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Lipitor and Diabetes

In February 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered new label warnings for a class of cholesterol-lowering drugs called “statins,” which includes the popular prescription drug Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium).

One side effect identified by the FDA was the risk of increased blood sugar levels and of being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Research shows that postmenopausal women ages 50 and older may face a significant risk of developing this condition after taking statin drugs.

Diabetes is a chronic condition that can involve burdensome and costly treatment and medication. Developing diabetes can also lead to a wide range of other health problems.

That is why it is important to get legal help in addition to medical assistance if you have been diagnosed with diabetes after taking Lipitor. Janet, Jenner & Suggs, LLC, currently is investigating potential legal claims across the U.S. arising from Lipitor use.

We can review your case right away. Call us today at our toll-free number or take a moment to complete our online form.

Our case reviews are free and confidential. You will speak to a lawyer who has the skill, experience and resources to secure compensation you deserve if harmed by a dangerous drug.

Research Shows Link to Diabetes

According to the New York Times, USA Today and Forbes, the FDA had been alerted about the possible link between statin drugs and diabetes in 2008, when it was revealed in a randomized controlled trial of the statin drug Crestor that involved nearly 18,000 patients.

Forbes reports that a 2010 study published in The Lancet, a British medical journal, found that statin drugs could actually raise the risk of diabetes by 9 percent.

A study published in 2011 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology said that results from three large randomized clinical trials showed that an 80-mg dose of atorvastatin (Lipitor) was associated with an increased risk of new-onset type 2 diabetes mellitus compared with a placebo.

Lipitor and Diabetes in Women

In a study published in 2012 in the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) found a significant risk of developing diabetes among middle-aged and older women after taking statin drugs.

The UMMS study focused on 153,840 postmenopausal women, ages 50 to 79, who did not have diabetes at the time of their enrollment in the study. After adjusting for “confounding factors,” the study found that statin use was associated with “a 48 percent increased risk of diabetes.”

Diabetes Symptoms and Complications

According to MayoClinic.com, symptoms of diabetes include fatigue, weight loss, blurred vision, slow healing sores or infections, tingling in the hands and feet and red, swollen or tender gums.

When one develops diabetes, many potential complications can result, including:

  • Cardiovascular disease – This includes coronary artery disease with chest pain (angina), heart attack, narrowing of arteries (atherosclerosis) and high blood pressure. The death rate from heart disease is two to four times higher for people with diabetes than for people without the disease, according to the American Heart Association.
  • Stroke – The risk of stroke, which is caused by blockage of an artery in the brain, is two to four times higher for people with diabetes.
  • Nerve damage (neuropathy) – Lack of nourishment to nerves can cause pain, tingling, and eventually a loss of feeling in affected limbs (arms, legs). Nerve damage can also lead to digestion problems, including constipation.
  • Kidney damage (nephropathy) – Damage to the thousands of blood vessels in the kidney can lead to kidney failure and irreversible end-stage kidney disease that requires dialysis or a kidney transplant.
  • Osteoporosis – Diabetes may decrease bone mineral density, which increases the risk of osteoporosis, a disease in which bones become fragile and more likely to fracture.
  • Alzheimer’s disease – Cardiovascular problems caused by Type 2 diabetes may contribute to dementia by blocking blood flow to the brain.
  • Eye damage – Damage to blood vessels of the retina (diabetic retinopathy) can lead to blindness. Diabetes also increases the risk of cataracts, glaucoma and other serious vision problems.
  • Infections – An increased risk of infection with diabetes can make small cuts or blisters serious problems. Infections often lead to the amputation of toes, feet or even legs in diabetics. Bacterial and fungal skin infections and gum infections are also a concern.

Contact a Lipitor Diabetes Risk Lawyer Today

Few things are more devastating than taking a drug to get healthier – and instead encountering additional, serious medical issues. The nationally recognized drug injury lawyers of Janet, Jenner & Suggs, LLC, are committed to seeking relief for you and holding drug manufacturers accountable for any harm they have caused you and your family.

Currently, we are investigating potential lawsuits alleging an increased risk of diabetes from taking Lipitor. If you believe you or a loved one has been impacted by this cholesterol-lowering drug, contact us right away. Time is of the essence. It’s important to get started on your case today.

Call our toll-free number or fill out our online form. We’re available to provide a free and confidential review of your case.