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Onfi (clobazam) is a benzodiazepine. Clobazam affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with anxiety. It is also used in combination with other drugs to treat seizures caused by Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2011.
Contact an Onfi lawyer if you have suffered adverse health effects from this medication.
Why Was I Prescribed Onfi?
You or someone you care about may have been prescribed the drug to treat anxiety disorder or Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, a severe form of childhood epilepsy that also causes developmental and behavior problems.
Epilepsy is an incurable disorder in which the brain’s nerve cell activity is disturbed, causing multiple seizures. This disorder can be acquired genetically, however, brain injury can be a cause as well.
Generally, a person is diagnosed after more than one seizure has occurred. Recurrent episodes of sensorial disturbance, loss of consciousness, or convulsions can occur, which are associated with abnormal activities in the brain.
Because the disorder is caused by abnormal activity in brain cells, seizures affect any process the brain coordinates. Symptoms include:
- Temporary confusion
- Uncontrollable jerking movements of the arms and legs
- Loss of consciousness or awareness
- Psychic symptoms
These symptoms vary depending on the type of seizure. Generally, a patient tends to have the same type of seizure, and therefore the symptoms are similar from episode to episode.
What are the Side Effects of Onfi?
Onfi has been linked to serious medical conditions that should be documented and discussed with your lawyer for a lawsuit. One of the most serious side effects is Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
SJS is an autoimmune disease that causes the body to attack the skin, and it is almost always caused by a drug reaction. It begins with flu-like symptoms but develops into a painful rash.
This rash is often the first sign the condition is serious. SJS causes the skin to blister and essentially burn off from the inside out.
Many patients experience skin loss in the infected areas of the body. SJS can affect up to 30 percent of the body, including mucous membranes such as the nose, mouth, and eyes.
SJS may take anywhere from two weeks to two months to recover from. SJS patients are often left with permanent SJS side effects such as scars, organ failure, or blindness. About 5 percent of SJS cases are fatal.
It is when the blisters cover more than 40 percent of the body that the condition elevates to Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis (TEN). TEN may affect anywhere between 40 and 90 percent of the body and can cause the body to lose skin in large sheets. TEN patients are generally treated in a hospital’s burn ward due to the severity of skin damage. Many TEN patients develop secondary infections or sepsis because of lost skin, and approximately two out of five TEN cases are fatal.
Other Common Side Effects
Stevens-Johnson syndrome or toxic epidermal necrolysis are very extreme side effects, and also include:
- difficulty swallowing
- Unsteadiness, trembling, or other muscle control or coordination
- Mood or behavior changes
- Anxiety or panic attacks
- Trouble sleeping
- Feeling impulsive, irritable, agitated, hostile, aggressive, restless, hyperactive, more depressed or have thoughts about suicide or hurting yourself
Other, less-common side effects include:
- Change in speech pattern
- slurred speech
- trouble sitting still
- difficulty speaking
It is important that people taking Onfi not drive, operate heavy machinery, or engage in other dangerous activities. This drug can cause abuse and dependence that should be not combined with alcohol. The risk of withdrawal symptoms are greater than with higher doses of taking the medication; including seizures, tremors, and anxiety.
Reach Out to An Onfi Attorney for Legal Help
On December 3, 2013, the FDA approved the addition of Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis to the adverse effects listed on the drug’s label.
The makers of the drug, Lundbeck, settled a case in December 2014 after an 11-year-old boy developed Stevens Johnson Syndrome which developed after his clobazam use.
In order to meet the criteria required to file an Onfi lawsuit, the patient must have developed Stevens-Johnson syndrome or toxic epidermal necrolysis while taking Onfi, prior to December 3, 2013.
Settlements in these lawsuits could include compensation for surgical expenses, hospital bills, mental anguish, and other damages that could be calculated by an Onfi lawyer.