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Fen Phen® Heart Valve Damage Lawyer & Lawsuit

Heart valve injuries are comprised of several complications that vary in their severity. Among the most common conditions that cause heart valve damage, are mitral valve regurgitation and aortic valve regurgitation. While these complications are relatively uncommon in their own right, studies suggest that the use of Fen Phen may increase the rate in which they occur. Subsequently, patients who use Fen Phen may significantly increase their risk of developing severe, life-threatening complications such as mitral valve regurgitation and aortic valve regurgitation.

If you or a loved one has been injured by Fen Phen, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free confidential case evaluation. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and we can help.

Fen Phen Heart Valve Damage Lawsuit Overview

Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, otherwise synonymously acknowledged as American Home Products, introduced Fen Phen to the U.S. market approximately two decades ago. After gaining approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the dietary weight loss supplement helped millions of consumers treat the symptoms associated with obesity. Through a unique combination of two individual drugs, Fen Phen’s dual action formula exhibits a propensity for significant weight loss.

Fen Phen was the end result of two medications that had been combined to create one entity. Fenfluramine, the first of such drugs, has a unique mechanism of action that promotes the release of serotonin. Though ambiguous in nature, serotonin is believed to be linked to several brain functions, including that of satiety. Therefore, by releasing serotonin, fenfluramine promotes the stimulation of neurotransmitters that can potentially affect appetite.

The increased ratio of serotonin had a tendency to affect other aspects of an individual’s mood. Accordingly, developers incorporated an additional drug to counteract the corresponding mood swings. Researchers then added phentermine, a stimulant tasked with counter-balancing the negative effects of fenfluramine. By combining fenfluramine and phentermine, developers established the molecular entity that we know as Fen Phen.

Unfortunately, the pharmacodynamics of Fen Phen may coincide with catastrophic complications. Subsequently, research suggests that Fen Phen treatment may result in several heart valve injuries with varying degrees of severity. The most common manifestations of heart valve damage associated with Fen Phen products include mitral valve regurgitation and aortic valve regurgitation. Due to the severity in which these heart valve injuries affect an individual, patients may contact a lawyer at The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP in regards to their potential Fen Phen heart valve damage lawsuit.

Fen Phen Mitral Valve Regurgitation

Mitral valve regurgitation, otherwise known as mitral incompetence, is the most common of all heart valve insufficiencies. Approximately 20% of men, over the age of 55, will experience some degree of mitral regurgitation. However, recent studies suggests that the introduction of Fen Phen may significantly increase the rate in which this condition occurs.

Mitral valve regurgitation is characterized by the failure of the mitral valve to facilitate blood through the heart in an efficient manner. Subsequently, the inadequate closure of the mitral valve causes blood to flow backwards from the left ventricle to the left atrium. The regurgitation of blood back into the left atrium prohibits the proper flow of blood through the circulatory system. Due to the lack of oxygenated blood being circulated throughout the body, several complications may arise. The following is a comprehensive list of complications associated with Fen Phen heart valve damage:

  • Arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms)
  • Severe blood clots
  • Endocarditis (infection of the heart valve)
  • Heart failure
  • Pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lungs)
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack

The severity of these complications have become the focal point of Fen Phen heart valve damage lawsuits across the country.

Fen Phen Aortic Valve Regurgitation

Similar to that of mitral valve regurgitation, aortic valve regurgitation is acknowledged by the presence of a malfunctioning heart valve. While it too is the result of ambiguous risk factors, studies suggest that the use of Fen Phen may result in a significantly high occurrence rate of aortic valve regurgitation.

Aortic valve regurgitation is characterized by the improper floe of blood through the heart’s aortic valve. As a result, blood flows backwards during ventricular diastole, from the aorta into the left ventricle. The regurgitation of blood back into the left ventricle prohibits the proper flow of blood through the circulatory system. Due to the lack of oxygenated blood being circulated throughout the body, several complications may arise. The following is a comprehensive list of complications associated with Fen Phen heart valve damage:

  • Arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms)
  • Severe blood clots
  • Endocarditis (infection of the heart valve)
  • Heart failure
  • Pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lungs)
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack

Fen Phen Heart Valve Damage Study

According to a study conducted by Charles Dahl and published in BMC Medicine, patients receiving Fen Phen treatment exhibited a significant propensity for the development of heart valve damage. While Dahl’s study probably yielded very conservative estimates, other studies acknowledged a 17 to 34-fold increase in heart valvular disease in patients who took Fen Phen for a period of four months or longer. Subsequently, Dahl’s study suggested that symptems of such complications may lay dormant for up to several years. Some patients developed Fen Phen heart valve complications seven years after last taking the weight loss supplement.

According to Dahl, “valve problems were common in individuals exposed to fenfluramines, more frequent in females, and associated with duration of drug use in all valves assessed. We found clear evidence for a strong, graded association between duration of exposure to fenfluramines and prevalence of aortic regurgitation and for mild or greater mitral and tricuspid regurgitation.”

Do I Have a Fen Phen Heart Valve Damage Lawsuit?

The trial lawyers at The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP have decades of experience navigating through complex legislative and regulatory issues and litigating high stakes cases all over the nation. Our law firm focuses on the representation of plaintiffs in Fen Phen heart valve damage lawsuits. We are currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.

Again, if you or a loved one has been injured by Fen Phen, you should contact our lawyers immediately by clicking the link below or calling toll free 1-800-773-0849. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and we can help.

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