When Uloric hit the market in 2009, it was celebrated as the first new medication for gout in over 40 years. But ten years later, the news wasn’t so rosy. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a black box warning for Uloric in 2019, the most serious alert for drugs still on the market.
The FDA now recognizes that people taking Uloric (febuxostat) have an increased risk of death compared to those taking another gout medication. And since Uloric was the best-selling gout drug at the time of the warning, a potentially large number of patients may have already been harmed.
How Does Uloric Work?
Uloric is approved to treat gout, a common form of arthritis affecting over 8 million people in the United States. Gout causes sudden attacks of pain, redness, and swelling in the joints (usually the big toe).
This uncomfortable condition occurs when the body produces high levels of uric acid, forming crystals that accumulate in the joints. Uloric lowers uric acid levels in the blood, allowing the crystals to dissolve.
Dangerous Uloric Side Effects
In clinical studies, Uloric showed an increased risk of heart-related deaths as well as death from all causes. Gout patients taking Uloric are advised to seek emergency medical attention if they experience any of the following adverse cardiovascular symptoms:
- Chest pain or angina
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Numbness or weakness in one part of the body or on one side of the body
- Sudden severe headache
- Speech difficulties
Due to the potentially dangerous side effects of Uloric, the FDA now recommends that doctors prescribe the drug only when other gout medications have failed.
Uloric Injury Lawsuits
Even before the FDA approved Uloric in 2009, it had rejected it twice due to potential cardiovascular dangers. By the time the black box warning was issued a decade later, doctors had already written millions of prescriptions for Uloric.
Patients injured by Uloric have filed lawsuits against the drug manufacturer Takeda Pharmaceutical Company. These lawsuits claim that the company knew about the increased death risks, but failed to warn consumers.
Specifically, Uloric lawsuits allege that Takeda had a duty to alert patients of potentially life-threatening cardiovascular problems, including the following:
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lung)
- Deep-vein thrombosis (blood clot in the vein)
- Heart-related death
- Other cardiovascular events
- Uloric Injury Lawyers
Gout patients who experienced serious Uloric side effects may be entitled to financial compensation. At Altman & Altman LLP, we have been helping drug injury victims for over 50 years. If you’ve been harmed by Uloric, our experienced Boston drug injury attorneys will work to protect your rights.
We can help you seek payment for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other associated costs. If a family member experienced a fatal cardiovascular event, you may also be entitled to file a wrongful death claim.
It can be frightening and overwhelming to face a pharmaceutical company alone. But at Altman & Altman LLP, we believe that prescription drugs shouldn’t pose deadly risks to patients. Contact us today so we can help you get the compensation you deserve.