Variety of different pill medications in packets on table

Plaquenil® Toxicity

Helping victims of Plaquenil® toxicity and medical malpractice

Maine Plaquenil® Toxicity Lawyers

Plaquenil® (hydroxychloroquine), an anti-malarial medication, is often used to treat inflammatory or autoimmune disorders like lupus, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Autoimmune conditions occur when the body’s immune system attacks healthy cells, causing vulnerability to infections.

Among the disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), Plaquenil reduces the immune system’s response to potential infections, but in some cases, it can cause permanent vision damage. This side effect hasn’t always been noticed or diagnosed despite warnings. Some doctors and eye care specialists haven’t checked Plaquenil patients regularly for toxic damage to the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye.

At the recommended dose, Plaquenil retinal toxicity is rare. It might not always cause symptoms, especially in its early stages. Toxicity symptoms can include:

  • skin rashes
  • blurred vision
  • color changes in vision
  • seeing halos or streaks of light
  • blindness

These side effects can mainly harm patients who take high dosages, who have lost weight while on Plaquenil, have used it for five years or more, or who already have retinal damage or kidney or liver disease. Elderly patients may seem to be at higher risk, however, a recent study found no major links between age and the potential for retinal toxicity.

If you take Plaquenil, have an ophthalmologist (an eye disorder specialist), check your retinas regularly before serious vision damage occurs.

Berman & Simmons is handling claims involving people who took Plaquenil and suffered complications. If you think you have a Plaquenil toxicity case, contact us today.

Properly Diagnosing Plaquenil Toxicity

Some doctors haven’t been carefully monitoring the dosages they prescribe to patients and some ophthalmologists haven’t checked their patients for symptoms or adverse reactions to this drug. Patients have been unaware of the potentially devastating consequences.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology suggests ophthalmologists regularly check their patients for Plaquenil toxicity with photos and the following tests:

  • a visual field test to check if blind spots have developed in the field of vision
  • OCT imaging, a three-dimensional image taken to look for early retinal damage
  • a multifocal ERG test to see how retinal cells respond to light and to check for damage

FDA Warning About Plaquenil

Attorneys Jodi and Susan talking in conference room

In 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that irreversible retinal damage had been observed in some patients who received long-term or high dosages of Plaquenil for lupus or rheumatoid arthritis. They recommended that doctors familiarize themselves with the medication label before they prescribe Plaquenil.

The FDA also suggested that patients who experience blurriness, color changes, light flashes, or streaks in their vision not connected to existing conditions stop taking the drug and be observed for worsening of these symptoms.

They also stated that the symptoms could progress after patients stop taking Plaquenil, and they should also be monitored periodically for muscle weakness. Rheumatoid arthritis sufferers who didn’t see reduced joint swelling or increased mobility in six months were recommended to discontinue use. The FDA also recommended testing for toxic damage to the retina.

Dangerous Drug FAQs

  • What do I prepare for the first call or meeting with you?

    For your first meeting with us, simply tell us your story and explain in your own words what happened and how your life has been affected. If you’re meeting with us in person, you can bring notes about what happened to you, driver insurance information, names of any witnesses, photos of the accident damages or injuries, medical records, and other related paperwork if you have it and if it’s applicable, but that information isn’t necessary. Really all you need to do is be yourself, speak with us honestly, and be willing to tackle your problems with us.

    Initial conversations between potential clients and our staff members are often done over the phone. Rest assured that everything we discuss is confidential and protected under law.

  • How much will a lawyer cost me?

    The lawyers at Berman & Simmons work on a contingency basis. That means you pay nothing up front and nothing unless we settle or win your case. We will consult with you, evaluate your situation, and do initial research free of charge. This is true even if we decide you don’t have a valid claim. We will also cover all necessary case expenses and you will not be obligated to reimburse us until and unless we recover monies on your behalf. if we do take your case and win a settlement or a jury verdict in your favor, a percentage of the compensation goes to pay for our costs and the work done by our legal team.

  • How will you know know if I have a case?

    To pursue a case, we will need to prove that you suffered a substantial personal injury and the injury was directly caused by the negligence of another party. A bad result alone is not enough to establish negligence. We let you know upfront if we are able to move forward with the legal process, or if we don’t think you have a case. Generally, we will know if you have a case after our first phone call or meeting.

    If we believe you have a valid claim and decide to move forward with litigation, our attorneys and staff will then take it from there and do everything else that needs to be done, including obtaining and reviewing records relevant to your case, such as accident reports and other law enforcement documents, employer records, medical records, and other information.

  • How long will it take to resolve my case?

    Every case is different, and there is no way to predict how long it will take for your case to be resolved. Some cases end in a matter of months, while the most complex and challenging cases, such as a medical malpractice case, can span several years. The vast majority of cases, however, are resolved before a trial and usually within a year.

    The goal is to make sure you receive fair compensation for your injuries, no matter how long it takes whether that comes in the form of a pre-trial settlement, or with a jury verdict in your favor.

  • How much is my case worth?

    There are many factors that need to be considered when determining the value of your case. Every case is unique and it takes a team effort — including your attorney, staff researchers, and outside experts — to determine the extent of your damages and how much your case is worth. There are two types of damages for which you could receive
    compensation: Economic and non-economic.

    If your case goes to trial and a jury agrees you deserve compensation, the jury members will decide how much the money you should receive for each category of damages.

A Law Firm That Listens

Berman & Simmons is widely recognized as the best personal injury lawyers in Maine and among the best in the U.S., having won many of the largest jury verdicts and settlements ever obtained for injured people in Maine.

Our trial lawyers have won thousands of claims on behalf of those injured in a car accident, and each year we build on that successful track record.

Our attorneys and staff members will take the time to listen to you, work to understand your concerns, and come up with solutions that can make your life better, including obtaining payment for or deferral of your debts until your case is resolved. We help you recover and make sure you receive full compensation for your injuries and loss.

We'll Take Care of the Heavy Lifting

A Team Approach for Our Clients

We’re ready to help you today. Call us for your free consultation.

Maine and other states have strict statutes of limitation for filing medical malpractice complaints, so it’s critical to consult with us as soon as possible if you think a dangerous drug or a medical error may have harmed you or a loved one.

If complications from Plaquenil have harmed you or someone you know, a lawyer at Berman & Simmons can help. We have the expertise and resources to make sure you receive full compensation and to hold manufacturers and medical practitioners responsible. You might be entitled to the following:

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    Damages for your pain and suffering

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    Coverage of medical expenses

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    Repayment of lost earnings

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