Uloric (febuxostat), the very medication used to treat painful and debilitating gout episodes, has a life-threatening and deadly side effect. Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began warning those with gout about the increased risk of heart-related death associated with the medication.
What is Gout?
More than 8.3 million Americans have gout. The arthritic condition develops when high levels of uric acid build up and form needle-like urate crystals in the joints
The body naturally produces uric acid to break down purines which are normal substances found in the body. Purines are found in some foods, such as steak, seafood, and organ meats. Other types of foods and beverages can increase the level of uric acid in the body including beer, and drinks containing fructose.
In most cases, the uric acid will dissolve into the blood and pass through the kidneys and into the urine. However, when the body produces either too much uric acid or the kidneys are unable to excrete too little uric acid, gout can develop.
Gout causes redness and swelling in joints and can be debilitatingly painful. The condition often first affects the big toe as well as the joints of the feet, knees, fingers, and elbows.
What is Uloric and why is it so dangerous?
Made by the international conglomerate Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Uloric (febuxostat) is a medication that lowers uric acid levels in the blood. It was first FDA approved in 2009 as an alternative to treating gout with allopurinol.
After approval, the FDA required Takeda to conduct a large post-market study of the gout medication to evaluate the cardiovascular safety of the medication. According to the Agency, results from the 6,000 patient post-market study of gout treated with either Uloric or allopurinol showed that Uloric did not increase the risk of these combined cardiovascular events compared to allopurinol. However, when the outcomes were evaluated separately, Uloric showed a significantly increased risk of heart-related deaths and death from all causes.
The FDA is now taking steps to warn the public by updating Uloric’s prescribing information and medication guide as well as requiring a Boxed Warning, the FDA’s most prominent warning for pharmaceuticals.
What are the signs to watch for when taking Uloric
It is recommended those taking Uloric seek immediate emergency medical attention if they are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Numbness or weakness on one side of your body
- Trouble talking
- Sudden severe headache
The agency is also limiting the use of Uloric to only certain patients who are not able to be treated effectively or have experienced severe side effects with allopurinol.
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How can Meyers & Flowers help?
Meyers & Flowers has a long history of helping patients who have been injured or harmed by dangerous drugs, such as Uloric. Our team of medical malpractice and personal injury lawyers have a deep understanding of the many complex legal, medical and scientific issues relating to dangerous pharmaceuticals. Over the years, we have helped thousands of clients who have been injured or, in some cases killed, due to hazardous drugs.
We understand successful litigation against major corporations like Takeda Pharmaceuticals starts with not only understanding the technical aspects of the case but also with how to properly present crucial information at each step of the legal proceedings from the very first case filing to the final jury summation.
If you or a family member have been injured or killed due to taking the Uloric, the Meyers & Flowers legal team can help. Contact the Meyers & Flowers team for more information about the Uloric warnings and your legal options. We can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 877-221-2511.