Aredia Side Effects and Lawsuits

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In 1994, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation gained FDA approval to market and sell the intravenous bisphosphonate drug Aredia, which is generically known as Pamidronate.  Aredia, given the intravenous nature of the drug, was only administered in the presence of healthcare professionals.  The drug was used to address cancer-related hypocalcaemia, which are inordinate amounts of calcium in the blood.   Then, in 2004, patients receiving treatments using Aredia began noting patients taking Aredia as being disproportionately more likely to display symptoms of osteonecrosis of the jaw, which is also known as jaw necrosis, biphossy jaw, and dead jaw.  These medical complications were directly linked to bisphosphonate drugs, such as Aredia, Zometa, Fosamax, and Actonel and others noted as causing osteonecrosis of the jaw. 

Risks and Symptoms of Aredia

The main area of concern regarding use of Aredia stems from patients developing osteonecrosis of the jawbone.  This condition essentially occurs when the jawbone crumbles, dies, and eventually, causes severe oral issues including loss of teeth, disfigurement, and extreme pain.  The main demographic of persons susceptible to these complications is already relatively small, given that the drug Aredia is typically used to treat only cancer patients, however, the percentage of cases linked between Aredia and osteonecrosis is alarming. Furthermore, invasive dental care or procedures and other irritants to the oral and jaw region while taking Aredia only further increase risks in patients of suffering undue complications.  

Aredia Claims and Lawsuits

In 2004, the FDA alongside the makers of Aredia, Novartis Pharmaceuticals began informing dentists and oral surgeons regarding the risks that Aredia posed in causing ONJ, or osteonecrosis of the jaw, to pre-existing cancer patients requiring dental care.  Dental professionals were noted of symptoms and dangers of this situation.  Currently, civil action against Aredia and the makers of the drug are limited to individual claims regarding disfigurement and loss of the use of the jaw and other oral complications.  In many cases, however, patients since 2004 has been aware of the risks, but in light of the potential failures in their cancer treatment without Aredia, have elected to take the drug anyways.

Legal Help from a Lawyer

Any individual that has suffered medical complications from the use of bisphosphonates, such as Aredia, should consult with a drug liability attorney to determine if they are eligible for compensation.  In some cases, compensation for a number of items is potentially viable, including loss of enjoyment of life, medical expenses, pain, suffering, and permanent disfigurement, depending on your specific case.

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