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  • anyone familiar with PREDNISONE/I think it KILLED my mom

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    Old 03-09-2005, 01:33 AM   #1
    Join Date: Dec 2004
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    Tiffrose HB User
    anyone familiar with PREDNISONE/I think it KILLED my mom

    she was prescribed 35 pills of prednisone (10mg) for her neck pain by her primary care doc. she was 62, smoked, and had high blood pressure and cholesterol. she was prescribed the pills on 6/10. three weeks later the same doc gave her celebrex 200mgs. two weeks after her celebrex was prescribed, she died from hypertensive cardiovascular disease.

    i read that steroids are not good for your heart. i read that prednisone raises your blood pressure to high levels. this makes me think he was negligent in caring for my mother. anyone have any advice or experience with prednisone. i know it was short term but somethings not right. please, anyone familiar with the prednisone. thanks

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    Old 03-09-2005, 06:55 AM   #2
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    Re: anyone familiar with PREDNISONE/I think it KILLED my mom

    Hi Trose, I'm sorry to hear about your mother. The mechanism of action of all anti inflmatories steroid or non steroidal is to remove fuids from a swollen area and carry away waste products from muscles like lactic acid. How they do this is by transfering excess fluid from an injured or swollen area into the blood stream and carry it away. As a result, it increases the blood volume and blood pressure on the vascular and causes your heart to work harder to pump blood at a higher pressure.

    This is the basis of the problems with Viox, Bextra, and why all NSAIDS and steroids are particularly hard on the kidneys as they have to work over time to remove the excess waste and fluid from the blood.

    NSAIDS and steroids are meds that have been determined that their benefit outweighs their risks. If we didn't have anti inflamatories we wouldn't have the ability to reduce swelling. However it would be hard to prove that some type of cardio event or stroke wouldn't have happened any way.

    I would assume with your mothers history she was taking BP meds and heart meds and whtever else her docs thought were the proper way to manage her CV problems and cholesterol. High cholesterol also puts extra strain on on your heart, pumping thick blood definitely puts a strain on the heart. I recall during my cardio rehab after my MI we were shown bags of serum with different levels of cholesterol, from the normal range and on up in increments of 100. Like from 100- 800. The serum with levels in the 6oo-800 range basically looked like jello or a bag of chicken grease. Obviously pumping blood the consitabncy of jello puts an enormous amount of stress on the cardo system, either the heart or can cause vessles or artaries to bleed through soft spots in artieor walls. This can lead to anurism, strokes, MI's and a number of other cardio problems.

    There isn't a guide as far as prescribng anti inflamatories to people with high cholesterol or high BP or high tri glicerides for a dcoc to follow. A simple warning from the manufacturer could be created or guidelines as far as not prescribing certain meds when a patients cholesterol levels are above 300 or the BP isn't being presently controlled, However in order to do a trial on high risk patients and the use of NSAIDS would basically be a death sentance for many people. It would be lke doing a trilal on the people with the weakest CV system to see how much stress you can put on that system before causing an CV event. I can't imagne many people signing up for a trial where the goal of the test is to find out at what level use of these meds will kill someone.

    I'm a smoker myself so I can't blame your mother for contning to smoke, I know how hard it is. But to blame a doc for following standards of practice when mom doesn't take doctors advice as far as smoking, diet changes, follow up care and medication compliance gives the docs more responsability than they shold have to carry. Nobody would practice cardiology if they could be sued evertime someone died. Is it the doc that prescribed the meds fault for folowing standards of care, or the cardiologist fault for not demanding she quit smoking or he won't continue to treat her, some do demand thsis, Some spine surgeons won't perate on a smoker. There is a much greater risk in anesthesia with smokers. Should smkers be denied neccessarry surgery and forced to suffer or are they really aware of the risk they have put them self at.

    I would be suprised if you could find a lawyer who could find a cardiologist that wouldn't give as much credit for her death for continuing to smoke as he would for use of the mds. But the defense would be willing to testify that her own personal habbits had more to contribute to her own death than the medication prescribed corectly. IF the dose was appropriate for her size and age and known medical history the docs haven't done anything considered outside the standards of practice and that's what it takes to win a mal practice suite. Prescribing meds for their intended purposes for a properly DX condition in apropriate doses would make it very hard to create a mal practice suite.

    If their happens to be another class action suite including celbrex, similar to those with Viox and Bextra, which are also cox 11 inhibitors may be worth your while, but as of today I don't know of any class action suites against the manufacturer.

    Thre are risks with any meds you take and those risks are compounded by the patients existing health problems. If the patient choses to ignore the docs instruction to quit smoking with CV problems, compliance of all docs orders would be questioned. Did she take the meds she was suposed too, as prescribed? Did she folow other medical advice given for her benefit? These are questions that would be raised should you pursue legal action against a doc.

    Personally I don't see where the doc has done anythig that would be considered abnormal or outside the relm of standard use of these meds and satndards of care.
    You could certainly consult a mal practice attorney , but it may cost you several thusand dollrs just to have anther cardovascular doc look at the case, then you have to pay the doc to testify, obviosly the defense of this doc will rely on following standards of care. Which it sounds like he did.

    We can't take every med off the market that have inherent risks, all meds have risks. As far as class action sutes, the only people getting ritch on large awards are the lawyers, they get their percentage, plus costs and the the rest is devided by thousands of claimants in the class action suite.

    Obviosly everything isn't about money, but when it comes to removing a dangerous product from the market, You have to prove that these meds first caused the problems and their were no other factors, whch isn't the case, then you have to find some docs that will testify to the uninfrmed risks of these meds. Was anyone at thse apts when the meds were prescribed other than your mother? Someone to testify she wasn't wared about any risks, that she didn't read the prescription insert and see the risks in already compromised patients.

    Mal practice would be extremely tough to prove. Smokers tend to under estimate their cigerette use when faced with a cardo doc that they know will jump on them for continuing to smoke thinking they are protected from the dangers of smoking because they take BP meds or cholesterol meds. Your mother would need an autopsy to confirm what actually caused her death, a law suite can drag out for years and if you feel the meds are inherintly unsafe and the risks outweigh the potential benefit you may have a case.

    However the next time another patient goes in with a sprained ankle, what can the doc prescribe that's absolutely safe. Ibuprophen has risks, Tylenlol can cause liver damge.

    I know it's normal to want to place blame somewhewre for the death of a loved one but there isn't always someone or something to blame . A law site will certainly put the defense into a position of discrediting your moms reporting on smoking, compliance of the use of her prescribed meds to control BP and cholesterol and would make this very unfortunate event hard to move beyond untill you have an answer that eases your mind or an answer in which you feel justice or the good of the community is served by removing a med or the docs ability to practice.

    IT would be a tough fight. What occured was a risk of using these meds, however the benefit to hundreds of thousands if not millions of people that use these meds daily would be a very tough fight.At best, the outcome may remove a product that has risks but benifits millons of others and a small piece of a class action suite that won't bring your mother back.

    Knowing what I do, I would still consult an attorney if she was in terrible CV shape and the use of these meds and a qualified cardiologist could be found that would deem the use of these meds, reckless and outsids the bounds of standards of care.

    That's what your facing when considering a law suit of joining a class action suite. There will always be lawyers willing to bring CA suites aganst the manufacturer because a win is highly profitable for them.

    You have already mentioned a huge point "smoking" were she did contribute to her own problem. For me it would be an ugly situation to get involved in. I wouldn't want an autopsy performed when the cause of death is pretty much known.

    Again, I feel terrible for your loss, but a law site won't bring her back and makes things very hard to move on. Placing blame doesn't fix things and we can't take every med off the market that has some inerent risks.

    Good luck and try to remeber the good things rather than make a law suite blaming a doc or manufacturer the focus of your life for the next several years. IF a class action suite does pop up against Celebrex, by all means weigh your options and consider whether you want to be part of such an action, if you truly feel this med is a greater danger than the benefit of use and availability of all inti inflamatories that work the same way and have the same risks attached to them too.
    JMO Take care, Dave

    Old 03-09-2005, 10:23 AM   #3
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    Re: anyone familiar with PREDNISONE/I think it KILLED my mom

    So sorry about your mom, I can only imagine the pain you are suffering.

    However as a severe asthmatic, prednisone, as awful as its side effects can be is a life SAVER for many, many people. I couldn't make it through the flu season without it! I am on it now, and it is NOT a pleaseant drug - (see my post re: my sudden increased back pain) it upsets my stomach, changes the taste and smell of everything, and makes me feel crazy... but breathing is too important.

    Again, I am so very sorry about your mom, but in my opinion maybe trying to find peace for yourself instead of blame would be in your best interest as you near the anniversary of her passing. Any medication can be a blessing or a posion depending on the circumstance of its use. Please take care of yourself, and God Bless your family


    Last edited by StMishl; 03-09-2005 at 10:25 AM.

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