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Dangerous Drugs & Medical Devices News & Commentary on Prescription Drug & Medical Device Lawsuits

Black Box Warning for Amputation Finally Ordered

Posted in Preemption, Safety Alerts

It came a little late for Diana Levine, but at least it finally came.

TRENTON, N.J. — Makers of injected promethazine, a sedative also used to treat nausea and vomiting, are being required to put the strongest warning possible on the product because it can cause tissue damage leading to amputation, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.

The drug, previously sold by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc. under the brand name Phenergan, was at the heart of a U.S. Supreme Court case this spring that ended in a ruling that consumers harmed by a medication approved by the FDA still have the right to sue the manufacturer.

Wyeth had appealed the case up to the Supreme Court after a Vermont woman named Diana Levine, who once played the guitar and piano professionally, sued because she had to have her right arm amputated after being injected with Phenergan. Levine's lawsuit, which claimed she wasn't sufficiently warned of the risks of using Phenergan, won her a $6.7 million jury award.

Source: The Associated Press: FDA requires strong amputation warning on sedative