Propulsid was supposedly designed to solve acid reflux; instead its side
effects caused fatal heart rhythm abnormalities.
Propulsid/Cisapride was made by Janssen Pharmaceutical and was supposed
to handle nighttime heartburn by moving food out of the stomach, and keeping
acid away from the esophagus. It was approved by the Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) in 1993, and was marketed as being able to tighten the valve between
the esophagus and the stomach.
For three years there was no warning label about the drugs effect on people’s
heart rhythms. Then adverse event reports began coming in, prompting Janssen
Drugs to warn people they could die taking Propulsid. The drug was finally
taken off the market in 2000. Taking it off the shelves affected over
350,000 Americans taking it. Over 30 million people had taken the drug
Up until 2000 when Propulsid was taken off the market, the FDA received
approximately 341 reports of serious heart problems and at least 80 deaths.
Those stunning figures are what prompted the drug recall. Propulsid was
approved for use only with adults, but it appeared infants and premature
babies got it as a treatment for colic. Of the 80 deaths, 11 were children
and 20 of the 341 adverse reactions were little ones with nonfatal heart
Other damning evidence leaked out about this drug while it was still being
marketed. Facts included information that Propulsid reacted badly to other
drugs, and should not have been taken with allergy medicines, antidepressants,
medicines for irregular heart rhythms, antibiotics, etc.
Propulsid side effects included sudden death, heart attacks, heart rhythm
disorders, seizures, hepatitis, thrombocytopenia, and aplastic anemia, etc.
Propulsid lawsuits indicate the drug company didn’t perform proper
safety studies that would have told them this was a dangerous drug. There
were also allegations that the FDA didn’t reveal research that indicated
the drug was flawed, because how it worked was supposedly a trade secret.
If you have any questions about having taken Proplusid/Cisapride, or about
your legal rights when it comes to taking dangerous drugs,
contact a dangerous product attorney who will advise you on how to proceed.