Xeljanz Lawsuit

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A popular arthritis prescription drug called Xeljanz (tofacitinib) has been linked to serious side effects, including blood clots, other cardiovascular issues, and cancer. The US Food and Drug Administration (USDA) issued safety alerts in 2019 and 2021 that indicated Xeljanz could be linked to these side effects, among others. The health concerns are applied to both the 5-mg twice-daily dose and the higher 10-mg strength, and consumers 50+ years of age with arthritis and/or ulcerative colitis are most at risk.

People who have taken this drug are beginning to file claims against Xeljanz’s manufacturer, Pfizer, for failing to warn doctors and patients about the severe health risks associated with their product.

If you or a loved one has taken Xeljanz or Xeljanz XR and are experiencing blood clots, cardiovascular issues or certain forms of cancer, you may be eligible to file a dangerous drug lawsuit against the drug manufacturer for financial compensation. Contact The Guardian Legal Network to find qualified legal representation who can guide you through the legal processing in pursuing a Xeljanz lawsuit.

What is Xeljanz used for?

Xeljanz, also known as tofacitinib, is a medication used to treat adults with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, active psoriatic arthritis, and moderate to severe ulcerative colitis. Common side effects include diarrhea, headache, and high blood pressure. Serious side effects may include infections, cancer, and pulmonary embolism.

This medication is manufactured by Pfizer and it is prescribed as an oral tablet.

Xeljanz works in the body by decreasing immune system activity. Our immune systems produce a substance known as cytokines. This protein helps control the immune system and helps fight infections. When overproduction of cytokines occurs, it can cause inflammation, pain and other symptoms. Xeljanz disrupts cellular communication in the Janus kinase pathways, reducing the number of cytokines produced within the body. Xeljanz works in the same manner in the treatment of psoriatic arthritis and ulcerative colitis.

Some potential cardiovascular events that can be linked to Xeljanz include:

  • Cardiac arrest
  • Cardiovascular death
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Coronary revascularization
  • Myocardial infarction

Can Xeljanz cause cancer?

During the approval process, the FDA required Pfizer to conduct safety clinical trials to evaluate the risk of serious heart-related events, cancer, and infections. In February 2019 and July 19, the FDA reported that interim trial results showed increased risk of blood clots and death when Xeljanz was taken at higher prescribed doses. Upon completion of the clinical trials, the data reported an increase of serious heart-related events and cancer in Xeljanz patients compared to those taking alternative medications for these conditions.

Cancer is one of the most serious of the potential Xeljanz side effects. Cancers linked to Xeljanz include:

  • Breast cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Melanoma
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Non-melanoma skin cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)
  • Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS)
  • Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL)
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Child leukemia
  • Blood Cancers

Why is Xeljanz a Dangerous Drug?

In July 2019, the FDA issued a “black box warning,” the strictest possible for a drug available on the market, regarding Xeljanz. This is due to the potential formation of Xeljanz-related blood clots, which can travel to the lungs and create a pulmonary embolism or into the legs and contribute to deep vein thrombosis. Both of these are dangerous medical conditions that require immediate treatment.

 

Some patients in the clinical trial also reported increased cancer development. Lung cancer was the most common form of cancer reported, followed by breast cancer, melanoma, prostate cancer, and pancreatic cancer. Whether or not Xeljanz causes cancer is due to its impact on a cytokine called tumor necrosis factor (TNS), which is released when the body detects infection.

Are You Looking for a Xeljanz Lawyer?

If you or a loved one has experienced a Xeljanz blood clot or has experienced related health complications from using Xeljanz, contact The Guardian Legal Network to connect with an experienced lawyer.

Severe medical conditions may not be reversible, but an impacted individual should not be left alone to bear the costs. The Guardian Legal Network can help connect you with a dangerous drugs lawyer who will help you hold the pharmaceutical company responsible for your medical condition.

Fill out an online contact form or give us a call at (855) 968-0193 today.

Updates

References

Alex Brewer, PharmD, MBA, “Xeljanz Side Effects: What You Should Know,” https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/drugs-xeljanz-side-effects#more-common-side-effects, Medical News Today, Accessed July 28, 2021.

“Initial safety trial results find increased risk of serious heart-related problems and cancer with arthritis and ulcerative colitis medicine Xeljanz, Xeljanz XR (tofacitinib),” https://www.fda.gov/drugs/drug-safety-and-availability/initial-safety-trial-results-find-increased-risk-serious-heart-related-problems-and-cancer-arthritis, Food and Drug Administration, Accessed July 28, 2021.

Barbara Brody, “Xeljanz Just Got a Black Box Warning Because High Doses Could be Dangerous,” https://creakyjoints.org/treatment/xeljanz-black-box-warning/, Creaky Joints, Accessed July 28, 2021.

Heidi Splete, “FDA Alert Confirms Heart and Cancer Risks with Tofacitinib (Xeljanz), https://www.mdedge.com/gihepnews/article/235670/ibd-intestinal-disorders/fda-alert-confirms-heart-and-cancer-risks, GI & Hepatology News, Accessed July 28, 2021.

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