Do you know someone who died unexpectedly while taking the multiple sclerosis drug Gilenya? Gilenya is currently being reviewed by regulators in the U.S. and Europe following the sudden deaths of several patients being treated with the drug. If someone you love died suddenly after starting treatment with Gilenya, you may be entitled to receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and wrongful death through a Gilenya side effects injury lawsuit.
Lawyers at Parker Waichman LLP who specialize in defective drug litigation are currently investigating the potential for a Gilenya lawsuit for victims and their families. We are offering free case evaluations to the families of those who died unexpectedly while taking Gilenya. If someone you love died after using this drug, we urge you to contact one of our lawyers today to protect your legal rights and learn about the potential for a Gilenya lawsuit.
Gilenya Side Effects
The most common side effects of Gilenya include headache, diarrhea, flu, and pain in the back, abdomen or limbs. However, more serious side effects can include:
- Slowed heart rate (bradycardia)
- Increased risk of serious infections
- Vision problems
- Liver damage
- Increased blood pressure
- Narrowed blood vessels in the brain
- Breathing difficulty
Using Gilenya affects your immune system’s ability to fight infection for up to two months after your last dose. In some cases, the result can be worse health than before you started taking Gilenya.
What’s Behind Gilenya Deaths?
Gilenya was approved for the treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis in 2010. It was the first multiple sclerosis drug approved in pill form, and it is used to reduce the frequency of multiple sclerosis flare-ups and delay physical disability. Since its approval, more than 30,000 people worldwide have taken Gilenya.
One of Gilenya’s known side effects is bradycardia, or slow heart rate. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), bradycardia usually does not cause symptoms, but it can cause dizziness, fatigue, and palpitations. A slowing of the heart rate due to Gilenya mostly occurs after the first dose, and the heart rate usually returns to normal within a month after patients start taking the drug.
In December 2011, the FDA announced it was conducting a Gilenya safety review after one patient died within 24 hours of taking their first dose of Gilenya. In January 2012, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced that it was also conducting a Gilenya safety review after the maker of the drug, Novartis AG, confirmed that ten more fatalities had occurred among Gilenya patients, including six unexplained deaths, three heart attacks, and one death due to disruption of the heart rhythm.
In announcing its safety review, the EMA advised doctors to increase patient monitoring after the first dose of Gilenya is given. This should include electrocardiograms before treatment and for the first six hours after the first dose, then checking the patient’s blood pressure and heart rate every hour, the EMA said. After six hours, patients with a slow heart rate or problems with electricity conduction in the heart should be watched until their condition has improved.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Gilenya a Chemo Drug?
Gilenya was created for multiple sclerosis (MS), but it has been discovered that it has the possibility to relieve chemotherapy-related neuropathy, a painful side effect that cancer patients may endure.
How Long Can You Stay on Gilenya?
You should stay on Gilenya until a qualified medical professional tells you otherwise. Gilenya will stay in your system for about a month after it’s discontinued.
What Happens When You Stop Taking Gilenya?
The FDA has reported that there is a strong possibility that stopping Gilenya can lead to the patient’s MS symptoms worsening to the point of disability. So far, there have been at least 35 reported cases of patients who stopped using Gilenya and experienced a severe worsening of their condition, including the loss of the ability to walk.
Does Gilenya Weaken the Immune System?
Gilenya weakens your immune system and the ability to fight infection while you are taking the medication and for two months following the last dose.
Does Gilenya Cause Hair Loss?
Hair loss is a rare but possible side effect of Gilenya use. In clinical studies, 3% of people who took Gilenya reported hair loss during treatment, compared to 2% of people who took the placebo. If hair loss is a concern, talk to your doctor about whether Gilenya is right for you.
Does Gilenya Make You Tired?
Yes, fatigue is one of the common side effects associated with Gilenya.
Is Gilenya Safe?
Gilenya is a potentially dangerous drug with multiple side effects, including a weakened immune system that can lead to the flu or a fever. In some cases, changes in heart rate caused by Gilenya have led to death. And the FDA has issued a warning that when Gilenya is discontinued, the symptoms of disability and other effects of MS can become worse than they were before Gilenya treatment.
Need Legal Help
The personal injury attorneys at Parker Waichman offer free case evaluations with no obligation, so if you think you might have grounds for a Gilenya lawsuit, you have nothing to lose by finding out about your legal rights. To learn whether you may be entitled to compensation, fill out our online contact form or call 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529) today.