East Texas Woman Suing Drug Maker After Nearly Dying - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

07/16/08 - Tyler

East Texas Woman Suing Drug Maker After Nearly Dying

    KLTV 7's Danielle Capper met with Linda Brinkley of Mineola, who says Digitek cost her more than she ever imagined.

"That was one for the books."

Linda Brinkley has quite a story.

She suffered from a heart murmur since a young girl.

Three years ago she was prescribed Digitek, a drug that is used for the treatment of heart conditions.

"They didn't know what was going on with my heart."

After being on the drug for some time, Linda says she began suffering major side effects.

"It made my heart beat fast. I was shaking. My blood sugar would run extremely high or low, severe headaches, nausea. A lot of stuff that normally you wouldn't have."

Her complications just got worse. Linda was rushed to the hospital three times from February to April.

"I was dying when I left here going to the hospital that last time."

That last time was an experience Linda says she'll never forget.

In the ICU Linda says she started coughing, barely able to breath the word "help" before blacking out.

"That was it. I didn't hear nothing."

Linda says she flat-lined on the table.

"Just darkness, just nothing."

She was brought back to life after being very close to death, something her doctor does not attribute to her heart condition.

"[My doctor] told me it wasn't my heart, it was the medicine."

It's medicine that others across the country reported problems with.

According to Actavis' website, they initiated a Class 1 recall at the end of April, saying that some of the tablets may contain twice the approved level of the active ingredient.

"I took this bad Ditigek for one year and two months."

Linda says that year and two months could have cost her.

"It's the most devastating thing a human being can go through. I wouldn't want no one to have to go through what I went through."

Linda now looks at things differently, and is in the process of filing a lawsuit not for her sake but others.

"I thank God every day that I am here. And I worry about the people that don't know that might be still taking those pills."

KLTV 7 News spoke to Ms. Brinkley's attorney who said it'll be a couple months before her individual claim can be filed.

He said a panel of judges is meeting at the end of this month to decide where these cases will be held.

His office along has about 1,500 Digitek claims, and in this type of multi-district litigation, the separate claims are consolidated for purposes of discovery.

Danielle Capper, Reporting. dcapper@kltv.com

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