Washington D.C. Dangerous Drug Attorneys

Aggressive Washington, D.C. Dangerous Drug Injury Lawyers

Effective experience for District of Columbia victims of prescription drugs

When you take a prescription or over-the-counter medication, you put your life in the hands of the manufacturer of that drug. Unfortunately, thousands of people die or suffer serious injury every year from drugs that are unsafe. Many such drugs have been inadequately tested or provide insufficient warnings of risks and side effects on labels and in direct-to-consumer advertising.

At Paulson & Nace, PLLC, drug liability cases are our forte. Late partner Barry Nace was one of the acknowledged pioneers in the field. His dedication to protect the victims of Washington, D.C. drove all of us to focus on drug liability as well. We have the experience, the skills and the resources you want on your side when you have been injured by a dangerous or defective drug.

Verdicts & Settlement

Barry J. Nace’s $95 Million Verdict in a Defective Drug Lawsuit Against Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals
In a pivotal 1987 case, attorney Barry J. Nace secured a $95 million verdict against Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals for a boy born with deformities linked to the morning-sickness drug Bendectin, used by his mother during pregnancy. This landmark case underscored the pharmaceutical company's negligence in ensuring the drug's safety and marked a significant victory in drug liability litigation, emphasizing the importance of corporate accountability in the safety of pharmaceutical products.

[Read more of our verdicts and settlements]

Which prescription drugs have dangerous and deadly side effects?

There are drugs on the market that are well-known for their potentially dangerous, even deadly, side effects. These include commonly prescribed:

  • Antidepressants. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), or antidepressants, have been linked to birth defects and suicidal thoughts, and could potentially be linked to the development of autism. Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft have all been recognized for this danger, and for side effects including insomnia, loss of libido and fatigue.
  • Antipsychotics. Abilify, an add-on antidepressant, has been linked to compulsive behaviors and suicidal thoughts. Risperdal and Invega may cause gynecomastia, a condition where young men develop breasts.
  • Birth control. Yaz and Yasmin contain drospirenone, which may lead to fatal blood clots, liver tumors and high blood pressure.
  • Blood pressure medication. Benicar may cause severe weight loss and intestinal damage.
  • Cholesterol medication. Lipitor, Crestor and Zyprexa are all statins, and have been linked to an increased chance of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Diabetes medications. SGLT2 inhibitors are used to help manage type 2 diabetes. Drugs like Invokana, Farmiga and Jardiance have all been linked to limb loss, and some SGLT2 inhibitors have been linked to necrotizing fasciitis of the perineum – a rare flesh-eating infection of the genitals. Metformin has issued multiple recalls because of high levels of N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) in their medications.
  • Heartburn. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) like Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid have all been linked to kidney disease.

In some cases, simply stopping use is not enough to help a patient. Cymbalta, an antidepressant, has some of the most severe withdrawal symptoms, including what some people commonly refer to as “brain zaps,” which are electrical shock sensations in the brain that can become disorienting.

Drugs like these continue to flood the market because pharmaceutical manufacturers may use test groups that are too small for an accurate reflection of the potential problems, or doctors and pharmaceutical reps may recommend these drugs for “off-label” uses. Regardless of how or why you were prescribed a dangerous drug, Paulson & Nace wants to help.

What are the risks associated with prescription antibiotics?

There are as many categories of prescription drugs as there are ailments, which means there is an awful lot of room for running into medications that can pose a danger to your health. There can be risks to taking antibiotics such as:

  • A patient may be allergic to a particular antibiotic causing a deadly anaphylactic reaction
  • Digestive problems can arise including loss of appetite or stomach cramps
  • Painful infections can form such as fungal or even colitis
  • Drug interactions can occur with a lengthy list of prescription medications
  • Developing antibiotic-resistant infections from prior improper use of antibiotics
  • Kidney failure can develop due to antibiotics causing damage

Opioids like fentanly are dangerous drugs

Pain killers like Fentanyl have their place, but are extremely controlled substances that are only supposed to be used under close monitoring with specific instructions, which doesn’t always happen. If a dose is incorrect or a patient unintentionally exceeds the prescribed amount by taking doses too close together because he or she didn’t understand the risks, it can end in death.

Other adverse reactions to Fentanyl include:

  • Agitation
  • Hallucinations or confusion
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Loss of coordination
  • Shallow breathing or decreased urge to breathe
Washington DC

Opioid litigation is important to fighting drug addiction

The word “opioid” has become a normal part of our vocabulary, hitting states like West Virginia particularly hard. The risks of opioids almost certainly outweigh the benefits, but because of excessive prescribing, we now have a nation struggling to move past an addiction epidemic.

Prescription opioids are incredibly strong pain-relieving drugs that offer a level of relief like what heroin provides. The problem is that these drugs become highly addictive within in a matter of days. There are approximately 128 deaths across the United States each day due to opioid use. The tragic personal loss that grieving families face is compounded by the knowledge that often their loved one’s own doctor contributed to their wrongful death.

There are three typical means by which patients obtain prescription opioid drugs when they don’t have a continuing medical need for them:

  • Doctors and drug companies push the use of opioids to enhance their bottom line.
  • Doctors or pharmacists who do not follow proper drug inventory procedures allow drugs to be stolen and sold.
  • Doctors easily give in to patients’ requests for prescription refills without a proper examination to verify they still suffer from the pain that only these powerful drugs can aid.

One of the ways to prevent further prescription opioid addiction, overdoses, and deaths is by holding medical professionals accountable. By filing a civil suit for medical malpractice against the doctor, pharmacist or medical facility that put the drugs into your hands, you send a clear message to careless and negligent doctors everywhere that their Hippocratic oath means something.

Are otc drugs dangerous?

No doctor required means use at your own risk, right?


Because a doctor or pharmacist is not typically required to be involved in a non-prescription medication purchase (with certain notable exceptions), it’s arguable that drug manufacturers have an even deeper responsibility to consumer safety when it comes to over-the-counter (OTC) drugs.

The fact that you don’t require a prescription puts the burden of educating a consumer about the risks and proper use of the medication through warning labels and instructions on the drug manufacturer. Failure to warn a consumer about dosage, potential adverse reactions and other crucial information can put their health at risk.

It also means they need to be incredibly careful with the manufacturing process, including where they procure their active and inactive ingredients to ensure quality for safety reasons. Even when the ingredients are of high quality, mistakes can happen such as medication being packaged wrong, or faulty packaging posing a danger of accidental ingestion.

Finally, it is worth noting that mixing prescriptions and OTC medications can have dangerous consequences. If your doctor fails to take an accurate medical history, you could end up taking a dangerous combination of medications.

Paulson & Nace’s history of dangeorus drug litigation in Washington, D.C.

In 1985, Barry Nace litigated and won the first case involving Bendectin, a drug suspected of causing birth defects. Another of Mr. Nace’s drug liability cases produced a $95 million verdict, including $75 million in punitive damages. Since then, our firm has litigated landmark cases, including one in the Supreme Court, and obtained millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for the victims of dangerous drugs in Washington, D.C. We are widely recognized as one of the premier drug liability law firms in our nation’s capital and we can put our experience to work for you.

Helping victims of dangerous drug injuries in D.C. find peace of mind

Paulson & Nace, PLLC, is a premier defective and dangerous drug injury law firm that is privileged to claim more than 40 years of serving our community by helping victims across the greater Washington, D.C. area. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to taking medication please contact Paulson & Nace, PLLC to schedule your free case evaluation by calling 202.463.1999 or we invite you to reach out to us through our contact form.