Perchlorate Side Effects and Lawsuits


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Potassium Perchlorate is a salt that occurs naturally in the environment, as well as a result of manufacturing for various uses, including the treatment of hyperthyroidism.  It was the standard drug for the treatment of this disease in which the thyroid is over stimulated and causes the bodily functions to speed up in a way very similar to the results of drugs such as epinephrine.  It became the common solution for hyperthyroidism in the 1950s, but in the 1960s there were indications that Potassium Perchlorate was responsible for some serious side effects, primarily the development of aplastic anemia.

Risks and Symptoms of Perchlorate

As the primary treatment for hyperthyroidism for many years, Perchlorate was sometimes used in very high doses which eventually may have led to a more serious condition, known as aplastic anemia.  Aplastic anemia can have serious consequences, even death, when a person’s bone marrow fails to produce enough new blood cells to renew the body.  In fact, this first came to national attention when thirteen Perchlorate patients contracted aplastic anemia, and seven of those patients died.

While further studies have proven inconclusive, the public response to the deaths in the 1960s has caused other drugs to take the place of Perchlorate, with generally positive results.  However, there are some instances where Potassium Perchlorate is the only available treatment.  In those cases, it is commonly accepted that the risk is acceptable.  In fact, in the medical community it has become generally accepted that the thirteen subjects who contracted the aplastic anemia in the 1960s were poisoned by a contaminant and not the Potassium Perchlorate.

Perchlorate Claims and Lawsuits

Due to the more limited use of Perchlorate in the last four decades, there is very little record of lawsuits in relation to its use.  However, if a case similar to that of the seven who died as a result of use of Perchlorate in the 1960s occurred today, the family may have the option to file a wrongful death claim against the manufacturer of the drug.   

Individuals who contracted aplastic anemia as a result of their doctor’s prescription for Perchlorate may also have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit.  If their prescriber failed to warn the patient of the possible side effects, the physician may become the defendant in such a suit along with the manufacturer whose product cause physical injury.

Legal Help from a Lawyer

If someone is possibly suffering injuries as a result of the use of a particular medication prescribed by their doctor, they should explore their options with the help of a personal injury attorney.  They may have grounds to file a personal injury claim if that prescriber or the manufacturer of the drug was negligent in any way.  Patients have the right to expect a reasonable level of care, comparable to that rendered in the medical community around them.  If not, and they suffer injuries as a result, they have the right to consult an attorney to pursue their legal remedies.

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