Medications Errors That Can Cause Heart Attack
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI), commonly known as a heart attack, is often linked to underlying health problems, but many people don’t understand that some common medications can also lead to a heart attack. When a person experiences AMI, the heart does not actually stop beating altogether; instead, it begins to beat irregularly, which can cause a chain reaction of serious abnormalities throughout the body. The American Heart Association warns individuals to look out for chest pain, shortness of breath, discomfort in other areas of the body, lightheadedness, and other symptoms.
If you experience any of these signs of heart attack after taking a medication under your physician’s care, it is essential to seek treatment right away. Then, you should consider discussing your situation and a potential medical malpractice claim with a Florida medical malpractice lawyer. In some situations, health care providers make mistakes in writing prescriptions or recommending over-the-counter medications to patients with certain medical conditions, which can lead to an AMI event.
How Certain Medications Can Cause Heart Attack: Certain prescription and over-the-counter medications can lead to heart failure or increase the potential for heart attack because they:
- Act as a toxin to individuals with certain medical conditions;
- Affect heart muscle contractions;
- Exacerbate high blood pressure; or
- Interact with heart medications.
Prescription Drugs and Heart Failure: The more medications you take for various medical conditions, the more likely it is that you could experience drug interactions. Prescription drugs that may put you at increased likelihood of AMI include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which affect blood flow through water and salt retention;
- Diabetes medications, some of which cause fluid retention and weight gain;
- Prescriptions for blood pressure drugs, particularly calcium channel blockers;
- Medications used for chemotherapy and other cancer treatment;
- Stimulants; and
Over-the-Counter Medications: Doctors often recommend common drug store medications that are available without a prescription, so you may not think twice about taking them. However, a physician should exercise extreme caution in recommending these drugs to individuals with underlying health issues. Examples include:
- Over-the-counter NSAIDs, including ibuprofen, for the same reasons listed above;
- Cold medicines that contain ibuprofen or sodium; and
- Nasal decongestants with vasoconstrictors, a medication that narrows blood vessels and can lead to heart attack.
Also, some vitamins and natural supplements can increase the potential for heart attack for people with heart conditions. The FDA does not regulate many of these products, and labels can be deceiving or incomplete. For instance, consumption of Vitamin E in high amounts can lead to heart failure for some individuals.
Talk to Our Florida Medical Malpractice Attorneys About Your Circumstances
Not all mistakes associated with medication give rise to legal action, but some errors by health care providers could lead to a claim for medical malpractice. Our team at Freidin Brown, P.A. can tell you more about your rights and remedies after reviewing your situation, so please contact our firm to speak with a Miami medical malpractice attorney. We can schedule a free consultation at our offices.