Visitor Question

Liver damage from taking medication without blood work?

Submitted By: Debbie (Pennsylvania)

I had frequent urinary tract infections. A urologist would treat them with nitrofuratin. Being a teacher, it was extremely difficult to get them 5-6 times a year, so he put me on a preventative dose of nitrofuratin once daily. After 5 years of taking it, I had an episode, and after blood work, was sent directly to the emergency room.

After a year of many tests, hospital stays, and disruption of my life, I am settling into living with 75 percent of my liver, as the other is scarred from the prescribed nitrofuratin.

I am truthfully glad to be alive and doing pretty well. At the beginning I was told it wasn’t good, and they said I’d need a possible liver transplant, so I have come a long way. My question is, should my doctor be liable since he not ONCE mentioned blood work was needed while I was taking his prescribed medication, which I now know can cause liver damage?

My last appointment with him he said, “Maybe we should take a sonogram to see if there is anything going on.” This seems like gross medical negligence to me? How could he not know he should have been taking blood work for the medication he prescribed? Do I have a case? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.


Dear Debbie,

We completed an extensive search and were not able to find any pending class actions against Galen Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of Nitrofurantoin.

You certainly have a point. If the doctor knew, or should have know regular blood tests were part of the protocol for the drug, then the doctor’s failure to order such tests might amount to medical malpractice.

Medical malpractice claims should never be handled without legal representation. These claims always become lawsuits. It’s very rare for a doctor to admit having committed malpractice. Doctors pay exorbitant malpractice insurance premiums. They do so specifically so when a claim of medical malpractice arises, the insurance company will step in and provide a fierce defense.

Moreover, medical malpractice cases always require expert testimony from doctors, pharmacists, and other professionals who are aware of the side effects and contraindications of drugs. Expert witnesses are quite expensive.

These lawsuits can take years to resolve, and include numerous court hearings, pretrial depositions, interrogatories, motions to discover, and more. Fortunately, most medical malpractice attorneys do not charge an initial consultation fee.

Gather copies of all your medical records and make several appointments with malpractice attorneys in your area. After visiting with several, you will have a much better understanding of the viability of your claim.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: November 19, 2014

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