You may be eligible to file a Suboxone lawsuit for your teeth in Chicago, Illinois, if you developed dental problems after using the product. The compensation obtained in a successful lawsuit can help pay for fillings, crowns, or even surgery. It may also compensate you for the pain and suffering you have endured and might continue to endure because of the Suboxone-related dental problems. You may get compensation for lost wages if these issues keep you from working.
Suboxone helps many people overcome heroin and opioid addiction. It calms cravings and stops the “high” feeling that heroin and opioid users get. But, it can also cause dental problems.
You have the right to know all the risks of Suboxone before taking it, including any warnings about mouth injuries. Copies of your medical records can help you understand if Suboxone could be linked to your dental problems. You can also talk to a lawyer who has a handled a similar case before to guide you through the legal process.
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What Are the Uses of Suboxone?
Suboxone is mainly used therapeutically to reduce OUD (opioid use symptoms). The medication contains buprenorphine, a partial opioid agonist, which strategically occupies opioid receptors in the brain, thus reducing cravings and withdrawal discomfort. It also contains Naloxone, a full opioid antagonist that blocks the euphoric effects of opioids, discouraging misuse of opioids and preventing overdose.
As an OUD medication, Suboxone can help patients participate in therapy and rehabilitation for their addiction. As such, it promotes sustained recovery. Besides helping manage opioid use disorder, Suboxone is also an effective treatment for conditions like:
- Chronic pain associated with cancer or neuropathic conditions
- Treatment-resistant depression, as Suboxone targets the reward pathways in the brain
- Alcohol dependence, as the medication influences the brain’s reward system, like with treatment-resistant depression
The use of Suboxone in treating different conditions is rapidly expanding. Scientists believe that this drug can help prevent opioid misuse when used effectively in the future. They also claim that it can help alleviate symptoms of neonatal abstinence syndrome in newborns exposed to opioids during pregnancy.
Victims of Suboxone Should Know Their Rights
Though Suboxone helps people overcome opioid addiction, it can also cause dental problems. If you have experienced serious teeth or mouth issues after taking Suboxone, you need to know your legal options, like understanding the difference between mass tort and class action lawsuits.
Drug companies must tell you about their products’ risks. You have the right to see the complete information about Suboxone, including any warnings about dental problems. All your medical records belong to you, so you can request copies to understand if Suboxone might be linked to your dental issues.
Taking legal action is not just about getting money. It is about holding drug companies accountable if they do not warn people about risks like dental problems. By speaking up, you can:
- Make Suboxone safer, since the manufacturer might be forced to update their warnings to inform future patients better.
- Improve healthcare since dentists can learn more about Suboxone’s potential side effects and how to monitor patients for those adverse effects.
Suboxone and Teeth
Though Suboxone helps people break free from opioid addiction, it might not be safe for your teeth. The medication is acidic, like vinegar. As such, it can slowly wear down your tooth enamel, creating a favorable environment for oral cavities.
Suboxone can dry out your mouth, leaving you craving water. If your mouth is dry, leftover food and bacteria can build up and increase your risk of dental troubles. Suboxone might also be linked to other problems like gum disease, stained teeth, and tooth loss.
Side Effects of Suboxone on Teeth and Oral Health
Suboxone is a combination medication containing buprenorphine and naloxone. It helps manage withdrawal symptoms and stop cravings related to opioid use disorder. However, despite its effectiveness, adverse effects on dental health are emerging. Concerns revolve around Suboxone’s acidic nature, which can make your teeth prone to cavities and tooth decay.
Suboxone is proven to decrease saliva production in the mouth. When this happens, your mouth can’t neutralize harmful bacteria, wash away food debris, and lubricate itself. Reduced saliva flow can cause the following side effects:
- Dry mouth discomfort, characterized by decreased sensation, difficulty swallowing, and altered taste perception.
- Increased plaque buildup, which thrives in a dry environment, increasing the risk of cavities and gum disease
- Bad breath (halitosis) due to bacterial overgrowth
Though more research needs to be done, Suboxone has been linked to oral health problems, like gum disease, tooth discoloration, and cracked teeth. Fortunately, you can employ strategies to reduce these oral health risks. These strategies include proper oral hygiene, regular dental checkups, saliva stimulants, and dietary changes.
Importance of Dental Health
There are ways to keep your smile appealing while taking Suboxone. Brush twice and floss once in the morning and night to prevent plaque buildup. You should also see your dentist since regular checkups help catch problems early, resolve them, and enhance oral health.
Talk to your doctor, who can help you manage dry mouth and other issues. Remember to stay hydrated to keep your saliva flowing. Sugar-free gum can boost saliva and freshen breath. Sugar-coated gum and sweets, on the other hand, erode the enamel, leaving it vulnerable to bacterial growth.
The Suboxone Lawsuit in Illinois
Previously, Illinois joined other states in suing Indivior, which manufactures Suboxone. The lawsuit alleged that Indivior was being unfair by pushing the newer, more expensive “film” version of Suboxone instead of the cheaper tablets. It also mentioned that the company was trying to stop other companies from making cheaper generic tablet versions.
The lawsuit ended with Indivior agreeing on a settlement and Illinois receiving a percentage of the settlement. Some people in Chicago, Illinois, are now suing Indivior, saying that Suboxone made them experience dental injuries. They claim the company knew or should have known about the risk of tooth problems from Suboxone, but failed to properly warn people or do anything to fix it.
How Long Does the Legal Process Take for a Suboxone Lawsuit?
The Suboxone lawsuit in Illinois, involves various phases, determining the length of pursuing a legal claim against Indivior. These phases include pre-trial, trial, and post-trial. The damages sought and the intensity of injuries suffered also determine the length of the lawsuit.
Expect a class action lawyer to examine your case and gather crucial documents during the pre-trial phase. It’ll take about one to three months to complete this phase. Afterward, lawyers from both sides will ask each other questions and gather evidence.
The lawyers may also talk to witnesses and experts for months or even years, depending on the amount of information to be compiled. A judge might schedule meetings to sort out paperwork and see if both parties can agree. Depending on the court’s busy schedule, it will take months for this procedure to end.
Jury selection will happen before trial commences. At trial, both sides will share their story. The jury will hear the case. Both sides, with the help of their lawyers, will support their story with evidence and witnesses in a weeks or months-long process, depending on the information they have to share.
The court will then ask each side to give final arguments, which the jury will use to reach a verdict. Once the jury gives a ruling, the underlying problem in the lawsuit will be considered settled. However, if you’re not content with the outcome, you can appeal the jury’s decision to a higher court.
Compensation for Dental Damages
If Suboxone damaged your oral health, you may have a legal basis for seeking compensation. However, the type of compensation for dental damages varies widely with each case. A lawyer can assess the claim and determine the compensation you can pursue.
Part of the compensation can help you fix the dental damage. You may need the money for fillings, crowns, bridges, implants, or other medical devices or interventions to help you regain your smile. The compensation may cover your pain medication, antibiotics, or hospital stay. It may also cover your lost wages and benefits if the injury made you lose your physical ability to work.
Other expenses that might be part of the dental damages include visits to the dentist or caregivers who attended to you when you were in pain. Other than economic damages, non-economic damages to be claimed as you file a class action lawsuit include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, and loss of consortium from the lawsuit.
Seeking compensation for pain and suffering may be ideal if you suffer physical and emotional pain and discomfort. Loss of enjoyment may be covered if you can’t enjoy your favorite meal or maintain a smile due to the injury. Your partner may get compensated if your damaged teeth affect your relationship.