RICHMOND, Va. (CN) – Botox injections for writer’s cramp left a man with devastating brain injuries, including “multiple ischemic brain lesions” and “dementing encephalopathy,” he says in an $11 million claim against Allergan, which makes the drug.
Douglas M. Ray Jr. claims in City Court that after three treatments for dystonic tremor and writer’s cramp, he suffered a severe immune reaction to the Botox. Botox, which paralyzes muscles for a medium term, has become a popular plastic surgery drug, but is also used to treat real medical problems, such as tremors.
Ray claims that Allergan has warned that the drug, a potent neurotoxin hundreds of times stronger than cyanide, can cause serious autoimmune responses, brain injury and botulism.
Botox can migrate out of the muscle causing life-threatening systemic effects. The higher the dose, the more likely side effects are to occur, according to the complaint.
Allergan markets two products – Botox and Botox Cosmetic – which are identical and have been approved by the FDA for narrow uses. Ray suit claims the company intentionally circumvents the FDA approval process by asking for approval for narrow uses and then marketing Botox. It claims, in fact, that most Botox sales are for “off-label” uses.
Ray says the Botox caused him to become “fully dependent on his wife and home nursing caregivers for all activities of daily living. He cannot independently bathe, shave or dress. He is incontinent of urine and wears adult diapers 24 hours a day. He needs assistance/support with walking. Frequently he needs assistance to feed himself. He is frequently confused or disoriented and therefore has difficulty communicating his thoughts.”
Ray seeks punitive damages. He is represented by Stephen Bricker.