Fen-Phen and PPH

The diet drug combination Fen-Phen has been linked to an increased risk of primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH), a life threatening condition that causes decreased blood flow to the lungs. Patients who were prescribed Fen-Phen to lose weight may still be diagnosed with PPH ten years or longer after they stopped taking these drugs.

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, patients who had taken Fen-Phen were ten times as likely to develop PPH after one year. For patients who had taken the drugs for longer than three months, the risk of PPH was 20-times greater.

Fen-Phen is a combination one of two appetite suppressants—either Pondimin (fenfluramine) or Redux (dexfenfluramine)—taken along with another diet drug, phentermine. Fen-Phen was once frequently prescribed to patients with obesity in order to help them manage their weight over an extended period of time.

However, Fen-Phen was never approved by the Food and Drug Administration for long term use, and experts soon realized that patients taking these drugs for an extended period of time were at an increased risk of PPH, as well as damage to the heart valves. In September 1997, the FDA asked Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, the manufacturer of Redux and Pondimin, to issue a recall for both drugs because of their association with valvular heart disease.

Wyeth agreed to a $1.28 billion Fen-Phen settlement in May 2006 with 40,000 patients who used the drugs and developed heart valve damage. However, patients who used Fen-Phen and developed PPH were not included in this settlement, and may still be eligible to file a lawsuit. Many former Fen-Phen patients have already contacted PPH lawyers about filing a case after they were diagnosed with the disease.

If you were prescribed Fen-Phen in order to manage obesity and subsequently developed the symptoms of PPH, contact the law office of Hissey Kientz to learn more about whether you may be eligible to file a lawsuit over your injuries. You can reach us by calling (866) 275-4454, or by filling out a free case evaluation form to the right of this page.

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