Nursing home residents are facing aggressive treatment with dangerous effects. According to a CNN investigation, a drug called Nuedexta is inappropriately prescribed to elderly patients. This pharmaceutical drug is unsafe and unnecessary in many cases.
So what is Nuedexta meant to treat? Why is it potentially harmful? Read below for more information about this over-prescribed little red pill.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved Nuedexta to treat a mental disorder called pseudobulbar affect, characterized by uncontrollable laughter or crying. PBA is often triggered by conditions that impact the brain, such as stroke, multiple sclerosis or ALS. Less than 1 percent of Americans have this condition.
The drug is seeing skyrocketing financial success due to an aggressive sales force pumping it into long-term care facilities. This is despite the fact there have been very limited studies on the effects of the drug on elderly patients. In fact, it can be harmful to patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Dangerous side effects
According to reports by the FDA itself, a link between Nuedexta and the following dangerous consequences is possible:
- 51 deaths
- 113 hospitalizations
- 101 instances of confusion, dizziness and falls
- 102 instances of sleepiness and sedation
Other common side effects include diarrhea, vomiting, weakness and swelling in the feet, hands or ankles. Serious side effects include easy bruising, muscle spasms, dark urine, abdominal pain, chest pain and yellowing eyes. There are also concerns about potential interactions. A medication with such little research can have very adverse effects in elderly patients who are already prescribed other medications.
Many doctors who prescribe Nuedexta receive payments or other compensation from the drug manufacturer. There are also paid speakers at nursing homes advocating for the drug. This is all devastating news for those with loved ones in nursing homes or patients themselves. If Nuedexta has harmed you or a loved one, contact a personal injury lawyer.