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Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH), and Fen-Phen

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Fen-Phen and other diet drugs, including Adipex , Redux and Pondimin , were widely prescribed in the 1990s as short-term appetite suppressants. However, according to the FDA, , up to 20 percent of patients who took Redux, Fen Phen or Pondimin suffered heart damage, including Primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH).

En Español [FEN PHEN HPP]


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PPH, PAH and Fen-Phen

Although Fen-Phen was first withdrawn from the market in 2004 (and again in 2006) due to its association with Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH), heart valve problems, and neurotoxicity of the brain, Fen-Phen diet pills containing ephedra are still sold over-the-counter, mainly in health food stores. Consequently, PPH and Fen-phen cases are increasing. As well, many people who took prescription Fen-Phen diet pills years ago have recently been diagnosed with PPH.

Since 1994, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received and investigated over 800 reports of adverse events associated with the use of products containing ephedra, namely Fen-phen. One report states that at least 150 deaths and numerous incidents of heart attacks, stroke, and dangerous spikes in high blood pressure have been associated with Fen-phen diet pills.

pph and fen phenReports included Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH)--now known as PAH (Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension), an incurable and potentially life threatening lung disorder in which the blood pressure in the pulmonary artery of the heart rises far above normal levels for no apparent reason.

What is Ephedra and Ephedrine?

Appetite suppressants containing ephedra, including the popular Fen-phen, were used for weight loss and enhancing sports performance. Ephedra is found in desert regions in central Asia and other parts of the world where the dried greens of the plant are used medicinally. The active ingredient in ephedra is ephedrine, a chemical stimulant that's similar to amphetamine. Manufacturers contended that these medicines were safe when taken as directed.

Ephedra was sold and used in many nutritional supplements marketed for weight loss and sports performance, as well as Chinese medicines in the United States up until these supplements were finally banned in 2006 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Ephedra, often referred to as "herbal fen-phen" is still on the market.

PPH Lawsuits

Primary Pulmonary Hypertension is an incurable condition that progresses over time—many people who took Fen-phen, in same cases more than a decade ago, have recently displayed symptoms of PPH.

Several years ago there was a nationwide class action against Wyeth [the company that bought American Home Products, the maker of Fen-phen] but it only encompassed mitral and aortic valve regurgitation. PPH claims were excluded from the class action but now people have brought about PPH claims independent of the class.

In September 2012, Pfizer lost a bid to have claims regarding Fen-phen dismissed. Those claims alleged Fen-phen caused persistent pulmonary hypertension more than 10 years after the drug was last used. This means patients could have developed PPH since the original Fen-phen settlement was announced and may be eligible to file a lawsuit.

Patients who previously filed lawsuits for Fen-Phen related heart valve damage are not precluded from filing a suit for PPH related to Fen-Phen use, nor are they barred by the same statute of limitations that applies to PPH related heart valve damage. With a PPH claim, generally your statute of limitations will start when you are first diagnosed; it is not necessarily time-sensitive due to Fen-phen's withdrawal from the market.

Along with possible lawsuits being investigated against the drug company Wyeth (that bought American Home Products), Interneuron Pharmaceuticals, and others, additional lawsuits may be brought against doctors and weight loss centers who prescribed Fen-Phen, Pondamin, Redux, Adipex, Ionamin and other diet drugs. These parties may face negligence and malpractice lawsuits since it is alleged that the drug makers did not fully test the drugs before marketing and the doctors prescribed the diet drugs with awareness of the dangerous side effects.

If you took a food supplement containing ephedra and have experienced symptoms such as excessive fatigue; difficulty in breathing; dizziness; fainting and weakness, ask your doctor to test for PPH. Many people who first experience PPH symptoms may not relate them to drug use.

PPH, PAH and Fen-Phen Legal Help

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with PPH or PAH after taking Fen-Phen please click the link below to submit your complaint to a lawyer for a free case evaluation.
Last updated on Mar-14-14


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Posted by
randy lindstrom
My whole adult life I've struggled with body image and weight loss.
When fen phen was available I actually lost enough weight to
finally be comfortable in my own skin! I thought finally I have a life. Now, of course, I'm back to the old familiar " can't stand to look in a mirror" body image.

For all the people like myself, who did not experience any negative effects from taking Fen Phen and whose life had greatly improved
as a result. How is that fair?

Please help me find online this miracle weight loss combination.

Posted by
New Jersey
I had a “twisted” LED main artery and had to have open heart surgery in 2013.

Posted by
I have aortic valve damage as of 10 yrs ago from taking diet fuel from gnc 11 yrs ago.

Posted by
Serious memory loss, blood clot in 1997 with seriously high BP (252/151) and I now take 2 BP pills.

Posted by
I have had high blood pressure since then. I have also undergone heart tests because of shortness of breath and dizziness.

Posted by
Mirtal valve prolapse due to diet drug Redux

Posted by
In December of 2002 at 28 years old I had to have open heart surgery for a aneurysm repair caused from extremely high blood pressure which I never had before taking these medications. In August 2008 I have been diagnosed with two bad valves with moderate to severe regurgitation in both valves also related to taking these medications. The doctor is considering valve replacements in the near future due to poor heart function.

Posted by
For the past 3-4 years I have had some medical issues but I never realized that it could have stemmed from taking this medication. I started with a really bad shortness of breath and could not even climb stairs without shortness of breath and I was diagnosed with COPD. Then about 3-4 years ago I started to suddenly get severe chest pains which I had a test done recently (Doppler ultrasound) and that said they found a blockage in my carotid artery in my neck and I went to cardio appt and she has not been able to identify why I get chest pains as of yet. I have a feeling that all of this is related to me taking this medication in the past as I never had bad health problems like I do now. Also, only when I am in the middle of my chest pains does my BP climb very high otherwise it is usually normal. I have been on anxiety medication for a few years now as well.

Posted by
Over last two years, general decline in ability to walk and move, feeling ill and short of breath even at rest. He has lost the ability to perform routine tasks at home, and limited at work. Tests and hospitalization over the last two years have cost us financially by lost wages and medical bills. He presently has a lung pressure of 120, and is awaiting financial assistance to enable him to receive treatment with Tracleer.


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