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Laxatives cause side effects, deaths

Oral and rectum sodium phosphate laxatives have been linked to 54 cases of illnesses, including 13 deaths. On Jan. 8, 2014, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about the dangerous side effects related to these products and the need to follow instructions on the labels. A number of dangerous side effects, such as dehydration, dizziness, a decrease in urination and blood sugar level changes, are associated with these types of laxatives.

Oral and rectal laxatives were designed to help soften stools. Individuals who have problems with constipation often take these over-the-counter laxatives to help with their bowel movements. People who have health conditions, such as colon inflammation, or who are taking medications for kidney or heart problems or high blood pressure should seek advice from their doctors before taking these medications.

A defective product, insufficient warning, consumer injury or consumer death can lead to a product recall on a drug or a product liability lawsuit. Drug corporations hold the responsibility for ensuring that their medications have been properly tested and labelled before they go out on the market, but companies selling over-the-counter drugs are often not subject to as stringent of regulations as those selling prescription medications.

To bring a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against a drug company, an individual or family member needs to be able to show that they have suffered financially, in the form of medical bills or funeral costs, and/or emotionally. Sometimes they have a better chance of recovering damages if they bring a lawsuit with other injured parties. A personal injury attorney may be able to help with gathering evidence and bringing an individual or group lawsuit against a negligent drug company.

Source: The Huffington Post, "FDA Says There Have Been 13 Laxative-Related Deaths", January 08, 2014

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