FREE Case Review (866) 588-0600

Sprycel Lawsuit

The popular leukemia drug Sprycel (dasatinib) has recently been linked to pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), a rare but serious condition in which there is abnormally high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs. In response to this information, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has required that Sprycel labels be updated to reflect the risk of PAH. The administration has advised healthcare professionals to evaluate patients for signs and symptoms of underlying cardiopulmonary disease prior to initiating a regimen of Sprycel.

Free Sprycel Suit Evaluation:If you or a loved one has been injured by Sprycel, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help.

What’s the problem?

October 11, 2011 – The FDA issued a press release today informing the public that labels of the leukemia drug Sprycel have been updated to include information about the risk of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) in certain users. In a number of cases, leukemia patients developed the condition after being treated with Sprycel, including after more than one year of treatment. Information about the PAH risk has been added to the Warnings and Precautions section of the Sprycel drug label.

Between June 2006 and June 2011, at least 60 cases of serious pulmonary hypertension were reported worldwide, including a dozen cases of confirmed PAH, in association with Sprycel treatment. The FDA is recommending that doctors screen patients for symptoms of cardiopulmonary disease prior to starting Sprycel, and also during treatment. If a diagnosis of PAH is confirmed, Sprycel should be permanently discontinued and other methods of treatment should be explored.

What is Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH)?

Pulmonary arterial hypertension is a rare but serious medical condition characterized by high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs. Pulmonary arteries carry blood away from the heart to the lungs, where it picks up oxygen to be distributed throughout the rest of the body. In PAH, however, the pulmonary arteries constrict abnormally, which forces the heart to work faster and the blood pressure in the lungs to rise. Signs and symptoms of Sprycel-induced pulmonary arterial hypertension may include:

  • shortness of breath
  • fatigue
  • swelling of the body (most often in the ankles and legs)
  • chest pain
  • dizziness
  • weakness

The symptoms of PAH mimic those of other more common heart and lung problems including asthma, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), left heart failure and coronary disease. For this reason, a positive diagnosis for PAH may be illusive. Patients and doctors alike may overlook the condition until symptoms become more severe.

PAH makes it hard for the heart to push blood through the pulmonary arteries and into the lungs. As a result, the pressure in the arteries rises. Also, because the heart is working harder than normal, the right ventricle may become weak and strained. This can lead to heart failure, which is the most common cause of death in people who have PAH.

Treating Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

Several treatment options are available for individuals suffering from PAH, including:

  • Diuretics (water pills) – These drugs help reduce fluid buildup in the body, including swelling in the ankles and feet.
  • Blood thinning medicines – Help prevent blood clots from forming or getting larger.
  • Digoxin – This medication helps the heart beat stronger and pump more blood, and is sometimes used to control the heart rate if abnormal heart rhythms occur.
  • Oxygen therapy – This method is designed to raise the level of oxygen in the blood.
  • Physical activity – Regular exercise may help improve your ability to be active. Consult your physician about a regimen that’s safe for you.

Sprycel Overview

Manufactured and marketed by pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb, Sprycel (dasatinib) is a cancer medication designed to slow the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body. Sprycel is used to treat chronic myeloid leukemia, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, and Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myeloid leukemia when other treatments have not proven effective. Sprycel was approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration in June 2006.

Side Effects of Sprycel

In addition to the risk of pulmonary arterial hypertension, Sprycel has also been linked to the following side effects in certain users:

  • pale skin, weakness;
  • easy bruising or bleeding (nosebleeds, bleeding gums);
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms;
  • black, bloody, or tarry stools;
  • vomit that looks like blood or coffee grounds;
  • sudden numbness or weakness, especially on one side of the body;
  • sudden headache, confusion, problems with vision, speech, or balance;
  • swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet; or
  • uneven heartbeats.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • headache, tiredness;
  • mild skin rash;
  • nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea; or
  • muscle or joint pain.

Before Taking Sprycel

Do not take Sprycel if you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, as it could cause harm to the unborn baby. Use an effective form of birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment. Additionally, tell your doctor if you have liver disease, low levels of potassium or magnesium in your blood, heart disease, or if you have a family history of ‘Long QT syndrome.’

Do You Have a Sprycel Lawsuit?

The Product Liability & Defective Drug Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Sprycel lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new pulmonary arterial hypertension cases in all 50 states.

Free Sprycel Suit Evaluation:If you or a loved one has been injured by Sprycel, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help.

Free Confidential Case Evaluation

Verified 100% Secure SiteTo contact us for a free review of your potential case, please fill out the form below or call us toll free 24 hrs/day by dialing: (866) 588-0600.
Awards & recognition