Serious Brain Infection Results from Multiple Sclerosis Drug

October 4, 2013

Dangerous Drugs

Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) is a condition that damages brain tissue. The virus that causes PML is the John Cunningham virus (JCV) that is present in most people but suppressed by the immune system.

Lawsuits have been filed against makers of the multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri alleging inadequate warning of a side effect that increased a patient’s susceptibility to PML.

Benefits outweigh the risks

Tysabri is shown to slow down the advance of relapsing multiple sclerosis in adults when other medication proves ineffective. Tysabri was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2004. When it became apparent that the rare disease PML was occurring in connection with long-term use of Tysabri, the manufacturer pulled it from the market in 2005.

After re-approval by regulators, Tysabri’s manufacturer reintroduced it in 2006. Manufacturers are working to educate physicians on how to recognize the potentially dangerous side effects of this medication.

Inadequate warnings

Lawsuits against producers of this medication have been filed in Massachusetts and Indiana questioning the adequacy of manufacturer’s warnings. When the immune system becomes suppressed, either by drugs or immunodeficiency disorders, the JC virus can activate and cause PML. Symptoms of PML include the following:

  • Headaches

  • Clumsiness or loss of coordination

  • Aphasia — loss of speech functionality

  • Memory loss

  • Problems with vision

  • Weakness of the extremities that progressively worsens.

The lawsuits allege patients who developed PML after taking Tysabri had not been warned about the risks of long-term use. Charges leveled against the manufacturers of Tysabri include the failure of adequate warning of dangerous side effects and fraudulent misrepresentation in the product information provided. Some multiple sclerosis sufferers who contracted PML after taking Tysabri believe that, despite the benefits of this medication, the risk is too great.

100+ Years Combined Experience

When Florida residents believe they have become the victims of inadequate medication warnings, they may wish to contact a personal injury lawyer serving Brandon to get more information regarding their rights. The law offices of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk offer a free initial consultation and case evaluation. Call (813)-321-5757 today.

Because of the fact that cases involving pharmaceutically caused injuries may be highly complex and exceedingly specific, our law firm commonly works with other law firms who have considerable experience in each particular case type. Thus, we may be referring these types of cases to a separate firm, with whom we typically associate and work with on a co-counsel basis.