People throughout Texas and the United States have been filing lawsuits against the pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) because of their decision to promote the anticonvulsant drug, Lamictal. Lamictal – the brand name for lamotrigine – has been identified as a potential cause of devastating birth defects, serious skin conditions, meningitis, depression, and suicidal thoughts. Made and sold by the British GSK, this prescription medication is used to treat epilepsy, bipolar disorder, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, and other similar conditions. First approved by the FDA in 1994, GSK produces oral tablets ranging from 25 mg to 200 mg. Between 1994 and 2009, GSK sold more than 46 million Lamictal prescriptions.
Problems for GSK began in 2006 when the FDA sent a Lamictal alert to healthcare professionals, advising them that data obtained from the North American Antiepileptic Drug Pregnancy Registry (NAAED) had discovered a link between the use of Lamictal and serious birth defects. These birth defects include cleft lips and cleft palates. At this point, the FDA began investigating GSK and the safeness of Lamictal. They identified 40 cases of aseptic meningitis in patients taking Lamictal between 1994 and 2009. Then, in 2008, the FDA issued a Drug Safety Communication concerning the connection between those taking Lamictal and suicidal thoughts.
Legal Trouble for GSK
Since 2012, people began suing GSK and bringing lawsuits against them for failing to warn about the dangerous side effects associated with Lamictal. In July 2012, GSK pled guilty to criminal negligence charges and paid $3 billion to resolve allegations of failure to report product safety data for the antiepileptic drug. This became the largest healthcare fraud settlement in the history of the United States.
In addition to causing birth defects, suicidal thoughts, and aseptic meningitis, Lamictal has also been linked to the deadly skin condition, Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS). While rare, this serious skin condition is a disorder affecting mucous membranes and results in a painful red or purplish rash that spreads and blisters. There have been numerous SJS lawsuits brought against GSK, as the pharmaceutical company failed to inform the public that this is a rare, but possible, side effect of Lamictal.
Currently, dozens of victims and their families are suing GSK for failing to warn and mislabeling the safety warning for Lamictal. Here at Wormington & Bollinger, our Lamictal lawyers are working tirelessly to ensure GSK is held responsible for the irreversible damage they have caused by committing fraud. If you or a loved one has been prescribed Lamictal and has experienced any of the following side effects, please contact our law firm today:
- Blistering or peeling of skin
- Dark-colored urine
- Flu-like symptoms
- Muscle cramps
- Sores or ulcers on the mouth
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Yellow eyes or skin
- Small red or purple spots on the skin
The dangerous side effects of Lamictal are extremely serious and should not be taken lightly. To learn more about your legal rights against GSK, please contact Wormington & Bollinger today.