The best-selling pharmaceutical drug in history is Lipitor® created by Pfizer, Inc. Since it was approved in 1996, sales have exceeded $125 billion dollars and for nearly a decade, generating $11 billion a year in revenue before its patent expired in late 2011.
In spite of all this success, however, large bodies of research suggest that the drug may have exposed millions of patients to severe health risks. The evidence of these risks has become so compelling that in 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning that Lipitor may cause increased blood sugar and cause diabetes particularly among women.
As a result of these known risks, women who were diagnosed with new-onset, Type II diabetes while taking the drug Lipitor, may be eligible for compensation through a Lipitor diabetes lawsuit.
What is Lipitor Used For?
Lipitor is an atorvastatin calcium tablet that falls in a class of medications called statins. Statins is also used to decrease the amount of cholesterol (a fat-like substance) and other fatty substances in the blood such as low-density lipoproteins (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol.
LDL can cause the formation of fatty blockages in blood vessels. Those blockages increase the risk of stroke, heart disease or heart attacks. Lipitor is meant to block a substance your body needs to form cholesterol.
Lipitor Risks Include Diabetes
Numerous studies indicate that some statins, including Lipitor, have potentially dangerous side effects especially in women. Here is a sample of recent findings both in the U.S. and abroad:
- A 2012 University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester study employed data on more than 150,000 women in their 50s, 60s and 70s. The study concluded that the chance of a diabetes diagnosis was 48 percent greater for statin users.
- The large study, named JUPITER, uncovered a 27 percent higher diabetes risk for statin users.
- A 2013 study by Canadian researchers identified risks that apparently apply to some types of statins, including Lipitor, but not to others. Results published in the medical journal BMJ, the researchers analyzed records for more than 470,000 people aged 66 and older. Lipitor was listed among three types of statins that appeared to increase the risk of diabetes.
Other Health Concerns For Lipitor Patients
When the FDA ordered the label changes, it cited the studies linking statins to higher blood sugar levels; a warning sign for diabetes, and used as a diagnostic tool. The warning labels also include other health risks, including serious liver problems, a form of muscle injury called myopathy, and memory loss and confusion. Additional risks of Lipitor were uncovered in the following studies:
- A 2013 study published online in The Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found that statins such as Lipitor appear to negate the benefits of exercise, such as greater cardiovascular fitness.
- A 2013 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests that people who take statins such as Lipitor are more likely to develop musculoskeletal problems. Researchers drew on military data for 6,967 people who used statins, and an equivalent number of people who did not.
Due to the harm associated with the drug Lipitor, personal injury law firms such as Babbitt & Johnson P.A. are actively investigating claims that Lipitor causes diabetes in women. If you believe your diabetes (or that of a loved one) was triggered by Lipitor, contact our Lipitor drug litigation lawyers to see if you qualify for a Lipitor diabetes lawsuit. You are encouraged to act soon because every state has a strict deadline for filing a lawsuit.
Additional supporting information about statins: