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FDA Unveils List of Drugs in Side-Effect Probe

We were excited to learn about the new Food and Drug Administration (FDA) list of drugs being investigated. We often get calls from medical patients who suffered severe injuries potentially from prescription medicines. Often it is impossible to determine whether the FDA is investigating the adverse event or even whether the medical issue was an adverse event caused by the prescription drug.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) started a new program where they will list on their website drugs that they are investigating for possible side effects. The change in policy of providing advance warnings is meant to warn patients and health care professionals about possible side effects. The current list of 20 drugs is varied and includes potential side effects ranging from heart attacks and cancer to Purple Glove Syndrome which can result in the amputation of a patient's arms.

Being on the list doesn't mean that it has been determined that the drug has the side effect being investigated; also, not being on the list doesn't mean that a particular drug doesn't have side effects. The list is merely an advance warning that a particular side effect is being investigated. Any decisions about whether to take a particular medicine should be made after consulting with our health care provider.

The stated purpose of the list is to get more patients reporting adverse events as well as to open a dialogue between patients and their physicians about possible side effects. The list is not meant to contain all drugs under review or being investigated by the FDA; furthermore, the list will be issued on a quarterly basis with drugs being added or removed from the list. It is unclear whether the list will be cumulative or whether each quarter the old list will be replaced with a new list of approximately 20 drugs.

Current drugs on the list include: antidepressant Cymbalta and painkiller Oxycontin.

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