalization, you may present the cumulative medical bill as proof of damages. Additionally, any medical reports or death certificates from a loved one’s wrongful death are acceptable as proof of your loss.
If your product liability attorney is well prepared and represents all the necessary documents and arguments in court, you stand a good chance of winning your mass tort suit. Additionally, courts handling these types of cases are prone to siding with the plaintiffs for reasonable compensation, provided they present a strong case.
Contact a Mass Tort Lawyer Near Me
When you purchase medication, you trust that the manufacturers and all other responsible parties have done their work diligently to avoid putting you at risk of health complications. Among the diligence that Hydrochlorothiazide manufacturers should have upheld is to ensure that all labels were on the respective medicine bottles to avoid making patients consume Spironolactone instead.
Thus, if you or your loved one has suffered from Hyperkalemia or any other severe side effect of the mislabeled medication, you can seek rightful compensation under a mass tort lawsuit. Since the application and joining process of a case may be complicated for you, we recommend partnering with an experienced product liability professional. This way, you will receive all the necessary legal guidance from a reliable source to hello you prepare for the mass tort lawsuit. Additionally, your product liability attorney will represent you during the suit to promote the best possible case outcome.
At Consumer Alert Now, we are happy to offer help to any aggrieved person in any part of the country. With our highly experienced team’s help, you will make adequate preparations to join a mass tort lawsuit against Hydrochlorothiazide medication manufacturers. If you or your loved one wants to join a mass tort lawsuit, call us today at 800-511-0747.