UPDATE: Thank you for visiting our informational page regarding Lipitor claims. At this time we are no longer accepting cases regarding this drug. However, if you feel that you have any questions about other defective drugs or drug recalls, or other legal concerns that we may help you with, please call us or fill out the evaluation form.
For 20 years Lipitor has been prescribed to patients struggling with cholesterol and high risk of heart disease. It was marketed as a life-saving drug and eventually rose to be one of the most prescribed (and most profitable) drugs in history. But during this time, Lipitor has also caused Type 2 diabetes for many patients—a permanent, life-altering condition.
If you developed diabetes or any serious health problems while taking Lipitor, you may be entitled to a financial recovery. Your recovery can help you pay for your medical costs and ongoing care. Let John Foy & Associates help you decide if you have a case. We’re one of the most respected medical injury law firms in the country. We know how to handle Lipitor cases and can help you get your recovery with as little difficulty as possible. Call us at 404-400-4000 and get a free consultation today.
What is Lipitor used for?
Lipitor is a type of drug known as a statin. Statins are widely prescribed to reduce cholesterol levels. Statins can help stop the growth of “plaque” (a tar-like buildup) inside of blood vessels, reduce inflammation within the body, and ultimately lower the risk of stroke or other serious cardiovascular events. But they come with high risks.
Initially, statins like Lipitor were prescribed with some restraint. For many patients, the same cholesterol-reducing benefits can be obtained simply through a change in diet and exercise. Lipitor was seen as something to be used only when lifestyle changes did not work, or when they weren’t possible.
But as high cholesterol became more widespread, so did the use of Lipitor. Millions of people now use statins in the United States alone, and Lipitor is one of the most common statins prescribed. It has also become the most profitable drug in history. Total sales have exceeded $125 billion.
Lipitor is the drug’s brand name; it’s now also available as a generic drug under the name atorvastatin.
What health problems does Lipitor cause?
From the beginning Lipitor was known to carry a variety of side effects, but they were uncommon and doctors knew to monitor their patients for signs of them. In theory, the benefits of Lipitor outweighed the downside.
But there was one risk patients were not warned of. We now know that taking Lipitor leads to a heightened risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a condition where your body cannot produce or use insulin, the substance that allows your cells to process glucose (blood sugar). In Type 2 diabetes the body still produces insulin but is no longer able to use it properly. The glucose builds up to high levels in the blood and eventually becomes a poison. It is a lifelong disease, and it can be deadly.
Lipitor is not the only drug that has this effect. We now know that almost all statins have the potential to cause diabetes. But studies show that Lipitor/atorvastatin is the most serious, giving patients a 22% increase in diabetes risk.
Who is most likely to be at risk?
Anyone taking Lipitor is at risk of a higher chance of diabetes. This is true even if you are normally not a strong candidate for diabetes. For example, people who eat a healthy diet and work out regularly have developed diabetes while taking Lipitor.
But some groups are affected more than others. Women seem to have a higher risk than other patients, and older women especially so. A study of post-menopausal women showed that those taking statins had roughly a 50% higher diabetes rate than those who did not. Asian and white women were the most likely to be affected.
These are only the highest-risk groups. Patients of all races and genders face a risk from Lipitor.
How does Lipitor cause diabetes?
Although not proven, doctors have a theory for how Lipitor causes Type 2 diabetes. We know that Lipitor works by inhibiting a liver enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase (HMG for short). HMG is usually active in the body when blood sugar levels are high. Thus, by blocking HMG, the balance of blood sugar (or cells’ response to it) may be affected.
Can Type 2 Diabetes be reversed?
No. Once you develop diabetes, it requires careful day to day management for the rest of your life. Even if you stop using Lipitor, the diabetes cannot be “cured.”
Type 2 diabetes is particularly difficult because insulin shots do not help. The body already has enough insulin and simply cannot use it. Instead, type 2 diabetics must follow a very careful managed diet at all times, monitor their blood sugar, and potentially get expensive insulin therapy treatment.
If diabetes isn’t managed properly it can lead to serious conditions including:
- Blurred vision and eye damage
- Nerve damage
- Dangerous weight loss or weight gain
- Heart and blood vessel disease
- Kidney damage or kidney failure
Patients who have developed diabetes from Lipitor have been gravely harmed and their lives have been put at risk.
What should I do if I developed diabetes from Lipitor?
You need to get proper treatment, and you have a right to have your costs covered by those responsible. The companies who manufacture Lipitor are liable for the diabetes it causes. Lipitor is now owned by Pfizer, and lawsuits against Pfizer have succeeded in winning large recoveries for patients.
If you have developed diabetes or other serious medical conditions while taking Lipitor, your first step should be to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. You may be entitled to a recovery, but there are time limits for taking the legal steps necessary to get it. If you wait too long you may no longer be eligible.
The attorneys of John Foy & Associates can help you. We offer a FREE consultation and we charge nothing unless we get you a financial recovery. We believe in helping injured patients.
Don’t wait. You shouldn’t be left paying for a lifetime of treatment because of a drug you were told would help you. Call 404-400-4000 and get your free consultation today.