About six years ago, the FDA approved a new drug called Xeljanz. It was intended to treat a condition called rheumatoid arthritis. People who had rheumatoid arthritis suffer from debilitating pain and stiffness in their joints. Many are eager for any medication that can help relieve their symptoms.
When the FDA approved this drug made by a company called Pfizer, it approved it at a dosage of 5 mg/day. Over the last few years, doctors have started prescribing the drugs at a higher dose of 10 mg/day. The FDA has not approved the drug at this higher dosage.
Pfizer was required by the FDA to conduct studies to see if the drug was safe. What they found was alarming. The drug is found to be linked to the following:
- Cardiovascular events such as pulmonary embolism
- Blood clots in the lungs
Patients who are taking the drug need to see their doctors immediately. If you are one of these patients, you may need a mass tort lawyer. This is especially true if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms.
Why is Xeljanz Prescribed?
The scientific name for Xeljanz is tofacitinib. It was originally created to help people with the following:
- Moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis
- Ulcerative colitis
- Psoriatic arthritis
Since the drug was approved in 2012, it has been prescribed to thousands of people. Most of them are prescribed the drug at 5 mg per day. However, Pfizer has started to market the drug for double the dosage at 10 mg per day. The FDA has not approved it as of yet.
The way Xeljanz works is that it blocks the enzymes in our body that cause painful inflammation and damage to our joints. Xeljanz helps relieve these symptoms.
Pfizer Knew their Drug Was Unsafe
There is evidence that shows that Pfizer was aware of the dangerous risks associated with Xeljanz. In 2013, the Committee for Medicinal Products in Europe refused to approve the use of Xeljanz at the 10 milligram dosage. They did studies on the drug and found that, while the 5 mg dose was safe, the 10 mg dose was not.
In clinical trials, the committee found that Xeljanz posed the following risks:
- Liver damage or renal impairment
- Risk of serious infections
- Gastrointestinal perforations
- Blood clots
The committee warned Xeljanz patients not to take the drug at a higher dosage. The problem is, Pfizer never communicated these warnings to their American customers.
There are Signs You Should Look For
If you’re currently prescribed Xeljanz or Xeljanz XR for rheumatoid arthritis, you really should go see your doctor. Let him know you’re worried about what the drug could do to you. Ask him to do the tests necessary to make sure you’re safe.
You also want to keep an eye out for the following signs:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Sweating profusely
- Clammy skin
- Coughing up blood
- Experiencing chest or back pain
If you believe you’re feeling any of these symptoms, call an attorney immediately. Mass tort lawyers are aware of the recent developments in the Xeljanz lawsuits. They can help get you justice for any injuries you may have suffered as a result of taking the drug. Just keep in mind – do not stop taking any medication without talking to your doctor.
Contact an Experienced Mass Tort Lawyer Today
There are new drugs coming out on the market every day. You have no way of knowing which ones are safe and which ones aren’t. You should be able to count on your doctor to do this for you. When this fails, you have no choice but to count on an experienced mass tort lawyer.
If you think you’ve been injured from the drug Xeljanz, you need to be careful. Your health needs to be your first priority. Call and speak with an attorney who can help. Schedule your free initial consultation right away. Timing is key with mass tort cases. You don’t want to wait too long and miss the filing deadline.
The drug companies have teams of experienced lawyers working for them. You don’t want to go up against them yourself. These types of lawsuits can be very complicated. Mass tort lawyers have years of experience handling cases just like yours. They stay abreast of all the current information regarding dangerous drugs. Contact the lawyers at Rueb Stoller Daniel, the consultation is free and you pay nothing until you’ve settled your case.