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Houston Tasigna Attorney

Despite the mounting lawsuits against the drug Tasigna, it continues to be a major money maker for pharmaceutical company Novartis. To be exact, Tasigna brought in $1.8 million in 2018 alone. As of September 2021, Americans have reported 14,257 serious side effects and 4,047 deaths according to the FDA’s Adverse Events Reporting System (FAERS). If you or a loved one is included in these unfortunate statistics, personal injury attorneys at Reich & Binstock want to help you file a Tasigna lawsuit so that you may receive justice. Call us today at 713-622-7271 for a free consultation.

Tasigna Lawsuit Update 2022

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There have been two important updates regarding Tasigna use in 2022: 

  • The National Library of Medicine updated Tasigna’s warning page to include QT prolongation and sudden death. (April 13, 2022)
  • The State of West Virginia Public Employees Insurance Agency removed Tasigna and other medications from the plan’s formulary. (January 2, 2022)

For more information about what the Tasigna lawsuits allege, as well as the status of the lawsuits, please contact a Tasigna lawyer as soon as possible. Qualified drug injury lawyers will be able to evaluate the facts of your situation and determine whether or not you have a valid lawsuit for your Tasigna injuries.

What Is Tasigna?

Novartis created a chemotherapy drug called Tasigna in 2002. The FDA later approved it in 2007. Tasigna is most commonly used to treat chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) in its more advanced stages. The drug has proven to be more effective than other chemotherapy drugs, but it has more side effects, some of which are more deadly.

Who Manufactures Tasigna?

Tasigna is an oral chemotherapy drug manufactured by Novartis. Its main purpose is to treat Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia. It is more effective than Gleevec, which is another drug manufactured by Novartis. However, Tasigna is now known to have more side effects that can even be worse than the side effects of Gleevec.

What Happens When You Stop Taking Tasigna?

There are many forms of prescription medication that must be carefully monitored if you plan to stop taking them. That’s why it is so important to work closely with your doctor to manage your prescribed medication. After all, there’s no guarantee that the drug manufacturer will include everything you need to know on the labels.

The potential side effects related to stopping Tasigna use include:

  • Body aches
  • Pain in the extremities
  • Bone pain

What Is Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML)?

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CML is basically a rare form of blood cell cancer that starts in the bone marrow. Early myeloid cells — which become white blood cells, red blood cells, or platelet-making cells — are where myeloid leukemias begin. This type of cancer is generally slow-growing and most often occurs in adults. Additionally, chronic leukemias are usually more difficult to treat and cure than acute leukemias.

CML Symptoms

Many CML patients don’t know that they have this type of cancer until it reaches later stages. The only way to diagnose CML is through routine blood work.

Whenever patients do start feeling bad due to CML, they generally have these symptoms:

  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Night Sweats
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Joint or bone pain
  • An enlarged spleen that feels like a bump under the left side of the ribs
  • Fullness or pain in the abdominal area
  • Feeling full after eating small meals

Another reason why CML diagnosis can take a long time is that these symptoms are generally vague and can be related to another health condition or even another type of cancer. But these symptoms occur with CML because of a shortage of blood cells.

What are the Other Types of Leukemia?

There are four types of leukemia, including:

  • Acute myeloid leukemia (AML)
  • Chronic myeloid leukemia (CML)
  • Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL)
  • Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)

How Does Tasigna Treat CML?

The active ingredient in this drug, nilotinib, inhibits the growth of cancer-causing proteins known as tyrosine kinases. It’s a type of medicine known as a tyrosine kinase inhibitor or TKI. More specifically, nilotinib works by stopping signals from atypical blood proteins that cause leukemia cancer cells to form. Stopping cancer from spreading and allowing more healthy blood cells to develop may be possible by blocking cancer cell signals.

Basically, the main goals of Tasigna include:

  • Achieving normal blood cell counts.
  • Reducing and eliminating the Philadelphia chromosome, which is an abnormal chromosome that forms when chromosomes 9 and 22 break and swap. This can lead to CML.
  • Reducing and eliminating the BCR-ABL1 gene expression. Doctors find the gene sequence BCR-ABL1 on chromosome 22, where a fragment of chromosome 9 attaches.

Doctors define a significant molecular response, or MMR, as a BCR-ABL1 level of less than 0.1 percent. If a CML patient who has taken Tasigna for at least three years achieves an MMR, their doctor may allow them to stop taking Tasigna.

Mild Tasigna Side Effects

The fairly mild side effects that happened to about 20% or more of patients involved in clinical studies include:

  • Headache
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Fever
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Itchy skin or rash
  • Joint or bone pain
  • Common cold symptoms like cough and runny nose
  • Night sweats

The fairly mild side effects that happened to about 20% or less of patients involved in clinical studies include:

  • Hair loss
  • Dry skin
  • General stomach discomfort and indigestion
  • Lack of appetite
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Weakness
  • Muscle spasms and pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • High blood pressure
  • Swelling in the hands, feet, and ankles
  • Mouth and throat pain

Serious Tasigna Side Effects

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Serious side effects related to Tasigna are rarer than the previously listed side effects, but they do still happen and can be life-threatening.

Anemia and neutropenia are common blood disorders that Tasigna can cause.

Symptoms can include:

  • Weakness
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Frequent and easy bruising
  • Frequent infections from a weak immune system

Symptoms of any kind of blockage can include:

  • Leg pain
  • Numbness or weakness
  • Change in leg skin color
  • Difficulty walking
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath

This condition is basically an inflammation in the pancreas. Common symptoms include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • General stomach pain
  • Fever

This condition can lead to issues with the heart and muscles.

Symptoms of a severe electrolyte imbalance due to Tasigna can include:

  • Weakness
  • Abnormal heart rate or rhythm
  • Muscle cramps
  • Confusion

This syndrome is generally caused by cancer cells dying and releasing toxic substances into the bloodstream.

Patients with this syndrome may show these symptoms:

  • Abnormal heart rate or rhythm
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle cramps
  • Fatigue
  • Seizures

If patients who are taking Tasigna experience severe bleeding that’s difficult to control, they will likely have these symptoms, as well:

  • Severe headache
  • Vision changes
  • Confusion
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue

Edema is basically fluid retention around the body, even around the heart and lungs.

Patients may experience:

  • Rapid and unexplained weight gain
  • General swelling in the limbs and stomach
  • Shortness of breath

Injuries Included in Tasigna Lawsuit

The main complaint in the Tasigna lawsuit is that the pharmaceutical company, Novartis, failed to warn patients about potentially deadly side effects. Once thousands of people were suffering due to the drug, Novartis allegedly issued a warning in Canada in 2013 but not in the United States.

The side effect that’s included in most Tasigna lawsuits is atherosclerosis. This condition is often seen in lifelong smokers or those who have never eaten a healthy, balanced diet. For smokers and those who eat poorly, the condition is slow and can often be treated if caught in time. But people who have taken Tasigna often experience accelerated and irreversible atherosclerosis, which is basically when arteries rapidly narrow and become hardened. Many people who have taken Tasigna ended up suffering from strokes, heart attacks, blood clots, and peripheral artery disease (PAD) due to the rapid onset of atherosclerosis.
Many lawsuits claim that Novartis knew in 2010 (but possibly earlier) that Tasigna could cause accelerated atherosclerosis but failed to warn the public until 2013. Even when Novartis finally issued a warning, they did so only in Canada. Many victims and attorneys believe that Novartis did this in order to protect its financial interests. After all, Tasigna is a big money maker for Novartis.

Another serious condition that’s also mentioned in the Tasigna lawsuit is Long QT Syndrome. This condition is basically a very dangerous heart rhythm disorder that can cause fast, irregular heartbeats. Long QT Syndrome is often misdiagnosed as some kind of seizure disorder because it can cause sudden fainting spells and seizures. If gone untreated, people can even die from Long QT Syndrome. The FDA has issued a black box warning for Tasigna because of this condition.

Other life-threatening side effects and injuries included in the Tasigna lawsuit include:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Blood clots
  • Peripheral artery disease, which is the narrowing of the arteries in the limbs, stomach, and head
  • Myocardial ischemia, which is the narrowing of the arteries that send blood to the heart
  • Carotid artery stenosis, which is when the arteries in the neck narrow
  • Blood vessel blockages
tasigna attorney

Accusations Against Novartis

As stated previously, the main accusation against Novartis is that they failed to warn patients of the life-threatening side effects.

Other accusations listed in many Tasigna lawsuits include:

  • Aggressive and illegal marketing of the Tasigna drug
  • Fraud
  • Negligence, specifically breaching duty of care by failing to warn people about Tasigna’s risks
  • Conscious disrespect or indifference to the lives, safety, or rights of Tasigna victims
  • Reckless conduct

How Many Tasigna Lawsuits are Pending in Multidistrict Litigation?

As of 2021, there are 18 Tasigna lawsuits pending in multidistrict litigation (MDL). However, victims and loved ones of victims have filed approximately 150 Tasigna lawsuits nationwide. Personal injury attorneys expect victims to file hundreds or thousands more lawsuits.

Tasigna Lawsuit Settlement Value

Because the Tasigna product liability litigation is still ongoing, it’s impossible to say what the exact settlement value will be. We can only estimate the settlement value based on similar lawsuits filed in the past. Additionally, settlement values will depend on specific case details and the severity of injuries or death suffered due to Tasigna.

Injury level one due to Tasigna describes atherosclerosis that didn’t result in permanent injury or death. The estimated value for this injury level is $40,000 to $60,000.

Injury level two due to Tasigna describes peripheral artery disease, vascular damage, or a heart attack that wasn’t fatal. The estimated value for this injury level is $80,000 to $150,000.

Injury level three due to Tasigna describes wrongful death, stroke, or any other condition that resulted in permanent injury. The estimated value for this injury level is $175,000 to $250,000.

Statute of Limitations on Filing Tasigna Lawsuits

It’s important to know that there is a time limit for filing lawsuits regarding Tasigna. In Texas, the statute of limitations for filing defective drug lawsuits is two years from the date you discover your injury. Failing to meet this deadline means that your lawsuit will likely be dismissed and that you won’t be able to recover compensation for economic losses, non-economic losses, or even punitive damages.

What Damages Can I Receive in a Tasigna Lawsuit?

When you work with a Tasigna lawyer on your case, we will ensure that you receive full and fair financial compensation for your case.

Below, we list the types of damages that we will fight for on your behalf.

  • Medical costs for current and future treatments
  • Lost wages or lost earning capacity
  • Physical and mental pain and suffering
  • Loss of consortium or enjoyment of life
  • Wrongful death lawsuit costs

Call Tasigna Lawyers at Reich & Binstock Today

Suffering from CML is already scary by itself. What’s even worse is being prescribed a medication that’s supposed to help, but instead makes your overall health even worse. If you or a loved one is a victim of the chemotherapy drug Tasigna, experienced personal injury attorneys at Reich & Binstock want to fight for you. Call us today at 713-622-7271 for a free consultation. Our Tasigna attorneys are passionate about holding negligent drug manufacturers accountable for their actions. When you call for your free case evaluation, you establish an attorney-client relationship with our law firm. This no-obligation consultation won’t cost you anything, so we recommend cancer patients who were prescribed Tasigna contact us as soon as possible.

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