HAVE YOU BEEN HARMED BY A DANGEROUS HEPATITIS C DRUG?
Incivek (telaprevir) is a drug prescribed to treat certain strains of hepatitis C. Developed by Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Johnson & Johnson, Incivek was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2011 and is indicated in combination with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin. The drug became the fastest selling drug since Celebrex, which held the record since 1999. Incivek raked in $1.56 billion in the first year.
The popularity of the drug would dwindle quickly after revelations about its severe, life-threatening side effects were surfaced. In its final quarter before being withdrawn from the market, the drug brought in a meager $85.6 million. Safer hepatitis C drugs emerged on the market, and the dangerous drug Incivek was discontinued permanently.
Like most medications, Incivek had its share of common side effects, including:
- Altered sense of taste
- Skin rash
Incivek’s demise on the market would not be defined by its minor side effects but by its serious and deadly side effects.
INCIVEK LINKED TO DEADLY SKIN REACTIONS
In 2012, the FDA issued a black box warning for Incivek, warning the public of the increased risk of developing skin rashes and reactions, especially in combination treatments with ribavirin and peginterferon alfa. The skin crashes caused by the drugs can become serious, require treatment in hospital, and can cause death.
Symptoms of a severe skin reaction include:
- Skin rash, with or without itching
- Swelling of the face
- Blisters or skin lesions
- Mouth sores or ulcers
- Red or inflamed eyes (such as pink eye)
Three major skin disorders can result from Incivek usage, including Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), and drug rash with eosinophilia systemic symptoms (DRESS).
INCREASED RISK OF BLOOD DISORDER, BIRTH DEFECTS CAUSED BY INCIVEK
Patients taking Incivek are at an increased risk of developing a low red blood cell count, also known as anemia. Anemia can be severe and cause life-changing complications. Anemia is characterized by fatigue, weakness, pale skin, irregular heartbeats, chest pain, headaches, and dizziness. Symptoms tend to worsen as the anemia worsens. Pregnant women can experience serious pregnancy and birth complications if anemic.
The drug combination of Incivek, peginterferon alfa and ribavirin has been linked to causing birth defects and death in unborn children. Patients are advised to not receive treatment while pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or becoming pregnant within six months of receiving treatment.
CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED DANGEROUS DRUG LAWYER
If you have been injured after taking the dangerous drug Incivek, you may be entitled to compensation. People suffering from hepatitis C decided this drug was too harmful to be taken for treatment, causing the drug, which had once been a major money maker, to be discontinued. If you suffered a severe illness or injury after taking this medication, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our team of experienced dangerous drug injury attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekend to evaluate your claim and provide you with a free legal consultation.