Tennessee Lipitor Lawsuit Attorneys
Tennessee has seen its share of Lipitor scandals, from counterfeits to contamination, but Tennessee Lipitor Lawsuit attorneys say the worse may be yet to come. Lipitor and its generic equivalent atorvastatin save lives by controlling cholesterol levels and lowering the risk of heart disease, but recent research indicates that the drug may have disturbing side effects for older women. Studies have concluded that postmenopausal women who take statins like Lipitor are significantly more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
The Pros and Cons of Lipitor
Scientists at Parke-Davis Warner-Lambert developed Lipitor in 1985. That company was absorbed by the giant pharmaceutical company Pfizer in 2000. In the meantime, in 1996, the FDA approved Lipitor for use in treating high cholesterol. The drug works by inhibiting a liver enzyme that influences cholesterol production, thus reducing the levels in the blood. Less cholesterol in the bloodstream means less to clog arteries and otherwise interfere with the circulation, so Lipitor use decreases the likelihood of cardiovascular disease, a condition that causes more deaths world-wide than any other. In the decades after approval it became the best-selling medication in history.
While Lipitor has tremendous benefits, it also has side effects. It should not be used by pregnant women or nursing mothers due to dangers to the child. People taking it report having headaches. Some mention insomnia, dizziness, memory loss, digestive problems, infections, and allergic reactions. A few patients suffer muscular weakness or degeneration of muscle tissue, but the positive effects of the drug are felt to outweigh those risks and inconveniences. The possibility of diabetes, however, is much more serious, a matter grave enough to merit the involvement of Tennessee Lipitor lawsuit attorneys.
The results of the so-called JUPITER trial were presented in 2008, results which Tennessee Lipitor lawsuit attorneys have studied carefully. They indicated that patients taking statins who had other risk factors for diabetes were more likely to develop the disease. Almost half the patients with all four of the major risk factors—obesity, high levels of blood sugar, high cholesterol and high blood pressure—got diabetes. While the risk of getting diabetes is still much less than that of untreated heart disease, the use of statins was implicated as a probable cause of Type 2 diabetes in susceptible people.
These results were replicated in other studies in the US, Canada, Europe and Japan. In all of them, Lipitor was specifically implicated. Researchers recommended that patients who did not have heart disease should address their cholesterol levels by modifying their diet and their exercise habits. Physicians were advised to monitor patients on Lipitor for signs of diabetes. New research showed that people on higher doses of statins were more likely to become diabetic. Finally, in 2012, the FDA mandated that the drug carry a diabetes warning label. Patients in Tennessee can begin to seek compensation with the help of Tennessee Lipitor Lawsuit attorneys.
Effects of Developing Diabetes
Diabetes occurs when the body becomes unable to metabolize ingested sugars, resulting in elevated levels of glucose in the blood. These high concentrations damage the lining of blood vessels and cause chemical changes in nerves. This damage cause a cascade of effects that have a markedly negative impact on the patient’s daily life. Unsurprisingly, the serious effects of diabetes can have a negative impact on mental as well as bodily health, leading to anger, depression and other undesirable reactions.
Nerve damage can have symptoms of its own, including pain, tingling and numbness. Degeneration of the nerves can cause other problems: if the vagus nerve which controls the digestive tract is affected, the patient can develop gastroparesis. Dizziness, faintness and erectile disfunction are also attributed to nerve damage. Damage to the tiny nerves in the inner ear can cause hearing loss. Nerve damage is especially dangerous to the feet, since numbness may mean not feeling an injury that needs treatment.
Kidney problems impair the body’s filtration system. The kidneys remove waste from the blood with the help of a network of fine capillaries. Because of their tiny size, capillaries are extremely vulnerable to damage from high blood sugar levels. Elevated concentrations of glucose also make the kidneys work harder. The end result of untreated diabetes can be renal failure necessitating dialysis, or it can even lead to death.
For post-menopausal women, the knowledge that that have almost a 50/50 chance of developing diabetes and—consequently—all of these health risks and side-effects as a result of taking Lipitor should serve as a wake up call. That call should lead to another call, one made to Attorney Group for Tennessee to speak with on of their affiliated Tennessee Lipitor lawsuit attorneys.
You Have Options
Tennessee residents who developed diabetes while taking Lipitor may be entitled to legal damages. They or their survivors should seek legal advice. The experienced Tennessee Lipitor Lawsuit attorneys affiliated with Attorney Group for Tennessee can evaluate a patient’s situation and recommend the most effective course of action. Contact us today for a no-charge, no-obligation consultation.