Drug Watch — Lemtrada
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently added a warning to the prescribing information of Lemtrada, a pharmaceutical drug used to treat serious multiple sclerosis (MS) cases, after it was found to increase patients’ risk of stroke and blood vessel wall tears in the head and neck areas. Here, the pharmaceutical liability attorneys at The Law Offices of Peter Angelos discuss the possible dangerous side effects of Lemtrada and what MS patients should know going forward.
Lemtrada was Approved by the FDA in 2014 to Treat MS Patients
MS drug Lemtrada, also known as Alemtuzumab, was approved by the FDA in 2014 to treat relapsing forms of MS. Alemtuzumab is also used to treat B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL), a form of cancer, under the brand name Campath, which was approved by the FDA in 2001. Because of its associated risks, Lemtrada is only used to treat adults with severe forms of relapsing MS and who have not responded to other forms of MS treatments and prescription medications. Since its approval in 2014, Lemtrada has been linked to 13 total international cases of ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke or arterial dissection after the patients began using Lemtrada, and many of these rare but serious cases occurred only one day after patients began treatment.
Lemtrada is Linked to Rare But Serious Cases of Stroke and Arterial Dissection
Because dangerous symptoms associated with Lemtrada include tears in the lining of the head and neck arteries, otherwise known as arterial dissection, as well as stroke, patients who receive or have received Lemtrada are urged to seek emergency treatment as soon as possible if they experience any symptoms of these severe medical conditions. These symptoms include:
- sudden numbness or weakness in the head, neck and arms,
- numbness or weakness on one side of the body,
- sudden confusion,
- difficulty speaking or understanding speech,
- sight troubles in one or both eyes,
- loss of balance or
- sudden extreme head or neck pain.
If you experience any of these symptoms, you or your caregiver should seek immediate medical treatment, and health care professionals are urged to inform their MS patients of the potential risks associated with Lemtrada. Recently, the FDA has included a warning of these potential health effects in the prescribing information on Lemtrada’s drug label as well as the patient medication guide. A risk of stroke warning has also been added to the existing Boxed Warning, FDA’s most pertinent patient warning, and the Campath drug label will be updated to include these risks in the drug’s adverse reaction section.
Speak to a Pharmaceutical Liability Attorney at The Law Offices of Peter Angelos
The adverse reactions found to be linked to the MS drug Lemtrada are serious and even life-threatening, and MS patients deserve legal representation if they have experienced the detrimental side effects of this dangerous prescription drug. The pharmaceutical liability attorneys at The Law Offices of Peter Angelos have decades of experience representing victims who have experienced adverse reactions to prescription drugs and are dedicated to helping these victims receive the aid they need. If you or a loved one has experienced a serious side effect from a pharmaceutical drug, contact The Law Offices of Peter Angelos immediately.