Digitek Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of 97 Plaintiffs in Illinois
An Illinois lawsuit has been filed in St. Clair County Circuit Court on behalf of 97 people who allege injuries and damages caused by recalled Digitek tablets that were allegedly manufactured with more of the prescribed heart drug than they were supposed to contain.
Digitek is a form of digoxin, used to treat congestive heart failure, abnormal heart rhythms, atrial flutter and atrial fibrillation.
The medication is extremely dose-specific with a narrow therapeutic index. Therefore, if too little of the drug is provided it could be ineffective, while if too much is taken, it could lead to a serious and potentially life-threatening condition known as digoxin toxicity.
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In April 2008, a Digitek recall was issued by Actavis Totowa for all lots of the heart drug, after it was discovered that some tablets may have been commercially released that were twice as thick as they were supposed to be.
This exposed thousands of users to an increased risk of digoxin toxicity, also referred to as digitalis poisoning. Symptoms of a Digitek overdose could include vomiting, nausea, dizziness, confusion, vision problems, palpitations, low blood pressure, bradycardia and cardiac instability.
According to a December 2008 report released by the non-profit Center for Public Justice, at least 667 Digitek overdose deaths throughout the United States were reported to the FDA between April 2008 and June 2008.
The report was critical of the steps taken by the FDA and drug maker to warn doctors about the problems and issue the Digitek, as there were signs of poor manufacturing practices and quality control problems at the plant where the tablets were produced for at least two years before the recall.
Actavis and its distributors face a growing number of Digitek lawsuits filed in various courts throughout the United States. All federal cases have been consolidated in an MDL, or multidistrict litigation, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.
On April 24, 2009, a new Digitek lawsuit was filed in Illinois state court in St. Clair County on behalf of 97 different plaintiffs who allege that they received extra strength tablets that contained more than the approved level of active ingredients.
The complaint alleges that Actavis and their distributor, Mylan Pharmaceuticals, failed to adequately test their product or protect the public from receiving too much of the medication. It further claims that the Defendants mishandled the recall and concealed the extent of their wrongdoing, which could not have been reasonably discovered by the plaintiffs.
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