Chicago Dangerous Drugs Attorneys for Statins

When your doctor prescribes a drug for you, you expect it to be effective and, above all, safe. Unfortunately, sometimes the mechanism that is meant to warn us about the safety of medicine breaks down, leaving us vulnerable to hazardous or harmful drugs.

If you have been injured because you took a particular medication, and you weren’t made aware, by the manufacturer or by your physician, that the drug had the potential to cause you harm, contact the Chicago dangerous drugs attorneys of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC at (312) 346-8620 right away. In some cases, class actions or mass torts have already begun, and you may have a limited time to attach your name to the claims. We will review your case and see what can be done to get you the compensation you deserve for the injury you suffered.

Statins: What They Are and What They Do

Statins are a type of drug used in combating high cholesterol and heart disease. The drugs act to block the formation of cholesterol in the bloodstream. Cholesterol in the bloodstream can cause plaque to build up within the walls of arteries. This plaque narrows the arteries and allows clots to form in the blood vessels. When the clots become too large, they lead to heart attacks or strokes.

Statins may also help reduce inflammation in arteries and joints, providing relief to those with autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and other diseases. The reduction in inflammation may also help improve respiratory diseases like COPD, although studies on this have been unclear.

The early effects of statins were so promising that statins became the go-to drug for reducing cholesterol in heart patients and have remained so since the 1970s. Unfortunately, statins have a number of long-term effects that have raised concerns.

  • Diabetes. A number of court cases, culminating in a class-action suit against the manufacturers of Lipitor, alleged that the drug caused Type-2 diabetes in a significant number of patients. Another statin, Crestor, had similar complaints.
  • Muscle damage. Called “myopathy” in medical literature, this effect is rare but potentially life-threatening since it can cause kidney and liver damage. For reasons not clearly understood, statins can cause muscle tissue to break down, releasing toxins into the bloodstream.

Not everyone needs a statin. Current medical thinking is that these drugs should be limited to individuals who have diabetes, have very high LDL or “bad” cholesterol (above 190), who already have coronary artery disease and are at risk for a heart attack, and those who are otherwise considered to be at very high risk of heart attack within ten years.

Doctors would prefer that those of us who are at lower risk and just have moderately high cholesterol would eat better and exercise. Statins are for those people who are in more danger from a heart attack than from any potential harm the drug might cause.

Doctors and even drug manufacturers are not always to blame when a drug causes unforeseen effects many years after its discovery, but they are responsible for failing to warn patients of the possible dangers and for providing alternatives for treatment.

Lipitor and Crestor Lawsuits

Beginning in 2006, there were reports of patients experiencing devastating side effects after taking high doses of Lipitor, a form of statin manufactured by Pfizer. These culminated in a class-action lawsuit in 2015, in which patients charged Pfizer with failing to provide a warning that Lipitor could cause diabetes. Pfizer has taken the stance that diabetes and high cholesterol often occur together, and no causation can be found.

Additional legal action has continued against Pfizer, AstraZeneca (the makers of Crestor), and other statin producers. The claims have ranged from failure to provide health warnings to misleading advertising. It is safe to say that the legal battle over statins has not ended.

Another class-action lawsuit that included more than twenty-five thousand people challenged the FDA’s approval of statins. The allegations included that the FDA has not appropriately investigated the potential side effects that arise with long-term statin usage.

What You Can Do

If you already take statins, you should continue to do so unless advised to stop by your doctor. If you have medical concerns about the brand or dosage, always consult your physician. Never make medical decisions because of something you saw on the internet.

If you believe you have been injured by taking a statin or that your condition has been made worse because of the drug, you should consult a legal professional immediately. Your attorney will review your case and advise you about your best legal options.

You have the right to expect compensation from those involved in the manufacture, sale, and distribution of dangerous drugs, including:

  • The pharmaceutical company
  • Distributors and sales representatives
  • Doctors, clinics, and healthcare providers
  • Pharmacies and dispensaries

Be sure to ask what medication you have been receiving as well as what you were prescribed. Some pharmacies will switch out generic for brand-name drugs to cut costs, and not all generics and brand names are the same. For instance, Lipitor is the best-known of the harmful statins, but the generic form, atorvastatin, is more commonly prescribed.

When you contact Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, we will work to get you the compensation you deserve for the harm done to you because you took the drug. You might be compensated for:

  • Medical bills and costs, including rehabilitation or future care
  • Lost pay or income, if your injury required you to be off work
  • Loss of future earnings if your injury causes disability
  • Emotional distress or pain and suffering
  • Wrongful death

Contact Us Today

Dangerous drug cases can be among the most difficult to resolve because the companies behind them are large and have teams of attorneys on their side. You need someone on your side to fight for your rights and pursue the compensation you need for a full recovery.

Call Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC at (312) 346-8620 if you believe you were affected by your medication and you weren’t given the proper warnings. We’re here to help you.

Written by Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC Last Updated : May 21, 2019
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