Sertraline (Zoloft) Side Effects

Posted by on Apr 19, 2014 in Dangerous Medical Products | 0 comments

Sertraline, most commonly known under the brand name Zoloft marketed by Pfizer Inc. is an antidepressant drug of a class called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). It was first introduced in 1991 and mainly given as treatment for major depression in adults, and for any patient with obsessive compulsive disorder, panic disorder, or social anxiety disorder. Next to citalopram (brand name Celexa) and beating out fluoxetine (brand name Prozac), more than 37 million prescriptions for Zoloft were handed out in 2011.

Zoloft is considered to be equally if not more effective than other SSRIs for treating different types of depression. Studies indicate that it is efficacious in treating panic disorder but should be used in combination with cognitive behavioral therapy to make a dent in obsessive-compulsive disorder cases. Although approved for it, sertraline does not distinguish itself in treating posttraumatic stress disorder and social phobia. Overall, sertraline has fewer side effects that other medications in its class as well as older formulations, and the effects are generally milder.

As with other SSRIs, Zoloft also causes diarrhea, dry mouth, dizziness, persistent tinnitus, insomnia, nausea and sexual dysfunctions (difficulty in achieving sexual arousal, orgasm, or ejaculation) in some patients with similar profiles, although sertraline causes comparatively milder cognitive impairment, less somnolence and insignificant weight gain. However, suicidality is still a serious side effect of sertraline, with the at-risk population among the young (less than 25 years of age) and the elderly (past 65 years old).

Rather unique to sertraline is the risk of developing microscopic colitis (inflammation of the colon) which seems to be associated with the drug, though why this should be is unknown. Sixteen percent of cases in a clinical study yielded reports of short-term akathisia (inner restlessness and tension) which appeared at initial dosage and at dosage increase but which disappeared after a few days.

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Risperdal Dangers to Young Men

Posted by on Apr 16, 2014 in Dangerous Medical Products | 0 comments

There is probably nothing more devastating to a young boy than to be teased by his peers for being “girly.” This can be anything, ranging from being too neat to the way they run. But when a young boy who is already struggling with a mental illness such as bipolar disorder, autism, or schizophrenia starts to actually grow breasts, it may literally push him over the edge.

Gynecomastia is the development of breasts in males that can occur naturally at certain stages of life when the hormonal balance is upset. This is a condition that can develop in puberty and persist for up to two years, but it is also common in babies and the elderly.

In itself, gynecomastia is not a condition that poses any physical risk to the individual when it is benign and not a symptom of cancer or rliver failure. It may feel uncomfortable and tender at times, but it is not going to kill anyone. The psychological and emotional effects on a pubertal boy, however, are a whole different ball of wax. Luckily, it eventually goes away and is soon forgotten.

While naturally occurring, some medications can trigger the condition even when the patient is past puberty and not yet elderly. Specifically, Risperdal (risperidone) is strongly indicated in a significant number of cases where male patients taking the antipsychotic drug developed breasts. Considering that the drug is designed to help people who already have mental problems, this side effect is particularly unfortunate. The condition is generally irreversible and may require surgical removal.

What makes it even worse is that the manufacturer Johnson & Johnson (J&J) knew about it but failed to provide adequate warning to physicians and patients.  This is the reason why J&J is under legal fire from individuals as well as states, all seeking compensation for the losses they suffered from the aggressive marketing and lack of candor exhibited by the drugmaker. Litigation is ongoing, so if you or a family member suffered harm as a result of using Risperdal, you may be eligible to file a negligence suit against J&J. Contact a personal injury lawyer in your area with extensive experience in handling defective drug cases to find out what your legal options are.

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Definition of Intellectual Property

Posted by on Apr 11, 2014 in Intellectual Property | 0 comments

The world would not exist as we know it without intellectual property. Intellectual property is essentially a product of someone’s bright idea. Unlike physical property which can be placed in a safe or fenced in to keep out trespassers, intellectual property is an intangible asset, and requires a different set of laws to protect the rights of the owner. Thus was born the concept of intellectual property rights, which you as a creator can use to protect your intellectual property from unauthorized or uncompensated use.

Intellectual property addresses a huge range of assets such as original designs, compositions, literature, and art as well as scientific discoveries and mechanical inventions. It may also apply for any process, method or formula that a particular company or business entity has pioneered. If you have ever made use of the image of a superhero on a t-shirt without permission from the artist or owner, for example, you would be in violation of intellectual property rights, specifically the copyright, and may be prosecuted.

The principles that comprise the legal backbone of intellectual property laws has its origins in Europe as far back as 1624, but it was only in the 20th century that the laws became widely adopted and enforced. In the US, it only came into common usage in 1980. Currently, it is overseen by the World Intellectual Property Organization as a United Nations agency.

There are several types of intellectual property rights. These include copyright, trademarks, industrial design rights, trade dress, trade secrets, and patents. When the creator or company produces a certain product such as a drug or engine design that is significantly different from other similar products, they can apply for exclusive rights to that product which if approved will bar any other person or company to use the same formula or design without the express permission of the rights owner. If permission is given, it usually includes a royalty agreement, where the rights owner receives a percentage of whatever the petitioner earns from the use of the formula or design.

Owning intellectual property rights is the impetus that drives many companies and individuals to invest heavily in research and development into creating products that have marketable applications because it has the potential for generating income. Imagine having the exclusive rights for a formula for a weight loss product that gives instant results with absolutely no side effects; it would make the owner millions, if not billions.

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Child Preference in Child Custody under California Law

Posted by on Apr 9, 2014 in Child Custody | 0 comments

When parents divorce, or when the parents have never been married, one of the issues that may come up at one point is that of custody of a biological child or children. This is often highly charged emotionally, and embittered parents may even use their children as leverage to gain an advantage.  According to the website of the Law Offices of Baden V. Mansfield in Manhattan Beach, parents need to know their legal rights in order to ensure the best interests of the children are carried out in child custody orders.

Most state laws on child custody mandate that the courts assess the situation to determine what is in the best interests of the child if the parents cannot produce a workable parenting plan. In some cases, the preference of the child is considered providing the child is verbal and exhibits a level of maturity sufficient to make an informed choice.

In California, the law in the past has been less than clear about how the child’s preference on parental custody will be handled by the court. A recent amendment to the California Family Code to include Section 3042 was passed on January 1, 2012 and serves as a guide for courts to decide if a child’s preference should be consulted and under what circumstances. This is a major development in how child custody decisions are handed down, and it is important that the lawyer retained has a thorough understanding and extensive experience in handling such situations.

There are several ways that parents can manipulate the child so that when consulted about their preference, the child will make a choice that is contrary to its best interests. This includes conditioning, alienation, and in some cases emotional abuse. Some children may also state a preference for a more relaxed and more “fun” parent to escape discipline which for a child at a certain age is contrary to their best interests. It is crucial that both the parent and the lawyer can discern when the child is being manipulated and to present evidence to this effect before the court.

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Overview of FELA and Railroad Worker Injuries

Posted by on Apr 6, 2014 in Workplace Injuries | 0 comments

Railroad workers are peculiarly at risk to work injuries because of the nature of the work. This is why they are protected by a separate act of Congress specific to workers’ compensation under the Federal Employers Liability Act or FELA which was passed in 1908.

FELA applies to all railroad employees and their families even if their primary responsibilities are performed away from trains as long as the injury is work-related. A claim may be made with the railroad company or the employer, or may be filed as a lawsuit in state or federal court.

However, claims under FELA places the burden of proof of fault on the injured worker or the plaintiff. FELA only applies if the employer or railroad company is guilty of negligence in the workplace which resulted in injury to the worker. A violation under FELA involves the failure to ensure a safe environment for workers.

There are a lot of regulations that legally determine whether or not a workplace environment is reasonably safe for the people who must work in it. According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, a work environment which is reasonably safe, and covers tools, equipment and other devices necessary for the safe execution of the work entails that:

  • The work environment is cleared of hazards
  • The necessary training, assistance, supervision and aid are extended to employees
  • Workers are protected from harm from other employees
  • Enforcement of rules and regulations established for safety
  • Work quotas are reasonable

In an ordinary claim of negligence, the normal rule is that the defendant must be more than 50% at fault. Under FELA, the claimant only has to prove that employer negligence was at least partly to blame for the injury for a successful claim. If the company or employer is proved to have violated a federal safety standard such as those under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Safety Appliance Act, or the Boiler Inspection Act, the claimant will have an easier time proving negligence with the help of a knowledgeable and experienced FELA attorney. FELA claims include compensation for loss of wages, medical expenses, as well as mental distress, pain and suffering.

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