Gout Drug Linked to Rhabdomyolysis, Liver Failure, Kidney Injury, Bone Marrow Failure and Deaths
The gout drug Uloric has been tied to numerous harmful side effects, including rhabdomyolysis, liver failure, kidney damage, bone marrow failure, and more. These side effects can lead to serious medical complications and even death.
The Uloric Lawsuit Attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP understand that you feel frightened and angry because of the Uloric injuries that you have suffered or that a family member has suffered. We felt the conduct of the drug manufacturer warranted legal repercussions, which is why we began filing lawsuits on behalf of injured families. Our clients have found peace of mind and closure in the deserved compensation they have received.
If you took Uloric for gout and developed a severe complication, including rhabdomyolysis, liver failure, kidney damage, bone marrow failure, or drug interactions, contact our Uloric lawsuit law firm today. One of our experienced and compassionate attorneys can quickly help you understand your legal options, starting with a free case consultation.
Uloric and Gout
Uloric is a type of prescription drug called a xanthine oxidase inhibitor. It is manufactured by Takeda Pharmaceuticals America Inc. and is also known by the generic name febuxostat. Uloric is indicated for the treatment of gout and specifically, for the treatment of hyperuricemia, which is a complication of gout.
When a person has gout, his or her body retains too much uric acid. Uric acid is a substance produced as the body breaks down purines. Purines are naturally inside the body and are also found in some foods and drinks. The blood usually absorbs uric acid or excreted by the kidneys, but some people produce too much of the acid, or their bodies do not adequately dispose of normal levels of the acid.
Excessive uric acid in the body can lead to urate crystals forming around the joints. Urate crystals can feel needle-like and cause redness, inflammation, and severe pain, especially in the feet. These complications are characteristic of gout.
Uloric was approved in 2009 to treat the painful symptoms of gout by inhibiting or blocking an enzyme that contributes to uric acid production: xanthine oxidase. At the time of its approval, Uloric was the first new gout drug released on the market in 40 years.
Uloric Side Effects and Injuries
Uloric has been linked to numerous dangerous side effects that cause extreme injuries to patients taking the drug. Parker Waichman LLP has been investigating and filing lawsuits regarding the following medical complications associated with Uloric:
Rhabdomyolysis is one of the most severe complications linked to Uloric. This is a condition in which skeletal muscle tissue rapidly breaks down, leading to damaged muscle cells being released into the bloodstream. These cells are dangerous and can cause damage to other parts of the body, particularly the kidneys.
Symptoms of rhabdomyolysis can include:
- Muscle aches
- Generalized weakness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Dark, tea-colored urine
If not timely diagnosed and treated, rhabdomyolysis can lead to failure of the kidneys or other organs and can ultimately cause a patient’s death.
By way of rhabdomyolysis or another process, Uloric can lead to failure of the liver. In Uloric studies, many patients’ blood tests showed elevated liver enzymes, a signal of liver injury and potentially imminent liver failure. Liver function abnormality was the most common adverse reaction leading to discontinuation of Uloric in clinical trials for the drug.
Signs of liver failure include:
- Pain and tenderness in the upper abdomen
- Swelling of the abdomen
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abnormal bloodwork, including elevated liver enzymes
- Confusion or disorientation
- Fatigue or tiredness
- Yellowing of the skin
- Yellowing of the eyes
The liver is a vital organ for life, and liver damage that is not detected early enough can lead to severe complications, including death.
Uloric is also associated with kidney damage and kidney failure, especially in patients who develop the condition rhabdomyolysis. In Uloric clinical trials, many patients taking the drug developed hematuria (blood in the urine), nephrolithiasis (kidney stones), pollakiuria (extremely frequent urination), proteinuria (abnormal proteins in the urine), renal failure, renal insufficiency, urgency, or incontinence.
Symptoms of acute kidney injury or kidney failure can include:
- Decreased urine output or smaller amounts of urine than normal
- Swelling and fluid retention in legs and feet
- Drowsiness and fatigue
- Chest pain or pressure in the chest
- Nausea and vomiting
- Confusion or delirium
- Shortness of breath
If kidney injuries are discovered early, patients can recover in time. However, kidney injuries can quickly escalate to kidney disease and kidney failure, leading to the need for dialysis and transplants. Patients can die from kidney failure.
Bone Marrow Failure
Uloric has additionally been linked to bone marrow failure, a rare condition in which the bone marrow cannot produce enough blood cells for the body. The bone marrow is the site of red blood cell, white blood cell, and blood platelet production. All of these cells serve essential functions within the body. Bone marrow failure can result in serious diseases and life-threatening complications.
Signs of bone marrow failure include:
- Abnormal bruising
- Bleeding of the gums and nose
- Tooth decay
- Blood in urine or stool
- Chronic fatigue
- Recurrent illnesses
- Abnormal bloodwork
Bone marrow failure is a hazardous condition requiring immediate attention. Patients might need transplants and extensive medical treatment. Without prompt and appropriate treatment, bone marrow failure can lead to death.
Patients who use Uloric can also experience extreme drug interactions, either because of the drug itself or because of the way Uloric interacts with other medications the patients are taking. Some of these reactions can include painful rashes and blisters, increased plasma concentrations, and severe toxicity. Uloric has mainly been associated with clinically significant interactions with the following drugs:
In 2012, a former Takeda employee filed a whistleblower lawsuit against Takeda, alleging that the corporation purposefully withheld information from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and from the public about the potential health consequences of taking Uloric in combination with certain other drugs. The suit ultimately did not prevail but brought to light tremendously concerning conduct on the part of Takeda.
ULORIC® Linked to Cardiovascular Fatal Outcomes
According to healthycanadians.gc.ca, a post-market clinical study of the drug ULORIC was conducted, indicating that there is a higher likelihood for patients to experience a cardiovascular (CV) fatal outcome when taking the drug as compared to those who are treated with the drug allopurinol.
Healthcare professionals, including without limitation, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists, should be aware of the risk of a CV fatal outcome associated with taking ULORIC.
ULORIC is used to treat high uric acid levels in patients with gout. As noted in the clinical study, ULORIC was used as an alternative to the drug allopurinol, which some patients have reported as ineffective in treating their gout.
Due to the risks associated with taking ULORIC, the above-referenced healthcare professionals are advised to (i) only use ULORIC in adult patients who have been diagnosed with gout and found allopurinol to be inappropriate or ineffective in treating their condition; (ii) not prescribe ULORIC to those who have heart disease or who have a history of congestive heart failure; and (iii) monitor patients who take ULORIC for the signs and symptoms of cardiac failure, stroke, and heart attack.
In the study, it found that there is a higher likelihood for patients to experience a deadly CV outcome when taking ULORIC, as compared to those who are treated with allopurinol. To mitigate the adverse effects of the drug as identified in the study, the ULORIC Canadian Product Monograph has been updated to include a revised indication for use and safety information of the drug, including a new Serious Warnings and Precautions Box associated with the increased risk of cardiovascular death.
Uloric Lawsuits: You Can Hold the Manufacturer Accountable
If you have suffered injuries from the prescription drug Uloric, you have legal rights. You do not have to accept the pain and suffering Takeda placed upon you; You can hold the manufacturer accountable by filing a product liability lawsuit. Through a lawsuit, you can pursue compensation from Takeda including:
- The costs you have incurred for medical treatment
- The wages and income you have lost at work
- Money damages for your physical and mental pain and suffering
- Potential punitive damages
Parker Waichman LLP’s nationally recognized lawyers will help you stand up for your rights and acquire the just results you need to move forward. Contact our firm today to find out more about the relief you can secure through legal action.
Free Case Consultations – Contact Parker Waichman LLP
Parker Waichman LLP offers free consultations for Uloric cases. Our Uloric lawsuits law firm will review the details of your potential claims with no money down and no retainers. Because of statutes of limitations in place, time could be limited to protect your legal rights, so do not delay in hiring experienced counsel. Contact our law offices today for your free case consultation by calling 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) or by our filling our website’s contact form.
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