If you or a loved one took Tasigna to treat Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myelogenous leukemia (Ph+ CML) and were later diagnosed with atherosclerosis, peripheral arterial disease, circulation issues (heart, brain, legs or arms), or suffered from an amputation, you may be eligible for financial compensation by filing a Tasigna lawsuit.
What Is Tasigna?
Tasigna (nilotinib) is an oral chemotherapy drug first approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 2007. The medication is used to treat a form of cancer known as Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myelogenous leukemia (Ph+ CML), which affects the body’s white blood cells.
Tasigna has been linked to serious side effects ranging from plaque buildup in arteries (atherosclerosis), to complications resulting in the amputations of feet and legs. For this reason many patients diagnosed with atherosclerosis, peripheral arterial disease, circulation issues (heart, brain, legs or arms), or amputation, have begun to file Tasigna lawsuits against the drug’s manufacturer, Novartis.
Tasigna Injuries and Death
Patients taking Tasigna have an increased risk in developing atherosclerosis, a potentially fatal condition which causes a narrowing and stiffening of artery walls due to plaque buildup. This condition was originally not listed on Tasigna’s warning label.
Arterial blockage caused by atherosclerosis can lead to a number of serious, life-threatening complications including:
- Coronary artery disease (affecting the heart)
- Carotid artery disease (affecting the neck and brain)
- Angina (affecting the chest and heart)
- Peripheral artery disease (affecting the extremities, especially the legs)
- Chronic kidney disease (affecting the kidneys)
These sort of Tasigna complications can cause heart attack, stroke, infections, tissue decay and necrosis leading to amputation, kidney failure, and even death.
Numerous studies have been conducted on the long term safety of Tasigna, most resulting in cautionary warnings for Ph+ CML patients. After one such study published by the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Ayalew Tefferi penned an open letter in the journal LEUKEMIA stating,
“As for second-line therapy, I would encourage full disclosure, to patients, of adverse effects associated with each one of the currently available SG-TKIs, including the above-elaborated risk of nilotinib (Tasigna)-associated accelerated atherosclerosis.”
The letter also addressed an “inferior long-term outcome” of Tasigna as shown “by multiple studies and highlighted in a recent report of 1,303 patients…” In addition to Tasigna’s unlisted elevated risk for atherosclerosis, the drug has also been linked to other serious side effects such as:
- Peripheral Arterial Disease
- Circulation Issues (heart, brain, legs or arms)
What is Ph+ CML?
Philadelphia chromosome-positive chronic myelogenous leukemia (Ph+ CML) is a type of cancer that causes bone marrow to produce too many white blood cells, which are often immature and/or damaged.
This happens because the patient’s bone marrow cells have an abnormal chromosome which can cause an overproduction of white blood cells. Because white blood cells are the body’s main defense system, a number of other issues can arise from Ph+ CML such as weight loss, bone pain, abdominal swelling, enlarged spleen, fatigue and more.
Treatment For Ph+ CML
Tasigna is one of the most prescribed treatments for Ph+ CML. The drug falls into a category of medicine known as second-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs). This drug type is approved as a first-line treatment for Ph+ CML in the chronic phase. TKIs have shown an increased rate of deep molecular response, with better early control of the disease than previous treatment types like Imatinib. The benefits and risks, as well as the long term effects, of Tasigna in comparison to Imatinib have not been established.
Tasigna (nilotinib), along with other tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), work by blocking a certain type of protein known as Bcr-Abl. By inhibiting this type of tyrosine kinases protein, Tasigna can stop new leukemia cells from growing.
What Are Other Tasigna Side Effects?
Tasigna (nilotinib), like all cancer drugs, has a long list of common and serious side effects. If you have experienced any of the following while on, or after stopping Tasigna, contact your doctor or oncologist immediately:
Common Tasigna Side Effects
- Skin rash
- Joint or muscle aches or pain
- Back pain
- Temporary hair loss
- Cold symptoms including stuffy nose, sneezing, cough, or sore throat
Severe Tasigna Side Effects
- Peripheral arterial disease
- Circulation issues (heart, brain, legs or arms)
- Severe stomach or abdominal pain
- Toe or joint pain
- Painful urination
- A change in the amount of urine
- Swelling hands, ankles, or feet
- Rapid weight gain
- Symptoms of high blood sugar like increased thirst or urination
- Signs of liver disease; vomiting, stomach or abdominal pain, yellowing eyes or skin, or dark urine.
Do I have a Tasigna Lawsuit?
If you or a loved one has experienced any of these side effects after taking Tasigna, you are not alone. A number of patients who took Tasigna and suffered side effects have begun to contact lawyers to discuss their legal rights in filing Tasigna lawsuits against the drugs manufacturer, Novartis.