Caroselli, Beachler & Coleman, L.L.C.

Topical pain relievers causing burns when applied

Periodically, it is discovered that consumer medical products do more harm than good. This appears to be the case with certain topical pain relievers that are applied to the skin that ultimately can result in serious burns.

Such products are sold in Pittsburgh stores, and use of such creams, lotions, ointments and patches has often resulted in burning and blistering within a day of application. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has issued warnings to customers, and it is likely we can anticipate products liability lawsuits popping up concerning such medications in the near future.

Despite the unpredictability of applying such substances to the skin, reports of burns have become increasingly more common. The FDA has issued advice to customers that may be using these products.

The products causing the burns appear to contain menthol and methyl salicylate. Though such substances were designed to create a sensation of warmness, FDA officials are concerned that such products are also causing burns.

Products liability lawsuits occur concerning any number of products typically used by consumers. The object of such lawsuits is to place the burden upon the manufacturer to prove that the product in question did not cause the injury. The assumption is made that injuries would not have occurred unless the product happened to be defective. Attorneys do need to have shown the product had been used in a foreseeable manner, however.

The ordinary consumer is often not in the position to know about dangers or side effects in using such substances before an injury occurs. On the other hand, manufacturers of these products do have the dollars to test such products. The companies should be testing such products thoroughly before marketing the substances to the public.

Source: The Chart, "FDA warns consumers about topical pain relievers," by Saundra Young, September 13, 2012

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