Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH)

Injured by Paxil, Fen-Phen or another dangerous drug?

Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH) is a medical condition in which a patient experiences an increase in blood pressure in the lung vasculature. The lung vasculature is made up of the pulmonary artery, the pulmonary vein and pulmonary capillaries. People experiencing PPH may have difficulty breathing, dizziness and fainting. While some cases of PPH have no known cause, other cases of PPH are caused by the use of certain dangerous prescription drugs.

Not long ago, many patients taking the drug Fen-Phen experienced PPH and other cardiac risks. Fen-Phen is an anti-obesity drug that is no longer widely available due to its known cardiac risks. Many victims received financial compensation from Wyeth (the drug's marketer) by way of lawsuits.

Now, many patients taking antidepressants such as Paxil may be at an increased risk of PPH as well. Specifically, women who are pregnant and taking antidepressants may be putting their unborn children at an increased risk of neonatal persistent pulmonary hypertension. In 2006, the FDA released a warning stating that physicians should carefully consider the benefits versus the risks of antidepressants when prescribing the drug to expectant mothers, as neonatal PPH can occur.

According to the 2006 FDA release, case studies suggested that infants born to mothers who used SSRI antidepressants following the 20th week of pregnancy were six times more likely to have persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPHN).

Symptoms and Signs of Pulmonary Hypertension

According to the United States National Library of Medicine, there are various signs and symptoms of pulmonary hypertension to watch out for. If you are experiencing one or more of the following symptoms you should contact your doctor as soon as possible.

  • Swelling of the ankle or leg
  • Skin turning blue
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness and fainting
  • Abnormal fatigue
  • Overall physical weakness
  • Enlarged abdomen

Contacting a Houston Dangerous Drug Attorney

Your doctor will likely perform a series of tests to see if you have pulmonary hypertension and what is causing it. These tests can include blood samples, x-rays of your chest, echocardiogram, CT scans and even sleep studies. While there is no known cure for pulmonary hypertension, there are many things that patients and doctors can do to lessen its symptoms. If you are experiencing primary pulmonary hypertension and you believe its cause is a prescription drug you are taking, please do not hesitate to contact our firm. Stern Law Group's Houston personal injury lawyers can evaluate your case and fight to see that you get the financial compensation you deserve.