A Humira lawsuit may be an option for people who have experienced serious complications associated with the drug, including fungal infections or serious nerve damage. Multiple safety warnings issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have alerted patients and health care professionals of the possible link between the use of Humira and serious infections and certain types of cancers. Likewise, lawsuits allege that the drug led some patients to develop nerve damage as well as permanent vision problems after taking the drug to treat inflammatory conditions such as Crohn’s disease. Affected patients and their families may be able to pursue a claim and recover compensation with the help of a dangerous drug attorney.
If you or a loved one have been adversely affected by a potentially dangerous drug, contact Attorney Group to learn about your options. We offer free, no obligation consultations. We can help answer your questions, and if you choose to pursue a claim we can connect you with an affiliated attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
Have You Seen a Humira Lawsuit Commercial?
You may have seen a Humira lawsuit commercial on television and wondered whether you or a loved one have been affected by it and similar drugs and, if so, whether you are eligible to pursue a claim against the drug manufacturer or distributor. The purpose of this article is to provide you with additional information about lawsuits and other litigation involving dangerous drugs so that you have a better understanding of your options.
What is Humira?
Humira (adalimumab) is a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitor primarily used to treat inflammatory conditions, including:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) – A chronic inflammatory disorder that occurs when the body’s immune system attacks its own tissue and commonly affects a person’s joints, leading to severe pain.
- Psoriatic Arthritis (PA) – A type of inflammatory arthritis that affects some people with psoriasis. Symptoms may include joint pain, stiffness and swelling.
- Ankylosing Spondylitis – An inflammatory arthritis that primarily affects the spine and other joins, which may potentially lead to severe, chronic pain and discomfort.
- Crohn’s Disease – A chronic inflammatory bowel disease that affects the lining of the digestive tract. Crohn’s disease may cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, anemia, and fatigue, as well as other life-threatening conditions.
- Plaque Psoriasis – A condition in which skin cells build up and form scales and itchy, dry patches.
According to the American College of Rheumatology, TNF inhibitors, such as Humira, work to reduce the inflammatory process stop disease progression by targeting TNF, a substance in the body that can cause inflammation and potentially lead to immune system diseases, including those treated by Humira
Humira Side Effects
Serious side effects associated with Humira may include:
- Serious infections, including tuberculosis (TB)
- Certain types of cancer
- Hepatitis B reactivation in patients who carry the virus in their blood
- Nervous system problems
- Blood problems
- New or worsening heart failure
- Immune reactions, including a lupus-like syndrome
Common side effects of Humira may include:
- Injection site reactions, such as redness, rash, swelling, itching, or bruising.
- Upper respiratory infections, including sinus infections
Additionally, patients treated with Humira may experience serious allergic reactions, such as skin rash, a swollen face or trouble breathing.
Humira Infection Risk
Humira may increase a patient’s chance of getting a serious, potentially deadly, infection. According to the FDA, these infections can involve various organ systems and sites due to bacterial, mycobacterial (e.g., tuberculosis), fungal, viral (e.g., hepatitis B), as well as other organisms that typically do not cause disease in healthy people, but may cause serious illness when a person’s immune system has weakened. In some cases, such infections have been fatal.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), TB is caused by a bacterium known as Mycobacterium tuberculosis. In most cases, the bacteria attack the lungs, but TB bacteria can attack any part of the body, including the kidneys, spine and brain.
Not everyone infected with TB bacteria becomes sick. Two types of TB-related conditions exist: (1) latent TB infection (LTBI) and (2) TB disease. TB disease can be fatal if not treated properly.
According to the drug’s prescription label, “anti-tuberculosis treatment of patients with latent tuberculosis infection reduces the risk of reactivation in patients receiving treatment with Humira. However, active tuberculosis has developed in patients receiving Humira whose screening for latent tuberculosis infection was negative.”
Other Humira Risks
Humira Cancer Risk
The chance of getting lymphoma or other cancers may increase in children and adults taking TNF blockers, including Humira. According to the drug’s prescription label, “there have been cases of unusual cancers in children, teenagers, and young adults using TNF blockers,” and “[s]ome people have developed a rare type of cancer called hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma,” which often leads to death. Additionally, the chance of getting two types of skin cancer (basal cell and squamous cell) may increase with the use of Humira.
Humira Nerve Damage Risk
Humira may lead to nervous system problems, including symptoms of numbness and tingling, vision problems, weakness in the arms and legs, and dizziness. Plaintiffs in lawsuits have claimed to have developed optic nerve damage and permanent vision problems after taking Humira to treat Crohn’s disease. According to a lawsuit filed in May 2011, the drug manufacturer, Abbott Laboratories, downplayed the potential risk of nerve damage and vision problems despite available information about the increased risk of optic neuritis and other types of nerve damage.
Several drug safety communications have been issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regarding Humira and a possible connection to serious diseases and complications, including infections and cancers.
On June 4, 2008, the FDA issued a safety communication notifying patients and health care providers of the agency’s investigation into a possible association between the use of TNF blockers and the development of lymphoma and other cancers in children and young adults.
According to the warning, the FDA is investigating “approximately 30 reports of cancer in children and young adults,” which described the occurrence of both Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in children and young adults who began taking TNF blockers (along with other immuno-suppressive medicines), when they were ages 18 or less, to treat Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA), Crohn’s disease or other diseases.
On September 4, 2008, the FDA issued a safety communication notifying health care professionals that some types of invasive fungal infections had not been noticed in patients taking TNF blockers, including Humira, resulting in treatment delays and in some cases, death.
Based on analyses conducted and post-marketing reports gathered by the FDA, on August 8, 2009, the agency issued a safety communication requiring manufacturers of TNF blockers to update the Boxed Warning in the drugs’ prescription information to alert health care providers of an increased risk of lymphoma and other malignancies in children and adolescents taking TNF blockers, including Humira.
On November 3, 2011, the FDA updated a previous safety communication issued on April 14, 2011, to alert the public of the agency’s ongoing safety review of TNF blockers and certain cancers in children, adolescents and young adults. The report was issued as a result of continued reports of a rare cancer of white blood cells (known as Hepatosplenic T-Cell Lymphoma or HSTCL), in children and young adults taking TNF blockers to treat Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
On September 7, 2011, the FDA issued a drug safety communication “informing healthcare professionals that the Boxed Warning for the entire class of Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNFα) blockers has been updated to include the risk of infection from two bacterial pathogens, Legionella and Listeria.”
Has There Been a Humira Recall?
Although the FDA has issued multiple drug safety communications beginning in 2008, the agency has not notified the public of an additional Humira recall. Lawsuits claim that the drug makers failed to disclose known side effects of the drug and that patients suffered damages as a result. Failure to warn of side effects of a drug can be a basis of drug company liability, regardless of whether the drug has been recalled.
Lauren A. on May 16, 2016
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Is There a Humira Class Action Lawsuit?
To date, no Humira class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of patients who experienced serious complications associated with the drug. Likewise, Humira lawsuit attorneys are doubtful that a class action will be certified for patients who are adversely affected by the drug. Instead, if multiple lawsuits are filed against the drug makers alleging injuries and other damages caused by Humira and similar drugs, it is anticipated that these lawsuits will be consolidated for discovery and other pretrial proceedings.
When cases are consolidated in this way in federal court it is called a multidistrict litigation (MDL), and on a state level it is known as a state court consolidated proceeding. MDLs are distinct from class actions, and it is generally agreed that consolidating cases instead of proceeding in a class action is a more efficient and effective way of handling claims arising from injuries caused by pharmaceutical products.
Have There Been Any Humira Lawsuit Settlements?
Some dangerous drug lawsuits may settle early in the claims process. However, it is not expected that there will be any opioid lawsuit settlements at this time. Instead, it is expected that opioid lawsuits will be consolidated in federal court through an MDL. Opioid lawsuit attorneys note that the outcome of any case is never guaranteed and past results are not necessarily predictive of future outcomes.
Humira Lawsuit News
- June 2011Lawsuit filed in Tennessee alleges that the drug manufacturer failed to adequately warn consumers of the increased risk of fungal infections associated with the use of Humira after the plaintiff in the case was allegedly diagnosed with a progressive infection known as disseminated histoplasmosis.
- May 2011Plaintiff files lawsuit in Illinois claiming that the drug manufacturer, Abbott Laboratories, downplayed the potential risk of nerve damage and vision problems despite available information about the increased risk of optic neuritis and other types of nerve damage.
- April 2011Lawsuit filed in Illinois alleges that the plaintiff suffered permanent nerve damage after using Humira to treat Crohn’s disease.
How a Humira Lawsuit Attorney Can Help
Drug makers have a duty to provide safe products. If there are risks of harm associated with their products, they also must provide adequate warnings. If a drug maker fails to fulfill this duty, it could be held liable in lawsuits for injuries that may result.
People injured by Humira or similar drugs may be eligible to recover money for:
Pain and Suffering
The families of those who have died may be eligible to recover money for funeral expenses and the pain that comes with losing a loved one.