Lipitor (atorvastatin) has become one of the more popular drugs available by prescription to treat high cholesterol. You might have seen commercials for this drug on TV, heard about it on the radio, as well as in newspapers, magazines and online advertisements. While these ads do list the potential side effects of using Lipitor and the other drugs in its class of medications called HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins), many doctors continue to prescribe it to their patients. How do you know if you might be eligible to file claim for a Lipitor lawsuit settlement? To answer this question, we first have to talk about Lipitor side effects and its intended usage.
How Does Lipitor Work?
Statin drugs such as Lipitor work by blocking a substance your body uses to make cholesterol. This decreases the amount of fatty cholesterol that could build up on your artery walls, blocking blood flow to the heart, brain, and other parts of your body. Together in combination with a healthy diet and exercise, taking these drugs can reduce a patient’s “bad” or LDL cholesterol and hopefully lowering their risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems. While many patients take Lipitor and other statins without adverse affects, others have reported harmful, debilitating Lipitor side effects with prolonged use. These associated problems have prompted the FDA to reconsider the safety and value of these drugs.
What Are Potential Lipitor Side Effects?
The most common Lipitor side effects reported include fatigue, nearsightedness, diarhhea, upset stomach, and memory loss or confusion. While these side effects are generally mild, if they do become severe or do not go away over time be sure to notify your doctor. Other serious Lipitor side effects warrant immediate medical intervention, including:
- muscle pain or weakness
- chronic pain the upper right part of the stomach
- dark-colored urine
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- yellowing of the eyes or skin
- hives or rash
On February 28, 2012 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered a label change for statin drugs including Lipitor warning healthcare professionals and patients of a potential risk of type 2 diabetes. This after the FDA became aware of studies linking these drugs to a risk of increased blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) and being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
This form of diabetes, while treatable, is often a lifelong ailment which carries its own set of severe health risks. While only about one new case of Type-2 diabetes is identified for every 100 statin users, the FDA deems this to be of sufficient concern to warrant inclusion as a potentially serious side effect on statin packaging and in patient information concerning these drugs. Because of these new warnings, type 2 diabetes patients that were diagnosed after beginning cholesterol treatment with Lipitor might have grounds for a Lipitor settlement by seeking redress through the legal system.
Why Would My Doctor Prescribe Something That May Hurt Me?
Many medical treatments today are predicated on the idea of calculated risk. Because Lipitor side effects are comparatively rare given the number of people who use it, most physicians have not considered Lipitor side effects to be cause for alarm until the recent FDA findings. This idea that “Rare things happen rarely” is one of the underlying ideas behind medical treatments today, and most doctors are vigilant in screening patients both before and during statin usage to detect and prevent side effects from getting worse.
According to Amy G. Egan, M.D., M.P.H., deputy director for safety in FDA’s Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology Products (DMEP) in a recent FDA Consumer Update, “Clearly we think that the heart benefit of statins outweighs this small increased risk,” says Egan. But what this means for patients taking statins and the health care professionals prescribing them is that blood-sugar levels may need to be assessed after instituting statin therapy,” she says.
However, as more clinical evidence has been developed concerning the potential risks and problems associated with statins including Lipitor, the dangers of these drugs have become more evident leading the way for possible Lipitor cases. The FDA has expressed concern over the effects, but does not regard the potential risks as serious enough to warrant pulling statins from the market at this time. For many Lipitor users, these warnings come as too little, too late, because the problems associated with statin usage may not appear, even with aggressive monitoring, until it is too late.
How Do I Know If I Have Grounds For A Lipitor Lawsuit Settlement?
If you have rigorously followed your doctor’s instructions regarding dosages and things to do and not do while taking Lipitor, you may qualify to file a request for compensation from the drug manufacturer. When you first were prescribed Lipitor, your doctor may have instructed you to avoid alcohol, eat a sensible diet, and engage in an exercise regimen appropriate for your age and state of overall health, and other factors. As with any other drug, taking this medication in a haphazard manner or contrary to medical advice can do far more harm than good.
Some things that may affect your potential Lipitor claim include how long you have been taking the drug, whether or not you have adhered to your physician’s advice on how and when to take it, and the degree and type of side effects you have suffered. Certain side effects of statins may go away eventually with decreased or eliminated usage.
While the outcome of your Lipitor case cannot be guaranteed, our law firm stands ready with the aggressive representation you need to claim financial compensation for injuries sustained while taking Lipitor. If you or a loved one have suffered debilitating or chronic side effects such as a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes which may have resulted from the use of Lipitor, we invite you to call us toll-free at (1) 855-776-5299 or use the email contact form on the side of this site. Our team of experienced attorneys will review your case and give you our best advice on how to proceed. Lipitor cases will likely be referred to another attorney. Statutes of limitations may apply in these cases. Please don’t lose your opportunity to file a claim because you waited too long to seek representation!