The cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor has been linked to a significantly increased risk of developing diabetes. Have you or your loved one been injured by Lipitor? Have you been diagnosed with diabetes while taking Lipitor? If so, the manufacturer may have failed in its duty to alert consumers like you of the risks associated with the product.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with diabetes while taking Lipitor, you may be eligible to file a Lipitor lawsuit.
A recent update about Lipitor warnings announced the changing of statin drug labels, including the label on Lipitor, to state the above precautions. Other statin medications affected include:
While statins are known to significantly lower a person’s risk of suffering serious cardiovascular problems, including heart attack, heart disease and stroke, this link to type 2 diabetes risk should be taken seriously. This is especially true if the user has multiple risk factors for diabetes, such as weight, age and smoking habits.
What is Lipitor
Lipitor is a popular medication prescribed to people with a need to lower their cholesterol levels. Lipitor is the brand name for the drug, atorvastatin, which is made and sold by the American pharmaceutical company, Pfizer. It is a member of the statin class of hypolipidemics and was approved by the FDA in December of 1996.
Similar to other statin medications used to lower cholesterol, Lipitor works by preventing an enzyme in the liver from creating low density lipids (LDLs), which are a type of cholesterol that can block arteries. By preventing the production of LDLs, Lipitor reduces risk of developing heart disease.
Lipitor and Diabetes
In early 2012, the FDA required Pfizer to update Lipitor’s label to include information on the increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes while using the medication. Because of this, other pharmaceutical manufacturers were also required to abide by these new guidelines.
A number of Lipitor users have been diagnosed with diabetes after taking Lipitor and are currently filing Lipitor lawsuits. Several medical studies indicated that users who take daily doses of the medication had a significantly higher risk of developing diabetes, even without preexisting conditions.
Lipitor Side Effects
Lipitor has been associated with mild to severe side effects. Some side effects have the potential to be life-threatening. These side effects may include:
- Joint pain
- Incomplete or infrequent bowel movements
- Stomach cramps
- Throat irritation
- Type 2 diabetes
- Dark urine
- Muscle problems
- Kidney failure
- Liver problems
If you or a loved one is currently taking Lipitor, talk to a doctor before discontinuing use. Always discuss the benefits and risks of discontinuing use of any medication with a physician.
Health Complications and Lipitor Lawsuits
Research Linking Lipitor to Increased Risk of Diabetes
Many studies have linked Lipitor use to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, which in turn has led to an increase in Lipitor lawsuits.
A January 2012 study published in the medical journal Archives of Internal Medicine found that women between the ages of 50 and 79 who took statin medicines like Lipitor were 48 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than women who did not.
Three other medical studies investigating the link between statins and type 2 diabetes were published in the Lancet, the Journal of American College of Cardiology and Atherosclerosis.
The Lancet study published in 2011 was a review of several other studies and found that patients experienced an increased risk of 9 percent of developing type 2 diabetes when taking statins like Lipitor.
The JACC study published in 2010 focused primarily on the dosage amounts of Lipitor. It concluded that patients who took daily doses of Lipitor at 80mg experienced an increased risk of developing diabetes by 37 percent compared to the control group.
The Atherosclerosis study published in 2010 reviewed the metabolic effects of statins with specific focus on causing new onset of diabetes in users. It found that users taking daily doses of Lipitor significantly increased the risk of developing diabetes, even without preexisting conditions. This has, in turn, raised the incidence of Lipitor lawsuits and Lipitor class action lawsuits.
Lipitor FDA Warnings
Millions of Americans take statins to help prevent heart disease by lowering cholesterol. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also recognized the serious health concerns associated with the drugs through warnings concerning the potential health risks of statins such as Lipitor.
FDA Requires Diabetes Risk on Lipitor Labels
Lipitor is one type of statin that has been a notorious topic in recent years. Many studies have identified a connection between use of Lipitor and diabetes, which has led to many Lipitor lawsuits and an FDA required update on the Lipitor label warnings. The FDA has expanded its advice on the statins risk, including adding diabetes risk to Lipitor’s label.
Lipitor warnings (and warnings for other types of statins) from the FDA state that users should keep the following in mind:
- Cognitive impairment (including memory loss, forgetfulness and confusion) have been reported by some statin users.
- Statin users may have an increased risk of raised blood sugar levels and the development of type 2 diabetes.
- Some medication interactions can increase the risk of muscle damage.