Our Pittsburgh Lipitor drug attorneys at Chaffin Luhana represent individuals who have suffered serious injuries as a result of taking Lipitor (atorvastatin). A cholesterol-lowering statin prescribed for patients who have high cholesterol levels or who are otherwise at risk for heart attack or stroke, Lipitor has been found to help reduce risk of these events in patients, but has also been linked with muscle damage, memory loss, liver problems, and diabetes.
If you live in the Ohio Valley area and have had your life turned upside down because of Lipitor, call our Pittsburgh defective drug lawyers for a free initial consultation. We can help you determine if you may be eligible to file a Lipitor lawsuit in an attempt to recover damages.
What is Lipitor?
The FDA approved Lipitor as a cholesterol-reducing drug in December 1996, with the specific purpose of preventing cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke. The recommended dosage was 10 or 20 mg once daily, though the agency noted that larger doses of 40-80 mg could be used in patients who needed a large reduction in LDL “bad” cholesterol.
In 2007, the FDA approved the drug to reduce the risk of nonfatal heart attacks, fatal and non-fatal strokes, certain types of heart surgery, hospitalization for heart failure, and chest pain in patients with heart disease. The new approval expanded the use of Lipitor in patients at high risk for cardiovascular events. In 2011, the agency approved the first generic version of the drug, manufactured by Ohm Laboratories.
Lipitor Serious Side Effects
Like all statins, Lipitor may cause muscle problems, including aches and pains, weakness, and actual muscle wasting. Without treatment, this problem can eventually overtax the ability of the kidneys to clean out the blood, resulting in a type of kidney disorder called “rhabdomyolysis” that can eventually lead to kidney failure.
Lipitor may also increase the risk of liver problems. The FDA recommends liver enzyme tests be performed before a patient starts taking the medication when clinically indicated. Memory loss and confusion may occur anywhere from one day after starting therapy, or even years afterward.
Lipitor Diabetes in Women
In 2012, an FDA’s meta-analysis, which included 13 statin trials with over 90,000 participants, found that statin therapy was linked with a nine percent increased risk for type 2 diabetes. A number of other studies have found similar results, with the increased risk ranging from just over six percent to over 13 percent.
In postmenopausal women, the risks are more serious. A study published in Arch Intern Med. reported that statin use in postmenopausal women was associated with a nearly 50 percent increased risk of diabetes. In the study, 6.4 percent of women not taking statins developed diabetes, while nearly 10 percent of women using them developed the disease.
Seniors in general may also be at a greater risk. A Canadian study published in BMJ involving 1.5 million residents in Ontario, Canada, all aged 66 and over and who started statin therapy between 1997 and 2010. Patients taking Lipitor were found to have a 22 percent increased risk of new-onset diabetes.
At Chaffin Luhana, we keep up with the current progress of Lipitor lawsuits across the country. Over 100 plaintiffs have brought claims against manufacturer Pfizer, Inc., many of those involving the drug’s association with diabetes. We understand the difficulties faced by these plaintiffs, who have gone through unnecessary suffering and trauma because these companies failed to provide adequate information and warnings on their products.
As of January 2014, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) was considering consolidating all federal Lipitor lawsuits into one court for more efficient pre-trial proceedings. Meanwhile, coordinated federal Lipitor lawsuits continue in the Southern District of Illinois and the District of South Carolina, with more plaintiffs filing new cases all the time.
If you or a loved one was injured and you believe it may be associated with Lipitor, contact us today for a free consultation. We can help guide you through the legal process, and help determine your eligibility for a lawsuit.