The Top 5 Types of Dangerous Medications You Need to Know About

Defective Drugs

By Sandra Dalton, Staff Writer

Modern medicine can do amazing things. A cancer diagnosis is no longer an automatic death sentence. We have drugs that save lives, extend life, and improve quality of life in conditions that used to be untreatable. But, we also have a market flooded with new drugs, rushed through the system so that pharmaceutical companies can make a quick profit. Some of these drugs have very serious side effects and the drug makers manage to hide the dangers. Certain types of drugs are now notorious for the harm they cause.

New Blood Thinners

New oral anticoagulants (NOACs) are very popular for the treatment of nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (AFib). They don’t treat the condition, but they help prevent stroke in people who have it. NOACs include Xarelto (rivaroxaban) and Pradaxa (dabigatran). They are marketed as safer and more convenient alternatives to warfarin. Like warfarin, both of the newer drugs can cause dangerous or deadly bleeding events. And while warfarin is easily reversed with vitamin K, there is no antidote for Xarelto, should bleeding occur and until last year there was no antidote for Pradaxa.


Antidepressants, particularly selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), come with a host of risks, some for anyone who might take them, others for specific groups of patients. These popular drugs include:

  • Paxil (paroxetine)
  • Effexor (venlafaxine)
  • Lexapro (escitalopram)
  • Zoloft (sertraline)

Sometimes antidepressants have life-changing benefits, but for some they make depression worse or have completely unrelated side effects such as causing birth defects in the babies of women who take them.

Diabetes Drugs

The medications used to treat type 2 diabetes include Actos (pioglitazone), Avandia (rosiglitazone), Byetta (exenatide) and Invokana (canagliflozin). These drugs do not help resolve the underlying condition, but are meant to prevent dangerous complications of Type 2 diabetes by reducing blood sugar. Unfortunately, they can cause side effects such as bladder cancer, kidney damage, pancreatitis, and diabetic ketoacidosis.


For many conditions, pain relief is a necessary part of treatment and uncontrolled pain is not just unpleasant, it actually interferes with healing. But there is a dark side to pain medications including:

  • OxyContin (oxycodone)
  • Celebrex (celecoxib)
  • Bextra (valdecoxib)
  • Fentanyl
  • Darvon (propoxyphene)

These drugs have been linked to dangerous and deadly side effects such as heart attack, stroke, accidental overdose, addiction, and liver damage.


The discovery of antibiotics changed the world. Countless lives have been saved. But, not all antibiotics are created equal and some carry very serious risks. A particular class of antibiotics called fluoroquinolones can cause:

  • Aortic aneurism
  • Aortic dissection
  • Tendon rupture
  • Ligament injury
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Kidney injury

Fluoroquinolones include Levaquin (levofloxacin), Cipro (ciprofloxacin), and Avelox (moxifloxacin)

If you or someone you love has been harmed by a dangerous medication, you can learn more about your rights and how you can recover damages for your losses by searching our directory to find a lawyer near you.

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