3 Prescription Drugs That Can Lead To Permanent Disability

Law Blog

While most prescription medications have excellent safety profiles, some drugs may lead to permanent disability in certain people. Personal injury attorneys are very familiar with lawsuits filed on behalf of patients who have sustained permanent illness or injury as a result of their medications. Here are three different medications that can cause permanent disability or illness, and what you can do to reduce your risks:

Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs

If you have high cholesterol, especially if it is resistant to lifestyle factors such as weight management, eating a healthy diet, not smoking, and exercising, your doctor may have recommended that you take a cholesterol-lowering drug. Also known as statins, these medications lower your total cholesterol, while raising your high density lipoprotein cholesterol, or HDLs.

Your HDL cholesterol is also known as "good cholesterol," which is thought to reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease. While statin drugs are effective in the management of high cholesterol, they can also lead to dangerous, and sometimes life-threatening conditions such as rhabdomyolysis. While most cases of rhabdomyolysis produce only mild symptoms such as muscle pain, weakness, and fatigue, it can cause kidney failure in some cases.

Your doctor can lower your dosage of your statin medication which will may reduce your risk for developing rhabdomyolysis. However, if you develop decreased urinary output, tea-colored urine, back or kidney pain, or lethargy, see your doctor. These symptoms may be related to rhabdomyolysis, which will need immediate treatment. If your kidneys become permanently damaged as a result of statin drugs, you may be entitled to monetary damages for your pain and suffering. 


If you are at high risk for developing a heart attack, stroke, or blood clot, your doctor may have prescribed an anticoagulant drug. These medications keep your blood thin and help decrease platelet aggregation by keeping your blood cells from sticking together and clotting.

While effective in preventing thrombus formation, anticoagulants can cause dangerous bleeding of the gastrointestinal system and brain. In some cases, they may even lead to a cerebral hemorrhage, which is a type of stroke that causes bleeding in the brain. If your doctor suspects that you may be at risk for developing cranial or gastrointestinal bleeding as a result of your prescription blood thinning medication, you may be advised to take a lower dosage.

If this is not appropriate, your physician may discontinue your prescription anticoagulant and prescribe plain aspirin instead. Aspirin is a potent blood thinner, which may be as effective in preventing blood clots as prescription medications, but with fewer side effects. 

Psychotropic Medications

Depression and bipolar disorders are serious medical conditions that require treatment. While non-pharmaceutical methods of treatment such as cognitive behavioral therapy can help lift your mood, your psychiatrist may decide to prescribe a psychotropic medication to help you feel better.

While many psychotropic medications help raise your serotonin levels to help stave off depression, these drugs can also lead to intrusive and suicidal thoughts. If your medications have caused you to harm yourself or others, your doctor will recommend that you stop taking them and will prescribe a different drug that is less likely to cause these dangerous thoughts and behaviors. 

If you take any of the above medications and develop serious health complications, work with both your physician and attorney. If your adverse reactions have led to permanent illness, injury, or disability, your lawyer may decide to pursue a personal injury lawsuit


17 August 2016