Gout Medication Side Effects
There are several medications on the market to block the painful uric acid production associated with gout attacks. Uloric, the brand name of febuxostat, is manufactured by Takeda Pharmaceuticals America Inc. and has been available for a decade.
Unfortunately, Uloric can cause serious side effects so severe that they can be deadly. The Uloric medication team at Showard Law Firm are reviewing cases involving injuries caused by serious febuxostat side effects. Those who have suffered from medical complications like heart problems or lost a loved one to premature death after taking this gout medication may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer and related entities.
How Uloric medication works
Gout is a type of arthritis characterized by high levels of uric acid in the blood. The resulting inflammation is especially painful because the acid can develop in needle-like formations in the joints. Uloric is intended to reduce uric acid levels in those who have not responded well to, or cannot take, the long-prescribed drug allopurinol.
Uric acid is derived from substances called purines. Uloric prevents the body from converting purines into uric acid by blocking the xanthine oxidase enzyme. Time has shown, however, that it can cause many unwanted – some serious and even deadly – side effects in the process.
Unwanted Uloric side effects
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has taken notice of the harmful side effects associated with Uloric use and issued a Safety Announcement. According to the announcement, patients who take Uloric face an increased risk of death compared to those who take other gout medications. The increased risk is due to both cardiovascular events like stroke and myocardial infarction, as well as other harmful health effects.
Signs of harmful febuxostat side effects
The FDA recommends that anyone who develops symptoms of serious cardiovascular injuries or other complications that may be caused by Uloric should consider the situation an emergency and seek immediate medical attention. Warning signs of an emergency include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pains
- Racing or abnormally-beating heart
- Slurred speech or other difficulty forming words
- Weakness or numbness on one side of the body or facial drooping
- Dizziness or trouble balancing
- Sudden onset of severe headache
A history of cardiovascular problems is a serious consideration for those taking Uloric. If you have experienced cardiovascular or cardiac symptoms, your doctor should be alerted before any medication is prescribed because Uloric could be especially dangerous under those circumstances.
Other side effects of Uloric gout treatment medication
Some of the more common side effects associated with Uloric may not be deadly but should be treated by a doctor. These include:
- Gout flare when beginning treatment
- Abnormal liver function
- Gastrointestinal upset such as diarrhea or nausea
Litigation over prescription medicine for gout
Showard Law Firm helps those who have been harmed by dangerous drugs to sue for their losses. Medical injury lawsuits are complex; a plaintiff needs to show that the defendant company was legally liable for releasing a dangerous medication and that the drug caused the plaintiff’s losses. In the case of Uloric, the theory of liability is a failure to warn patients and doctors of the increased risk of deadly side effects associated with the drug.
Failure to warn of Uloric side effects
In 2011, a former safety consultant for Takeda Pharmaceuticals filed a whistleblower lawsuit alleging that the company hid reports of harmful and even deadly effects and drug interactions in patients taking Uloric or two heartburn drugs also made by the company. The consultant claimed she was fired for suggesting that Takeda report the adverse effects to the FDA and provide warning labels.
The whistleblower lawsuit was eventually dismissed by a federal court, but Takeda’s failure to warn of deadly Uloric effects again gained attention with the 2017 preliminary release (and 2018 final release) of a post-market study showing that Uloric patients faced an increased risk of death from cardiovascular complications and other causes.
Who is eligible to file a febuxostat side effects lawsuit?
Potential Uloric plaintiffs include both the patients who took Uloric and suffered dangerous complications as well as the families of those who lost loved ones due to the medication. Compensation may include reimbursement of medical expenses, costs for related future medical care, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and funeral expenses.
Showard Law Firm is currently reviewing cases related to Uloric injuries. If you or a loved one took Uloric for gout and developed a serious complication, as a result, call to schedule a free case consultation to find out whether you qualify to file a gout medication litigation. We represent clients from across the country in their fight to hold dangerous drug manufacturers and distributors accountable. We can help you understand your legal rights.
Additional Uloric side effects resources:
- S. Food & Drug Administration, FDA adds Boxed Warning for increased risk of death with gout medication Uloric (febuxostat), https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/fda-adds-boxed-warning-increased-risk-death-gout-medicine-uloric-febuxostat
- Hopkins Arthritis, Febuxostat (Uloric), https://www.hopkinsarthritis.org/patient-corner/drug-information/febuxostat-uloric/