Mother is in a home and has been on Alendronic (Fosamax?) a bone drug for 2 yrs. (F. is facing lawsuits in America).
After a few days Mums joints swelled up, a tooth fell out (can loosen teeth apparently) and she wanted to urinate very frequently, and still does. This makes days out/life in general almost impossible. She also had a skin sore for many months which healed up when drug temporarily stopped. However I gather Doctors notes say it DID NOT heal up, which is wrong.
The doctors won't do anything and gave no reasons to me. Now she cannot walk despite a painkiller.
The Home owners seem alarmed and want to get her out, and planning something against me I suspect. How to get her off the drug? I live on the Isle of Wight in Southern England. Are there any personal injury lawyers or barristers in Southampton or Portsmouth? The home staff think she forgets she's been. She now has a memory problem, (and I have heard of drug induced dementia)
I have tried speaking to the homes Doctors and PALS (now the complaints dept)
Q. Is your Mum voluntarily in the home or is she detained there?
I am new to this and first of all I did not realise questions and answers were viewable by others. I should point out she was put on the drug before she went into this home.
but is your mother voluntarily in the home or is she detained there as a mental patient ie is there a restriction on her leaving? Who pays the money for the home?
Your question is a good one. Things were said that I was advised not to mention outside of it. (Home representatives not present). Lets just say I had plans to see her looked after in my home but I guess I was dissuaded. I was told that she had no capacity at this time, but we do not believe this. She banged on the door to be let in, as she figured the meeting was about her. I think she answered their questions with aplomb. I was asked to sign a contract for the authorities to pay most of the fees and they take nearly all her state pension. Family member suggested I get a copy of a certain Doctors report that was made some time later. I asked for a copy of the report later still, just before Christmas last, Dec 20 I think and didn't get July's report, but one dated 18the Dec I think. This later report mentions nothing about capacity.
Has there been a committal order made in relation to her? Or is she a voluntary patient?
I not aware that any commital orders have been made. Sorry for delay in replying.
1. The law here is that your mother would have a cause of action, against the makers of Fosamax who make the drug with the adverse side effects, if it can be shown these side effects were not contained in the warning label attached to the medicine. In this regard, you should see if you could join a class action lawsuit which may be taken in the US in relation to the use of the drug. Alternatively, you can instruct a local solicitor in the area in which you live to take proceedings on behalf of your mother.
Do you have any contact numbers/ email addresses for US actions?
2. The home in which your mother is currently residing, together with the prescribing physician, would have an additional liability to you, for continuing to prescribe the drug, even though detrimental side effects were manifest. This would be on the basis that they continued to prescribe, although the symptoms you describe were obvious. A consideration of what alternative course of treatment could be adopted would be considered here, in determining whether the prescribing should have continued. Also, the attitude of you and her next of kin towards what was occurring is also relevant. Liability here is not absolute and the home might escape liability by showing that they adopted the best practice.
3. I do not have any names or addresses of a class action being taken in relation to Fosamax. However a search on the internet and in forums based in the US would quickly bring up a list of firms seeking plaintiffs for an existing class action. Look at forums where the people have a thread dealing with the adverse effects of Fosamax. As this type of litigation in the States is always brought in the class action format, you will find a group of plaintiffs already exists.
I will have a look around. I beleieve if she does not stop taking it she may never walk again at her age. They called it alendronic acid but alendronate is mentioned in the same breath as Fosamax. I f it is a cheaper generic version does that matter?
The fact that it is a generic is relevant when it comes to who you can sue. You cannot sue the makers of Foxamax if you are not taking their drug.
If I start an action is that what it takes to stop them from prescribing it? they seem to me bound and determined that she should have it. I do not want to upset the new home she could be moving to shortly. The existing home staff have told me in the past they are covered because the doctors are prescribribing it, and the doctor I saw once said it is approved.
I guess I need someone to order the medical notes to find out exactly whoose drug she is on.
Getting the medical notes is a good place to start. the one important point is whether there is an alternative course of treatment or medicine which could be adopted.
One doctor said an alternative drug of the same family mentioned by another doctor had more side effects than the first one. You say my mother would have a cause of action, can I do this on her behalf. I believe she has some capacity left, so perhaps the power of attorney I have is not valid, and was it made before any such doctor saw her?
You will have to be appointed her next friend if you wish to sue on her behalf. Again a solicitor with experience in litigation matters will handle this matter. A previous power of attorney would most likely not be good when it comes to initating litigation.
From approved published booklets they seem not sure how long to prescribe the drug/s. Five years, ten? Mum has been taking it for 2 yrs. She usually says she is not taking drugs, or will pretend to, or thinks she cannot refuse. She doesn't want to be there, but it is not really suitable for her to come here, she doesn't want to put on me, and I am working and she needs someone to look after her. She may be moving to a place of my choice, but will cost me dearly.
Alll these drugs look bad to me, yet staff say they seem to know people who are taking them (presumably without these bad effects.) I just want them to stop. I asked one doctor if glucosamine was on the National Health. He replied that it was no good for osteo arthritis, but i replied that it helped her (greatly) in the past. If I took in glucosamine say, whats the cahnce of the new home giving it to her and is that prescribing. Where is the dividing line between say taking vitamins and docotrs presribing? Would I get into trouble. (I believe her joints won't get better until she's off the drug.
I guess the doctors are afraid she has risk of fracture because of past history, and don't want to hear about side effects? But THEY don't get the urge to go every five minutes?
The issue of how long can a patient take the drug without suffering side effects is a matter which will be litigable
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Barrister 17 years experience
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