Seldane Lawsuit: Pulled for a safer allergy drug
Seldane (terfenadine) is an antihistamine medication used to treat symptoms of allergies such as rash, hives, watery eyes, runny nose, itching eyes and sneezing.
Seldane is prescribed for long term use against hay fever and is indicated for the relief of all symptoms of allergic rhinitis (nasal hypersensitivity) such as nasal congestion (blocked nose), sneezing, rhinorrhoea (runny nose) and itchy eyes.
Seldane was approved by the FDA in 1985 as the first prescription antihistamine to relieve the symptoms of allergic rhinitis without causing drowsiness.
Common side effects associated with Seldane use include low blood pressure, palpitations, syncope, dizziness, drowsiness, headache, fatigue, nervousness, weakness, increase appetite, nausea, vomiting, change in bowel habits and dry mouth.
After Seldane was approved, the FDA began receiving reports of fatal and serious instances of cardiac arrhythmias. These dangerous complications occurred when Seldane was taken in combination with erythromycin or ketoconozole, causing Seldane to build up in the blood and resulting in serious cardiac side effects.
Hoechst Marion Roussel and Baker Norton Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of the Seldane, have voluntarily discontinued the distribution and marketing of all terfenadine-containing antihistamine product lines in the United States. Due to the availability of alternative drug therapy, the FDA announced in January 1997 that Seldane would be withdrawn from the market.
Interactions with other drugs include Itraconazole, Ketoconazole, Erythromycin, Clarithromycin and Azithromycin. Any of these drugs taken with Seldane can cause serious cardiovascular side effects.
What is an antihistamine?
An antihistamine is a drug which serves to reduce or eliminate effects mediated by histamine, an endogenous chemical mediator released during allergic reactions.
How do antihistamines work?
In allergic reactions, special allergy cells in the body release a chemical called histamine. Histamine causes rashes, sneezing, itching and runniness of the nose, and other features of allergic ailments. It does this by causing blood vessels to widen and leak, nerves to itch, secretions to pour from the lining of the nose or lungs, and in a variety of other ways. Antihistamines are chemicals which look enough like histamine to fool the cells of the body, but not enough like histamine to make the cells of the body do the things which cause allergy symptoms. In short, antihistamines stop histamine from working in the body.
Are there other prescription antihistamine alternatives to Seldane?
Consumers can now obtain three prescription antihistamines that are similar to Seldane and pose a much lower risk for interactions. They are fexofenadine (Allegra), loratadine (Claritin), and cetirizine (Zyrtec). Studies suggest that these three drugs work equally well at relieving allergy symptoms, although some people find that they respond better to one over another.
Are there symptoms of a Seldane overdose?
Symptoms of a Seldane overdose include excessive central-nervous system stimulation (eg. insomnia, nervousness, convulsions), or cardiovascular stimulation (eg. tachycardia, palpitations, arrhythmias). Other symptoms include hypertension, pallor, mydriasis, hyperglycaemia and urinary retention. In some individuals, there may be central nervous system depression with somnolence, stupor, or respiratory depression.
Can I file a lawsuit if I have suffered damages from taking Seldane?
Possibly. While all medications have certain, anticipated side effects, a drug manufacturer has a duty to inform physicians adequately regarding the known risks associated with its drugs. If a manufacturer fails to do so, it can be held responsible to patients who are injured as the result of inadequate warnings, under a legal theory known as “product liability.” Depending upon the particular circumstances of your case, damages may include recovery for any of the following:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Lost wages
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Emotional distress
If you or a loved one has experienced any health problems while taking Seldane, you should contact your doctor immediately. You may also wish to contact an experienced Seldane lawyer to discuss your legal options. As all legal claims are subject to time limits, however, you may risk forfeiture of your right to financial compensation if you delay.