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Why is Ketek still being Prescribed?

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"I am so upset with Sanofi-Aventis, the Ketek drug makers. If a drug has been known to cause problems, why do they continue to market it?" says Kerri Merritt of Cincinatti, Ohio.

Ketek linked to liver damage"My doctor prescribed Ketek a few months ago for a sinus infection - I had a lot of congestion. She gave me a few samples of 400mg pills and I took a total of four pills over two days. The evening of the second day I started to get stomach cramps.

I looked up Ketek on the Internet and read about the side effects because I wanted to know why I was having stomach pains. I often use the Internet as a reference tool because I have food allergies and wondered if it could it be related to my allergies. But I had never experienced anything like this before. As soon as I read about Ketek I knew this drug was the cause and decided not to take anymore.

We went out for dinner and I couldn't eat - the pains got worse. We ended up leaving the restaurant before any of us finished dinner and my husband drove me directly to urgent care at the clinic. I was urinating nothing but blood.

While I was at the clinic, they ran a couple of urine tests and said there was too much blood to give a definite analysis. When I told the doctor I was taking Ketek she frowned and said to go home and drink as much water as possible and if the blood in my urine persisted I had to return. I was prescribed another antibiotic. The blood lasted about 48 hours but the pain didn't go away for several days. I gradually felt better but it scared me - I was nervous to say the least.

I told my doctor - the one who prescribed Ketek and gave me the samples - about my ordeal but sometimes they are not very helpful when it comes to a product they prescribe. I think that a lot of them get these free samples from the drug companies and I think if they prescribe enough of the drug they may get more freebies and kick-backs - there must be some incentive for them to give out free samples and maybe not always for the patient's benefit."

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