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Posted by prconsult ( on February 07, 2001 at 11:49:28:

News Release
Contact: Doreen Olsen 503-350-5872
Cameron Azari 503-350-5822
Huntington Legal Advertising

Migraine Medication DHE-45 Linked To Heart Valve Disease

Portland, Oregon, February 14, 2001 – For those who suffer from recurrent migraine headaches, any effective treatment is welcome relief. However, one common medication may be causing patients serious long-term damage without their knowledge.

DHE-45 (dihydroergotamine), a prescription drug that is given via injection, has been linked to heart valve damage in recent studies. Made by the pharmaceutical giant Novartis, DHE-45 works by constricting the blood vessels in the brain. Unfortunately, blood vessels are constricted in the rest of the body, including the heart. After reviewing the studies, senior partner of Williams, Dailey & O'Leary, Michael Williams warns, “Often, the heart disease this drug causes is silent for many years. It is not uncommon for affected people to experience no symptoms even though their heart valves have significant damage.” Williams urges those who have used DHE-45 to speak to their doctor about having an echocardiogram (a non-invasive procedure similar to ultrasound), which would reveal any damage.

If heart valve disease manifests itself, symptoms include shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, chest pain and/or dizziness. People who have used DHE-45 and are experiencing these symptoms should contact their doctor immediately.

Williams’ firm is planning to file a national class action lawsuit to require Novartis to pay for echocardiograms and other diagnostic tests for DHE-45 users.

Williams Dailey & O’Leary has produced a free informational video at its website -- www.wdolaw.com -- that more fully explains the symptoms of heart valve disease, as well as the diagnostic tests and procedures used to detect the disease.

People wishing to seek reimbursement for the cost of these tests, or those who believe they may have already have heart valve damage, should call 1-800-842-1595 for information about participating in a class action lawsuit.

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