Plavix side effects include an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, internal bleeding, hemorrhages, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) and even death. We are working with experienced Plavix lawyers across the United States, who can file a Plavix lawsuit on your behalf and there is no fee until you receive an award or settlement. Contact us for a free consultation by visiting us online or calling us toll free anytime at 1-800-992-6878.
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Plavix Side Effects
Approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in October of 1997, Plavix is currently the 6th top-selling drug in the country. It is prescribed to help prevent blood clots and reduce the risk of heart attack. The manufacturers, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Sanofi Pharmaceuticals, marketed the drug suggesting that its use with a low-dose aspirin therapy would be more effective than aspirin therapy alone. However, studies have shown that the medication offers no benefit over other anticoagulant/antiplatelet therapies, and actually increases the risk of deadly side effects such as:
- Heart Attacks and Strokes: Though this drug is prescribed to prevent heart attacks and strokes; it is currently being investigated for actually increasing the risk of these events.
- Ulcers: Ulcers are a serious recurring side effect for patients taking this medication. An ulcer is a break in the surface of an organ, which impairs the organ’s function.
- Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP): TTP is a blood disorder that causes blood clots to form in small vessels around the body, which may then limit blood flow to vital organs such as the brain and heart.
- Cerebral Bleeding: This drug can increase the risk of bleeding in the brain, which may be fatal.
- Gastrointestinal Bleeding: In patients with a history of stomach conditions, this medication may cause severe gastrointestinal bleeding or hemorrhaging, both of which can be fatal.
- Damaged Bone Marrow: Bone Marrow, which produces new blood cells, may be damaged by the use of this drug.
Less severe side effects of this blood clot drug include: nausea, chest pain, nosebleed, and minor allergic reactions. Because the drug interacts with blood platelet cells, it can cause serious blood-related side effects. For example, damaged bone marrow adversely affects the patient’s ability to produce both red and white blood cells. Specifically, use of the medication has been linked to agranulocytosis and neutropenia, which cause low white blood cell counts. These are serious conditions because white blood cells are an important part of the immune system and protect the body from infection.
Another serious blood-related side effect is hemorrhaging (bleeding). Bleeding is a serious side effect for patients taking blood clot drugs such as this one because the drug may prevent a hemorrhage from properly clotting. Additionally, patients taking this medication have reported hemorrhaging in vital organs such as the gastrointestinal tract and brain. Signs of gastrointestinal bleeding may include low blood pressure, vomiting blood, passing blood, and bloody stools. Treatment of this condition may require hospitalization and/or a blood transfusion. According to a New England Journal of Medicine study, Plavix patients are twelve times more likely to suffer gastrointestinal hemorrhaging, brain hemorrhaging, or ulcers than patients taking a combination of aspirin and heartburn pills.
Heart Attack and Stroke
The most serious side effects linked to use of this drug are heart attack and stroke, which can ultimately result in death. A number of patients taking the medication are poor metabolizers of the drug because they carry a liver enzyme that prevents the body from activating the drug. When the drug is not activated, patients are unable to receive its health benefits and face an increased risk of heart attack and stroke because the medication is not performing its proper function of lowering heart attack and stroke risk. For patients who have already suffered a heart attack or stroke this news is particularly unsettling because there is an especially high risk that such events could reoccur.
Plavix Stroke Study
A recent study conducted by The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), intended to determine whether the combination of Plavix and aspirin would be more effective than aspirin alone in preventing recurring strokes, was shut down well before completion. After all, the drug had been marketed with the reassurance that it would be more effective than aspirin therapy by itself.
The study, however, reached a different conclusion. Just a few months after the study began, the Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB), recommended the Plavix portion of testing be shut down due to the number of negative side effects reported from patients receiving the drug in combination with the aspirin therapy, versus those receiving solely aspirin therapy.
Results indicated that patients using the drug in tandem with aspirin were twice as likely to experience bleeding events as those receiving only aspirin. Similarly, the number of deaths reported was nearly twice as many as the group receiving only aspirin. These results support the conclusion that the use of Plavix in conjunction with aspirin for secondary stroke prevention may do more harm than good.
Plavix Lawsuits against Bristol-Myers Squibb
Bristol-Myers Squibb has marketed this medication as a more effective blood clot drug than aspirin; however, the medication has been linked to far more serious side effects than aspirin (i.e. ulcers, heart attack, stroke, and death). The FDA has been concerned with Bristol-Myers Squibb’s claims about the drug and has required them to change the drug’s warnings several times. Failure to reasonably warn consumers is a common allegation made by plaintiffs filing claims against drug manufacturers. In this case, Bristol-Myers Squibb overstated this drug’s benefits while understating its dangers. More than 561 Plavix lawsuits have been filed against the drug company alleging a failure to warn. Plaintiffs also allege the drug caused serious side effects, including ten deaths. In one case, a California man took the drug over a seven-year period and experienced hemorrhage and permanent injury. One Tennessee woman taking the medication suffered three gastrointestinal hemorrhages in less than a year. In another case, a Washington man suffered a brain hemorrhage that ultimately led to his death. Even Bristol-Myers Squibb shareholders have sued the company in actions related to this drug. Specifically, the company entered into agreements with a competitor that manufactured a generic version of the medication, but it did not disclose these agreements to investors. These lawsuits were recently settled for $125 million. No settlements have yet been reached for any of the personal injury Plavix claims. If you have suffered any adverse side effects as a result of taking this drug you should contact an injury attorney as soon as possible. The statute of limitations for personal injury and product liability claims is dictated by law in any given state. If claims are not filed within the applicable statutory period, those who have been injured by the drug may be barred from ever receiving compensation for their injuries.
About Plavix Manufacturer (Bristol-Myers Squibb)
Bristol-Myers Squibb was formed in 1989 through a merger between Bristol-Myers and Squibb. The company develops and manufactures biopharmaceutical products. In 2011, its top selling products were Plavix ($7.1 Billion), Abilify ($2.8 Billion), and Reyataz ($1.6 Billion). Overall, the company made $21.2 billion in sales while investing $3.8 billion into research and development.
Contact the Law Offices of d'Oliveira & Associates
If you or a loved one has been injured by Plavix, you may want to speak with an injury lawyer regarding a potential claim. An attorney familiar with the ongoing investigations of certain dangerous drugs may be able to assist you in making important personal and legal decisions. d’Oliveira & Associates is working with well-qualified attorneys across the country who are currently handling these types of cases.
Call d'Oliveira & Associates at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out a contact form for your free legal consultation.