A Louisiana woman’s family has filed a Darvocet lawsuit against Eli Lilly, Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals and other companies that distributed the drug, saying the recalled painkiller caused her to suffer a fatal heart attack.
The complaint was filed on May 24 in U.S. District Court in New Orleans by Peggy Oniate, Elizabeth Frederick and Andrew Houlihan Jr. against Eli Lilly & Co., Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals Inc., Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc., Qualitest Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Vintage Pharmaceuticals, Inc. The lawsuit indicates that Elizabeth Houlihan died of a heart attack in May 2010, which was allegedly caused by side effects of Darvocet.
The lawsuit is one of a growing number that have been filed by plaintiffs who say they suffered heart problems or lost loved ones due to a heart attack from Darvocet.
Next month, a panel of federal judges is scheduled to hear arguments over whether the Darvocet litigation should be consolidated under one federal judge as part of an MDL, or multidistrict litigation.
The plaintiffs seek to have the cases consolidated since all lawsuits over Darvocet, Darvon and other propoxyphene-based painkillers contain similar allegations, that drug makers failed to warn doctors and patients about the risk of serious and potentially fatal heart rhythm problems.
Darvocet was a popular pain medication that combines acetaminophen with propoxyphene, the active ingredient in the similar painkiller Darvon. It was sold by Eli Lilly for about 40 years before distribution rights for the name brand version of the drug were sold to AAIPharma in 2002, and it was subsequently purchased by Xanodyne in 2005.
In November 2010, a Darvon and Darvicet recall was announced after the FDA concluded that side effects of Darvocet and Darvon can cause significant changes to the electrical activity of the heart. The heart problems may increase the risk of heart arrythmias, myocardial infarction and sudden death. Both the brand name drugs and their generic equivalents were pulled from the market.
The Darvocet heart attack lawsuit filed by Elizabeth Houlihan’s family seeks damages for medical expenses, funeral expenses, pain and suffering, loss of a loved one, and loss of services.