Many people struggle with the effects of long-term, chronic diseases. These conditions can have a significant impact on your daily life, and in treating them the medications prescribed can have the potential to cause just as much harm to your physical health as the disease they are prescribed to treat. Medication side effects can be a contributing factor in medical malpractice injury cases and in some cases, these medications result in serious, potentially fatal damage. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a dangerous condition that, left untreated, can result in death. Unfortunately, the treatment for RA can result in serious health problems and complications as well. Recent controversy over the death of the Eagles founder Glenn Frey sheds light on the importance of being aware of the dangerous side effects that can occur with prescription medicines, as well as the importance of communicating concerns you may have about your health to your doctor.

Effects of Rheumatoid Arthritis

According to the consumer medical information website Healthline.com, rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, is a chronic condition causing inflammation of the joints, particularly those in the fingers. RA is a progressive disease, with steadily worsening symptoms, and as of yet there is no known cure. While the hands are the most commonly affected, RA can also cause inflammation and painful swelling in other body parts, including the ribs and between vertebrae in the spine. According to Healthline, if left untreated the long term complications of RA can include the following:

  • Deformity in the joints and loss of movement;
  • Inflammation in blood vessels leading to cardiovascular problems;
  • Development of scar tissue in the lungs, resulting in breathing difficulties; and
  • Increased risks for kidney problems, including kidney disease.

Early diagnosis and treatment of RA is vitally important to prevent the above health problems. Discuss any concerns you have about the disease with your doctor, and well as the potential complications that could result from RA treatment.

Treating RA

According to a January 2016 news blog from the Arthritis Foundation, new concerns about the dangers of RA treatments have been raised since the death of singer/guitarist Glenn Frey, who died January 18 from complications of RA, ulcerative colitis, and pneumonia. Frey’s manager has been quoted in several magazines stating that the medications Frey was taking to treat his RA contributed to his death, a claim that has been unsubstantiated by doctors. According to the Arthritis Foundation, RA drugs can cause potentially dangerous side effects, including suppressing the immune response system, which could lead to a greater frequency of illness, such as pneumonia. Doctors have to weigh the potential side effects of RA medications versus the potential health risks of not aggressively treating the disease, such as heart and lung problems, and it is important for doctors to warn their patients about these potential risks.

Let Us Assist You Today

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury as the result of medical errors or due to complications in treatment, contact our experienced Florida medical malpractice and personal injury attorneys. At Hogan Frick, with offices in Orlando, Gainesville, Ocala, Kissimmee, and Lakeland, our attorney may be able to assist you in getting compensation for the injuries you have suffered, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Call or contact us online today for a free review of your case.