Lipitor has been in the news for a long time. In 2012, the Food and Drug Administration released updates on health complications from Lipitor, including risk of high blood sugar and development of diabetes. A study released the same year found the post-menopausal women taking Lipitor were at a 48% higher risk of developing diabetes than those who did not take the drug.
What is Lipitor?
Lipitor, which is manufactured by Pfizer, is a statin: statins are prevent the body from creating the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase, which is used by the liver to create cholesterol. By preventing the production of the enzyme, statin drugs like Lipitor can help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Lipitor was approved for use by the FDA in 1996, and quickly became the gold standard for high cholesterol patients. The drug is extremely effective. It is chemically designed to block the production of “bad” cholesterol and raise levels of “good” cholesterol.
Why Lipitor can be dangerous
Unfortunately, Lipitor is not nearly the perfect cholesterol drug it was believed to be. Pfizer did not properly indicate potential risks until 2012 – sixteen years after the drug became publicly available. Lipitor has a relatively high risk of serious side effects, including:
- High blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
- Muscle and joint problems
- Myopathy (muscle tissue fiber damage)
- Rhabdomyolysis (severe myopathy resulting in muscle death)
- Liver disease or injury
- Cardiovascular disease
To date, about 2,000 lawsuits have been consolidated in the court of the District of South Carolina. The first of the bellwether trials (where a small number of cases are tried in lieu of all the cases, thus eliminating costly and time-consuming litigation while also giving the plaintiffs and the defendant, Pfizer, a good understanding of how a jury will find and how much compensation might be expected, should the jury find for the plaintiffs) are expected to begin in November of 2015. There is still time to file a lawsuit.
Medical side effects, though rare, can have serious implications. Taking Lipitor can have lifelong repercussions. If you or a loved one is currently taking Lipitor, please take the time to discuss these concerns with a medical professional. If you or someone you know has taken Lipitor in the past and suffered complications, please contact Crandall & Pera Law to schedule a consultation at one of our multiple offices throughout Ohio and Kentucky.