Although some lawsuits regarding fen-phen and PPH are now being settled, some people are just now realizing that their use of the diet drugs in the 1990s has had serious, long-term consequences for their health.
Fen-phen was actually a combination of drugs used to help patients lose weight. Patients were given either Pondimin (fenfluramine) or Redux (dexfenfluramine) in combination with the generic phentermine in what became known as fen-phen.
Fen-phen was removed from the market in 1997 after it was linked to serious health problems in 30 percent of patients taking the drug. By the time it was taken off the market nearly six million people in the U.S. had used fen-phen. Fen-phen was never approved for combined use by the FDA nor was it tested for long-term safety.
In May, 2005 a Pennsylvania jury awarded two former users of fen-phen $200 million in damages for heart problems caused by the drugs. In 2004 a Texas family was awarded over $1 billion after a 41-year-old woman who developed a fatal lung disease after taking fen-phen died. In March, 2005 two Utah women were awarded $5.5 million for damages connected to their use of fen-phen.
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Symptoms of PPH include feeling breathless, fatigue, lightheadedness, dizzy spells, chest pain, and fainting. As PPH develops it can cause bluish tints in the lips and skin, an increase in chest pain, ankle and lower leg swelling and death.
If you took fen-phen in the 1990s it is still possible that the long-term health effects are only now becoming apparent. Even if you have no symptoms, the FDA recommends that everyone who took fen-phen for any length of time have a complete medical history with a physical examination focusing on the heart and lungs.
If you took fen-phen and have developed PPH, contact a lawyer to discuss your options.