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Medication Injuries

In 2020 one of the most common types of injury lawsuits are claims caused by medication injuries. You see them all over the TV, news and social media related to drugs that cause cancer(s), illness and injuries. Current high profile drug injury lawsuits are due to Zantac, Invokana, Belviq, Elmiron, Johnson & Johnson baby powder, opioids, anti-seizure medications, anti-psychotic drugs, testosterone therapy, Accutane and others. In these cases the liable party is the drug manufacture or pharmaceutical company and they are referred to as mass tort claims. In other medication injury cases the prescribing physician, hospital or pharmacy can be the liable party and any injuries, illness or death caused stems from an adverse reaction, incorrect medicine being dispensed, wrong dose or the route of administration was not given properly. These lawsuits are medical malpractice lawsuits and are commonly referred to as medication error claims. No matter what type of medication injury you suffered, or who is responsible, you may be entitled to benefits and financial compensation. Please click here to contact our Pennsylvania negligence lawyers handling medication injuries. They provide free case reviews and charge no fees if they are unable to obtain benefits and financial compensation for you.

Proudly serving those enduring medication injuries across all of Pennsylvania including Allegheny County, Blair County, Erie County, Centre County, Philadelphia County and Montgomery County, PA.

A drug class is a term used to describe medications that are grouped together because of their similarity. There are three dominant methods of classifying these groups:

  • By their mechanism of action, meaning the specific biochemical reaction that occurs when you take a drug
  • By their physiologic effect, meaning the specific way in which the body responds to a drug
  • By their chemical structure

Based on these diverse classification methods, some drugs may be grouped together under one system but not another. In other cases, a drug may have multiple uses or actions (such as the drug finasteride, which is used to treat an enlarged prostate or to regrow hair) and may be included in multiple drug classes within a single classification system.

This doesn’t even take into account the drugs that are used off-label for reasons other than what they were approved. A prime example is levothyroxine which is approved to treat hypothyroidism (low thyroid function) but is often used off-label to treat depression.

Classes Of Medications In The United States

In the United States, a non-profit, non-governmental organization called the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) was established in 1820 to ensure that prescription and over-the-counter drugs approved for use in the United States meet quality standards in order to be placed on the National Formulary issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Among its many functions, the USP was tasked by the U.S. Congress to classify drugs so that Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit providers can include them in their annual formularies.

Worldwide, there are 34 other countries that maintain national pharmacopeias, as well as a European Union Pharmacopeia for EU countries that don’t maintain their own pharmacopeia. Other countries will typically rely on the International Pharmacopeia maintained by the WHO.

For its part, the USP classifies drugs in a far broader way than the ACT system, categorizing a drug, firstly, on its therapeutic use; secondly, on its mechanism/mode of action; and, thirdly, on its formulary classification. Even with this streamlined system, there are still dozens of different drug classes and thousands of different sub-classes and sub-categories.

From the broadest perspective, the USP currently categorizes a drug or drug component under one of 49 different therapeutic classes:

  • Analgesics, including opioids and non-opioids
  • Anesthetics
  • Antibacterials, including antibiotics
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Antidementia agents
  • Antidepressants
  • Antidotes and antitoxins
  • Antiemetics
  • Anti-fungals
  • Anti-inflammatory agents, including corticosteroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Antimigraine agents
  • Anti-myasthenic agents
  • Antimycobacterials
  • Antineoplastics
  • Antiparasitics
  • Antiparkinson agents
  • Antipsychotics
  • Antivirals, including HIV antiretrovirals and direct-acting hepatitis C drugs
  • Anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) agents
  • Bipolar agents
  • Blood glucose regulators, including insulin and other diabetes medications
  • Blood products, including anticoagulants
  • Cardiovascular agents, including beta-blockers and ACE inhibitors
  • Central nervous system agents, including amphetamines
  • Dental and oral agents
  • Dermatological (skin) agents
  • Enzyme replacement agent
  • Gastrointestinal agents, including H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors
  • Genitourinary (genital and urinary tract) agents
  • Hormonal agents (adrenal)
  • Hormonal agents (pituitary)
  • Hormonal agents (prostaglandins)
  • Hormonal agents (sex hormones), including estrogen, testosterone, and anabolic steroids
  • Hormonal agents (thyroid)
  • Hormone suppressant (adrenal)
  • Hormone suppressant (parathyroid)
  • Hormone suppressant (pituitary)
  • Hormone suppressant (sex hormones)
  • Hormone suppressant (thyroid)
  • Immunological agents, including vaccines and disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs)
  • Inflammatory bowel disease agents
  • Metabolic bone disease agents
  • Ophthalmic (eye) agents
  • Otic (ear) agents
  • Respiratory tract agents, including antihistamines and bronchodilators
  • Sedatives and hypnotics
  • Skeletal muscle relaxants
  • Therapeutic nutrients, minerals, and electrolytes

Within these drug classes there are literally thousands of over the counter (OTC) and prescription drugs that fall into these various categories. If you have suffered illness, injury or lost a loved one due to a medication injury such as an overdose, cancer or a medication error please contact our team of Pennsylvania medication injury attorneys. They provide free case reviews and charge nothing if they do not recover for you and your family.