The anti-cholesterol drug Lipitor is the best-selling medication of all time, with USA Today reporting sales of more than $125 billion since its approval in 1996.
But in the last few years, an increasingly large body of research suggests that the drug may have exposed millions of patients taking it to severe health risks.
That evidence has become so compelling that in 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning that Lipitor may cause increased blood sugar, which means that it may cause diabetes, particularly among women.
Lopez McHugh is pursuing Lipitor lawsuits and is actively investigating claims that Lipitor causes diabetes.
What Is Lipitor?
Lipitor is among a class of drugs called statins, which are meant to reduce what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration terms the “bad” form of cholesterol — low-density lipoproteins, or LDL.
Unlike the “good” type of cholesterol — which your body needs to needs to make hormones, vitamin D and bile acids that assist in digestion — LDL can cause the formation of fatty blockages in blood vessels. Those blockages increase the risk of stroke, heart disease or heart attacks.
Lipitor is meant to block a substance your body needs to form cholesterol. Heavy marketing on the part of Pfizer helped make it the world’s most-prescribed drug, according to the New York Times, generating $11 billion a year in revenue before its patent expired in late 2011.
Lipitor Risks Include Diabetes
Some statins, Lipitor included, appear to have potentially dangerous side effects.
A 2012 study by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester linked statins such as Lipitor with a higher incidence of diabetes. According to a Reuters report, the researchers found that women are at particular risk.
The study employed data on more than 150,000 women in their 50s, 60s and 70s, and concluded that the chance of a diabetes diagnosis was 48 percent greater for statin users. Still another large study, called JUPITER, uncovered a 27 percent higher diabetes risk for statin users.
And when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ordered the label changes, it cited studies linking statins to higher blood sugar levels. Elevated blood sugar is a warning sign for diabetes, and used as a diagnostic tool.
A 2013 study by Canadian researchers identified risks that apparently apply to some types of statins, including Lipitor, but not to others. According to results published in the medical journal BMJ, the researchers analyzed records for more than 470,000 people aged 66 and older. They listed Lipitor among three types of statins that appeared to increase the risk of diabetes.
Other Health Concerns Abound for Lipitor Patients
The FDA’s warning label on Lipitor includes some other health risks as well, including serious liver problems, a form of muscle injury called myopathy, and memory loss and confusion.
A 2013 study published online in The Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found that statins such as Lipitor appear to negate the benefits of exercise, such as greater cardiovascular fitness.
And still another 2013 study published in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests that people who take statins such as Lipitor are more likely to develop musculoskeletal problems. Researchers drew on military data for 6,967 people who used statins, and an equivalent number of people who did not.
Where Can I Learn About A Lipitor Diabetes Lawsuit?
Do not make any changes in your medication without consulting with your doctor.
If you are a woman who was diagnosed with new-onset, Type II diabetes while taking the drug, then you may be eligible for compensation through a Lipitor diabetes lawsuit. Contact a Lopez McHugh attorney for a free consultation. You should act soon because every state has a strict deadline for filing a lawsuit.