Gilead’s TDF HIV Medication

The FDA is warning that individuals taking Gilead’s HIV drug tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) could experience kidney disease or bone density loss.  Gilead knew its drug was dangerous, yet released it to the market anyway. There are multiple less toxic versions on the market, yet Gilead wanted to increase its profits instead of helping those struggling with HIV.

About TDF

Gilead’s TDF drugs belong to a class of antiretroviral drugs known as nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors that are prescribed to treat HIV. These drugs inhibit the activity of reverse transcriptase. This enzyme slows the progression of HIV. TDF drugs can slow the progression of HIV. Those with HIV need to take anti-viral medication in order to survive.

There are five Gilead TDF drugs available:

Gilead Purposely Withheld Safer Medication

Gilead had a safer medication (TAF) for well over a decade but never released it to maximize profits. Those with HIV need TDF meds to stay alive. They have no choice, and Gilead knew this. But, instead of addressing the kidney and bone density issues, the company decided to keep selling the medication until the patent was up. Then, they “claimed” to find a safer alternative.

The FDA even sent multiple warning letters starting in 2002, each for minimizing the known risks of Truvada and making false claims in regards to its efficacy. Sales representatives were saying it was a “miracle drug without toxicities”. Kidney failure is a side effect, however, representatives never told doctors.

FDA Truvada Warning 1, March 14, 2002: Gilead sales representatives were observed making false claims about the Truvada, stating it was “extremely safe”, “extremely well-tolerated”, and a “miracle drug” that had “no toxicities”. Truvada kidney failure, which was listed as a potential side effect on the warning label, was not mentioned by the representatives. Then, in 2014, the FDA sent another letter. This time the agency called out Gilead’s online advertising that neglected to mention kidney and bone risks with the drug.

TDF Injuries

Those taking Gilead’s TDF describe two main injuries when taking the medication. These include kidney disease and bone density loss.

Chronic Kidney Disease Injuries

Nearly 20,000 people taking TDF reported kidney damage. Kidneys are normally resilient to damage, however, when symptoms start, it is hard to reverse them. Kidneys filter wastes from the bloodstream into the urine and out the body. However, those taking TDF reported chronic kidney disease. This prevented the kidneys from effectively filtering the bloodstream.

Symptoms of this include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Poor concentration
  • Swelling of feet and ankles
  • Itchy skin
  • Need to urinate frequently
  • High blood pressure
  • Abnormal protein levels in the urine
  • High creatinine levels diagnosed by a physician or other healthcare provider
  • Abnormal glomerular filtration rate (GFR) levels (15 to 90) as determined by tests and blood work
  • Death due to renal failure

Aside from chronic kidney disease, individuals taking Gilead’s TDF drugs are at risk of developing several other kidney-related conditions, including:

  • Acute kidney injury (AKI) or acute renal failure (ARF): A kidney disorder in which the kidneys suddenly have difficulty filtering waste from the blood.
  • Fanconi syndrome: A kidney tubule disorder that causes excessive levels of glucose, potassium, and bicarbonate to be excreted in the urine.
  • Renal tubular acidosis: A kidney condition involving the build-up of acid in the bloodstream due to the kidneys failing to filter it out.

Bone Density Injuries

Those taking Gilead’s TDF reported nearly 10,000 reports of bone density loss. In fact, a 2010 study found:

A strong correlation between loss of bone density in HIV-infected individuals, particularly in conjunction with the antiretroviral drug tenofovir.

Another study from 2016 found that Gilead’s TDF has a 1-3 percent greater bone mineral density loss than other anti-viral drugs. Without new bone tissue replacing the older one, osteoporosis sets in it. This is a condition in which bones are so weak that minor falls or stresses can cause them to fracture.

Common symptoms for osteoporosis and osteopenia include:

  • Back pain
  • Stooped posture
  • Loss of height
  • Bone fractures with physician or healthcare provider diagnosis of bone weakening or demineralization
  • Bone density loss, bone demineralization, or weakening of the bones diagnosed by a physician or other healthcare provider

Speak to an Attorney Today

If you or a loved one has been harmed by Gilead’s TDF, you need an attorney with experience helping people who have been harmed by pharmaceutical drugs. The attorneys at the Michael Brady Lynch Firm know what it takes to go up against drug manufacturers to get clients what they need.

How We Can Help

When you experience side effects from a dangerous drug, it can have devastating effects on your entire life. You may be entitled to compensation for their injuries and damages. The types of losses that can be recovered include:

  • Past and future medical expensesinvokana-sad
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of an ability to work; and
  • Pain and suffering

If a person dies from complications from a drug, family members may be able to recover damages for the wrongful death of their loved one, including:

  • Funeral expenses
  • Medical expenses prior to death
  • Loss of economic support; and
  • Loss of companionship

Therefore, if a jury finds the conduct of a drug company to be highly reckless, they may award punitive damages to deter similar conduct in the future. If you developed bone issues or kidney failure after taking a  TDF drug, please speak to us to learn more about your rights.

Also, case evaluations are free of cost and without obligation. Call us today at (877) 513-9517 or contact us online to speak with an attorney about your options. We may be able to get you the help you need.

Learn More

Kidney Issues Linked to Gilead TDF Meds

Bone Density Injuries Linked to Gilead HIV Medications

TDF Medication Dangers for the LGBTQIA Community

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