Arava Liver Damage Side Effects Lawsuits
Arava (lenflunomide), a drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, has been
linked to at least 12 deaths from liver failure and many cases of severe
liver toxicity and liver failure. The drug has also been linked to Stevens-Johnson syndrome. Rheumatoid arthritis
is an auto-immune disease in which a patient's own immune system attacks
their joint cartilage, about 2 million Americans suffer from the disease.
The disease can be debilitating and extremely painful. Arava was created
as an alternative to the main treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, the drug
methotrexate which suppresses the immune system limiting joint destruction.
When it was approved in 1998, the FDA itself said Arava was no more effective
In March 2002, a public advocacy group called Public Citizen asked the
Food and Drug Administration to withdraw Arava. The group cited reports
already made to the FDA, about Arava's association with about 130 cases
of severe liver toxicity, which included 56 hospitalizations and the 12
deaths. Two of the deaths were reportedly young patients in their 20's.
Since 1998, there have been over 1.5 million prescriptions written for
Arava in the US. Lawyers believe the drug may be too dangerous. Studies
have shown that Arava is associated with as many as six times more cases
of fatal liver damage than the more widely prescribed arthritis drug methotrexate.
In Europe, the Agency for the Evaluation of Medical Products warned
both doctors and patients, about the dangers of Arava in causing liver
damage citing nine deaths from liver failure in patients taking Arava.
Aventis Pharma, the drug maker sent a warning letter to doctors and the
American College of Rheumatology also warned doctors and patients, to have
monthly blood during the first six months using the drug, along with follow-up
testing every two to three months.
Arava remains in body tissues for an extremely long time. Warnings on
its packaging indicate that components can remain in the body for several
months, thus even if patients have stopped using Arava after an adverse
reaction, the damage can continue to accrue to patients.
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If you or a family member has taken Arava and you or they have liver damage
you believe may be related to Arava:
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