- August 20, 2022
The U.S. pharmaceutical industry sells countless innovative products intended to treat different diseases and conditions
Some products prove to contain carcinogenic properties or cause harmful side effects following ingestion. When manufacturers allegedly know about the harmful properties and withhold that informationfrom doctors and consumers, litigation is often consumers’ course of action. Xeljanz is a product currently facing consumer backlash. Doctors prescribe this drug to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis or ulcerative colitis. Qualifying plaintiffs took Xeljanz and later suffered from blood clots in the legs, thighs, pelvis, or lungs.
The most prevalent negative side effect of JAK inhibitors is that suppressing the immune system opens the door to opportunistic disease. Patients are more likely to suffer from viruses, such as shingles, and some develop serious bacterial lung infections, such as tuberculosis (TB). That said, JAK inhibitors have a short lifespan which means after a patient stops taking them, the body returns to its normal infection-fighting state.
Side effects of Xeljanz include:
Coughing up blood
Swelling of face, arms and legs
Burning feeling in chest
Itching, crawling, tingling feelings
Tenderness in stomach
Xeljanz Lawsuit Enters the MWhen a patient has RA, the body produces too many cytokines which are part of the body’s inflammation response. JAK inhibitors block proteins that pass signals along the pathway between immune system components. Blocking these proteins calms the immune response, thereby reducing RA symptoms.
Some patients’ symptoms are controlled by adalimumab or methotrexate, and they do not need JAK inhibitors. Patients who don’t get relief from this older class of drugs often experience less severe symptoms when taking JAK inhibitors, either in place of or in combination with the other drugs.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Xeljanz for introduction into the market on November 6, 2012 as a treatment for moderate to severe RA. Doctors prescribed the drug to 130,000 patients in America between 2013 and 2018. Many more patients took the drug to treat their psoriatic arthritis and ulcerative colitis after the FDA approved the drug for those conditions in December 2017.
Between 2013 and 2018, the FDA received patient notices of 52 deep vein thrombosis (DVT) blood clots and 79 lung (Pulmonary Embolism, or PE) blood clots presenting in patients taking Xeljanz. Of those cases, 15 patients died.