For patients in Louisiana and other states who suffer from high cholesterol, statins such as Lipitor, Crestor, and others, help reduce cholesterol levels in their blood, which can reduce the chance of heart attack and stroke. However, for some patients, statins may not only cause serious side effects, but could also be deadly.
In October 2013, a Louisiana woman filed suit against Pfizer, the makers of Lipitor, claiming that the drug caused her to develop Type-2 diabetes. The woman had been taking the drug for ten years. According to court documents, the FDA did not investigate reports that statins placed people at a higher risk for developing diabetes and continued to allow doctors to prescribe the drug without warning patients of the risks. Type-2 diabetes has now put the Louisiana woman at risk for developing problems with her eyesight, extremities and kidneys.
In addition to the increased risk of diabetes, another potential side effect of statins is liver damage. Because the drugs affect the liver, there is the possibility that liver enzymes could rise, which could lead to damage. Patients are advised to have their doctors test their liver enzymes before starting any statin therapy, including Lipitor, to get an initial level. Doctors should then test enzymes periodically throughout the statin therapy to be sure the enzymes have not risen significantly.
Approximately ten percent of patients will suffer some muscle aches and pains as one of the side effects of statins. However, some patients may develop a serious condition known as rhabdomyolysis in which muscle tissue breaks down and enters the blood stream, causing damage to the kidneys. In 2012, a class action lawsuit was filed in Louisiana by patients who had developed the condition. The lawsuit accuses statin manufacturers of concealing the potential risk of developing rhabdomyolysis from patients.
Researchers initially thought that one of the beneficial side effects of statins would be improvement in asthma symptoms due to the anti-inflammatory properties of the drugs. However, recent research suggestss that the opposite may be true. One study found that patients with asthma who took statins used their inhalers 72 percent more than patients who did not take Lipitor or other statins. In addition, the study participants scored 35 percent worse on lung function tests during the study, leading researchers to conclude that statins may actually worsen asthma symptoms.
The FDA warns that women who are pregnant or nursing should not take statins, including Lipitor. Cholesterol naturally rises in pregnant women, as it is critical to the development of an unborn child. Women who have taken cholesterol lowering drugs have reported birth defects, which is why it is not recommended for women who are or who plan to become pregnant.
Have You Suffered Due to the Side Effects of Statins?
If you or a loved one have suffered side effects of statins that left you injured, debilitated or with chronic medical conditions like diabetes, contact Attorney Group for Louisiana today to learn what options you may have. We can discuss your case in a free consultation, and connect you with an affiliated attorney if you decide to pursue a claim. Contact us today to learn more.