Responsible for a drastic increase of blood pressure within the pulmonary artery, pulmonary atrial hypertension (PAH) is a congenital cardiac condition with fatal implications. While the reason for such an increased spike in pressure remains unknown, this condition is severe in nature. Though uncommon, studies suggest that certain risk factors may increase the rate in which this condition is developed. Pregnant women who receive Fen Phen treatment may significantly increase their risk of giving birth to a child with PAH.
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 Pulmonary Atrial Hypertension Lawsuit Overview
Fen Phen was introduced to the U.S. market by American Home Products, otherwise known more recently as Wyeth. Developed as a dual action formula, Fen Phen combines fenfluramine and phentermine to combat obesity. Following approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Fen Phen established itself as a premier weight loss tool nearly two decades ago. Through a distinct mechanism of action, Fen Phen has demonstrated a propensity for 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, evidence suggests that fenfluramine may be responsible for catastrophic side effects that have the potential to go undetected for many years. According to a study published in the Official Journal of the Pulmonary Vascular Research Institute, fenfluramine may prohibit the proper translation of genes. Subsequently, this disruption of gene translation may increase the rate in which children develop PAH.
Pulmonary Atrial Hypertension
Pulmonary atrial hypertension, otherwise known as primary pulmonary hypertension, witnesses a sharp increase of blood pressure within the pulmonary artery. While it is still unknown why such an increase happens, research suggests that Fen Phen may contribute to an increased occurrence rate. The subsequent increase in blood pressure makes it difficult for the heart to transport oxygenated blood to the rest of the body. If PAH persists without treatment, the heart muscles weaken and may eventually fail.
Pulmonary Atrial Hypertension Side Effects
The following is a comprehensive list of the symptoms associated with PAH:
- Difficulty breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Color change in hands
- Swelling of the hands and feet
- An increase in the pulmonic second heart sound
- Enlargement of the main pulmonary artery
Pulmonary Atrial Hypertension Complications
Severe cases of this cardiac condition witness the heart exert itself while it attempts to pump a sufficient amount of blood to the rest of the body. The increased pressure, however, impedes the circulation and makes it difficult for the heart to pump oxygenated blood to the rest of the body. The resulting lack of oxygen may lead to several fatal complications including organ failure. More often than not, the right side of the heart becomes overworked and eventually fails, leading to death. One study showed that 30% of untreated PAH patients died within 3 years of diagnosis.
Do I Have a Fen Phen Pulmonary Atrial Hypertension 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 pulmonary atrial hypertension 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-(949) 557-5800. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and we can help.