Popular Arthritis Medications Can Lead to Disaster
Millions of people across the United States suffer from constant pain from arthritis. Consumers depend on arthritis medications like Actemra or Synvisc-One to help them lead a normal life. However, these medications aren’t completely safe. When their safety fails, these drugs hurt thousands of American consumers.
Introduced in 2010, Actemra treats rheumatoid arthritis. Unlike other drugs on the market, it was supposed to not carry the same potentially deadly cardiovascular and lung complications. However, according to a new report from STAT, Actemra is not as safe as the FDA and Roche would want consumers to believe. In fact, the STAT report suggests that the drug can be more dangerous than its competitors.
Actemra Is More Dangerous & Without Warnings
The FDA approved Actemra with the condition that Roche would perform Phase IV clinical trials (post-marketing trials). This is normal protocol when there is inconclusive evidence about a drug’s long-term safety. Researchers at the 2016 American College of Rheumatology showed the results from the Phase IV trial. After researchers compared Actemra users to a competitive RA drug, Enbrel, they found Actemra users have a 1.5 times higher rate of stroke and heart failure.
Enbrel has warning labels warning of these side effects but Actemra does not.
Synvisc-One injections use hylan A fluid and hylan B gel, made from a substance called hyaluronan, along with salt water. The syringe uses this gel-like mixture to relieve pain mainly associated with knee osteoarthritis or other joint pain. Hyaluronan, also known as sodium hyaluronate, is naturally present in healthy joints. The substance acts as a shock absorber and lubricant, allowing joints to move smoothly over each other. However, the substance appears to break down in people with osteoarthritis. Injecting it into a joint may lessen pain and inflammation. If non-sterile microbes contaminate the injections, then, patients experience harmful and dangerous side effects.
In December 2017, Sanofi Genzyme voluntarily recalled Synvisc-One, as a result of microbial contamination of lot number 7RSL021 sold in the United States from October 25, 2017, through November 7, 2017. This recalled lot equates to 12,380 syringes. Investigators pinpointed that the microbe is a common airborne organism, which causes serious infections. This, in part, is why it is important to know which microbes are present in Synvisc-One to better treat the thousands suffering from its side effects. An airborne microbe can range from the common cold to the bubonic plague. Sanofi Genzyme needs to tell the American public what the non-sterile microbe contaminant is.
However, Sanofi Genzyme did not express which side effects prompted the recall. A representative of the pharmaceutical company stated the infected syringes increased the presence of side effects found on the label. The warnings listed on the package insert include pain, swelling, heat, redness, and fluid build-up in and around the knee.
Arthritis Medications Can Be Deadly
Both drugs may treat different forms of arthritis, but they both have one thing in common. They each could kill the user. Unfortunately, these are not the first dangerous arthritis medications either. In 2002, the FDA linked RA drug Arava to 22 deaths within the first three years of approval. It also caused 130 severe liver reactions and 56 hospitalizations. Life Sources ranked the top 12 most dangerous drugs, and five of them were commonly used arthritis medications.
We Want to Help Victims
It is your right to be informed about the long-term risks associated with the medications you take, and it is the responsibility of drug companies to provide this information. If you or a loved one has developed a side effect after taking Acterma or had a severe reaction after using a Synvisc-One injection from the contaminated lots sold between October and November 2017, you should demand accountability.
We want to help send a message that this is not acceptable. If a dangerous product harmed you, we will be your advocate. Additionally, we have the experience necessary to successfully litigate these cases.
Contact the Michael Brady Lynch Firm today for a free consultation to learn more about seeking justice. Compensation may be available for any medical expenses associated with this ordeal, as well as for your physical and emotional suffering. There is no obligation.