Millions of Americans are prescribed statins to lower their cholesterol and prevent heart disease. However, these medications are not without side effects. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned both consumers and health care professionals that those being treated with statins may have an increased risk of raised blood sugar levels and the development of Type 2 diabetes. Some statin users have also reported cognitive impairment such as memory loss, confusion and forgetfulness. In addition, some medications interact with lovastatin and can increase the risk of muscle damage, the FDA warns.
Patients Not Aware of Side Effects
More than 100 new lawsuits were filed last month in U.S. District Court, District of South Carolina, many of which allege that the use of the statin drug Lipitor led to plaintiffs developing Type 2 diabetes. Court documents show that the number of cases linking Lipitor to Type 2 diabetes is quickly mounting.
Most of these lawsuits allege that Pfizer Inc., the pharmaceutical company that manufactures Lipitor, failed to disclose the link between Lipitor and diabetes thereby not allowing patients to make an informed decision about their treatment. Had patients known about this link, the lawsuits state, they would have not accepted this treatment or would have requested closer diabetes monitoring. As it turned out, they were simply not aware of the risk and the connection between Lipitor and Type 2 diabetes.
Other Problems Linked to Lipitor
A recent report on HealthDay also stated that taking statins such as Lipitor may protect people from heart attack and stroke, but raise the odds of developing cataracts by 27 percent. Researchers involved in this study, published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, revealed that the use of statins such as Lipitor may potentially increase the patient’s risk of developing cataracts if taken for at least one year.
Another study published in the journal Clinical Endocrinology in November 2014 determined that statins such as Lipitor may significantly heighten women’s risks for developing thyroid cancer. In June 2014, researchers from Italy published a study in the journal Diabetes Care that linked statin use to an increased risk of diabetes.
Responsibility of Drug Manufacturers
Patients routinely follow their doctors’ medical advice and take their medications in the belief that the drug they have been prescribed will improve their health condition and combat the disease from which they suffer. However, this is not what always occurs. Often times, prescription drugs have powerful, adverse side effects and pharmaceutical companies omit to disclose potential side effects that may dramatically affect the lives of patients.
When drug makers fail to reveal this type of vital data, patients don’t have all the information at hand to make crucial decisions with regard to their healthcare and treatment options. In such situations, the pharmaceutical companies involved should be held accountable for adversely affecting the health of the victims. As underscored by the recent lawsuits, the neglectful actions of Pfizer Inc. appear to have harmed the hundreds of patients who have taken Lipitor. These victims claim to have consequently developed Type 2 diabetes, for which they will need to alter their lifestyle and take medications for the rest of their lives.
If you or a loved one has taken a statin such as Lipitor and developed Type 2 diabetes, please understand that you do have rights. Please contact an experienced lawyer who handles dangerous drug cases to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.