A recent report by KTNV of Las Vegas brings to light some alarming effects of Lupron Depot, a hormone-altering drug known as a GnRH agonist that is widely prescribed for endometriosis and prostate cancer. Leuprolide acetate, sold as Lupron as well as under other brand names, is also used for ovarian stimulation for in-vitro fertilization treatments and a variety of other conditions. Patients have complained of serious negative effects continuing years after they stopped taking Lupron. As a dangerous prescription drugs attorney, I hope that patients are fully informed about Lupron Depot’s potentially dangerous effects before they take the drugs, so that they can make an informed decision about it.
Lupron Depot is a long-acting drug that is injected into a patient’s muscle tissue once a month, but its negative effects can last longer than patients want. According to the article, 21-year-old Christina Smith of Las Vegas has suffered severe anxiety, muscle pain, migraines, nausea and thyroid damage since her single injection of Lupron three years ago. She says her doctor told her only about “menopausal side effects.” Several other women in the article had similar stories, which are backed up by some medical studies. The FDA is currently reviewing the safety of Lupron as a prostate cancer drug, after reports surfaced of a dramatically increased risk of heart problems, diabetes and convulsions. The prescribing information required by the FDA also warns female patients of decreased estrogen, leading to a risk of stopped menstruation, menopause symptoms and permanent loss of bone density. It also is not recommended for pregnant women because of an increased risk of birth defects.
Despite these many risks and negative experiences, manufacturers of leuprolide acetate have continued to market the drug for existing and new uses — most notably, as a treatment for prostate cancer. But a former U.S. Food and Drug Administration medical officer has said that Lupron’s manufacturer, TAP Pharmaceuticals, did not study the drug adequately before or after introducing it to the market, and he alleged that the company hid what it knew about risks of bone density loss, generalized pain, headaches, fluid retention, depression, and immune and nervous system problems, including spinal fracture, convulsions and paralysis. The company paid an $875 million settlement after the Department of Justice charged it with violations of the Prescription Drug Marketing Act and for overcharging and defrauding Medicare and Medicaid. The company had bribed doctors to prescribe the drug. A joint venture of the Japanese company Takeda Pharmaceutical and Abbott Laboratories, TAP was dissolved in 2008 and Lupron is now produced by Abbott. All of this makes me, as a defective prescription medication attorney, concerned about this drug’s history.
The combination of TAP’s behavior in marketing Lupron and the stories of the women hurt by Lupron should prompt the FDA to take a close look at this drug. Even if the FDA chooses not to ban or restrict the drug, patients who have been harmed by Lupron can make its manufacturer compensate them for the ill effects they have suffered. Drug manufacturers have a legal responsibility to warn the public of any potential negative effects of their products that they know about. If a drug company fails to warn the public and patients get hurt, patients can require the drug manufacturer to pay for the damage caused by its negligence. This can include medical costs, past and future lost wages, lost quality of life, damage to personal relationships, and pain and suffering. It is simply unfair and unethical to withhold information about a dangerous drug in order to protect profits, and the law recognizes that any company that does so should face the consequences of its actions.
The pharmaceutical liability attorneys at Carey, Danis & Lowe help victims of dangerous drugs put their lives back together after they have been hurt by medicines that they thought would help them. We know that people who are suffering ill effects from unsafe medications have enough to worry about without also wondering how they will pay for an attorney to help them. That’s why we don’t charge an attorney fee unless we recover financial compensation for you. We have extensive experience in all types of product defect cases and a special practice handling a variety of dangerous or defective prescription drugs. Based in St. Louis and southern Illinois, we handle individual pharmaceutical cases from around the United States as well as class-action cases that bring together many patients who have been hurt by the same drug.
If you or a loved one have been hurt by a dangerous prescription or over the counter medication, let Carey, Danis & Lowe help you stand up for your rights. For a free consultation, call us toll-free at 1-877-678-3400 or contact us through our website.