The cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor (generic: atorvastatin) has recently been linked to an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, particularly among middle-aged and older women.
Free Confidential Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has developed type 2 diabetes after taking Lipitor, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer and our lawyers can help.
Lipitor is a popular cholesterol-lowering statin drug that blocks the production of cholesterol (a type of fat) in the body. The medication is designed to reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and total cholesterol in the blood. This can help prevent heart disease and hardening of the arteries, conditions that lay the ground work for heart attacks, strokes, and vascular disease. Lipitor is manufactured by Pfizer & Co., and was approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in September 2005.
In addition to Lipitor, other potentially-dangerous medications from the statin class include:
Lipitor and Diabetes
In February 2012, the FDA issued a Drug Safety Communication announcing label changes for Lipitor and other cholesterol-lowering statin medications. In the communication, the administration stated that it had reviewed a meta-analysis which included 13 statin trials with 91,140 participants. The results of the study revealed that statin therapy was linked to a 9% increased risk for diabetes (odds ratio [OR] 1.09; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.02-1.17), with little heterogeneity (I2=11%) between trials. Another study conducted by Rajpathak et al., included 6 statin trials with 57,593 participants, and found a small but significant increase in diabetes risk (relative risk [RR] 1.13; 95% CI 1.03-1.23), with no evidence of heterogeneity across trials. Additional data from the Women’s Health Initiative reported that statin use conveys an increased risk of new-onset diabetes in postmenopausal women, and noted that the effect seems to be a medication class effect, unrelated to potency or to individual statin.
In individuals with type 2 diabetes, either the body does not produce enough insulin or the cells ignore the insulin, which is required for the body to be able to use glucose for energy. When foodstuffs are consumed, the body breaks down all of the sugars and starches into glucose, which is the basic fuel for all the cells in the human body. Insulin extracts the sugar from the blood and puts it into the cells. When glucose builds up in the blood instead of going into cells, it can lead to type 2 diabetes. Signs and symptoms of Lipitor-induced diabetes may include:
- Increased thirst and frequent urination
- Increased hunger
- Weight loss
- Blurred vision
- Slow-healing sores or frequent infections
- Areas of darkened skin
Renal failure is characterized by the sudden inability of the kidneys to remove waste and concentrate urine without losing electrolytes. The disease can occur from an acute situation, chronic problems, or from statin medications like Lipitor. Signs and symptoms of renal failure caused by Lipitor may include:
- weight loss
- nocturnal urination
- more or less frequent urination habits
- bone damage
- muscle cramps
- abnormal heart rhythms
- muscle paralysis
- swelling of the legs, ankles, feet or hands
- low blood pressure
Rhabdomyolysis is a severe disease that occurs when damaged muscle tissue releases myoglobin into the bloodstream. Myoglobin breaks down into substances that can damage kidney cells, which, in turn, can lead to renal failure and eventually to death. Signs and symptoms of Lipitor-induced rhabdomyolysis may include:
- muscle pain
- tenderness, weakness or swelling of the affected muscles
- low blood pressure
- abnormal heart rate and rhythms
Myopathy is a muscular disease that occurs when certain muscle fibers are unable to function properly, resulting in severe muscular weakness. The primary manifestation of myopathy is within the muscle, as opposed to the nerves or elsewhere. Signs and symptoms of Lipitor-induced myopathy may include:
- muscle weakness
- tetany (involuntary contraction of the muscles)
Do I Have a Lipitor Lawsuit?
The Pharmaceutical Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Lipitor lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new diabetes cases in all 50 states.
Free Confidential Case Evaluation: Again, if you got type 2 diabetes after taking Lipitor, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and we can help.