A new study published last week pointed to an increased risk of stroke for patients taking the medication Aranesp. Aranesp is part of a class of drugs known as erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs), which stimulate the body to produce more red blood cells. ESAs are primarily used to treat anemia in patients with chronic kidney failure, cancer patients who became anemic through chemotherapy, and HIV positive patients who became anemic through the drug AZT. ESAs are also commonly used to decrease the need for transfusions in anemic patients. Other popular ESAs that treat these conditions include Epogen and Procrit.
Aranesp Linked to Increased Stroke Risk
A new study on Aranesp focused on whether or not the drug could prevent heart attacks, heart failure, strokes, or the need for dialysis, as these uses had never been proven. Surprisingly, the results pointed to an increased risk of stroke, more than double that of patients who did not take Aranesp. The study tested 4,038 people with Type 2 diabetes, kidney problems and moderate anemia, and concluded that for many patients, "the risk will outweigh its potential benefits".
The FDA has repeatedly strengthened the warning label for Aranesp, Epogen and Procrit. In March 2008, the three drugs were required to carry a new black box warning since they may shorten survival time in patients with certain types of cancer. Certain types of cancer tumors would spread faster for patients taking these drugs. In March 2007, the FDA issued a black box warning regarding cardiovascular problems and that the drugs should be administered at the lowest dose possible to avoid transfusions.
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm for a Free Case Review
If you or someone you know has been taking Aranesp, Epogen or Procrit, and has suffered a stroke, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm immediately. Our experienced Chicago personal injury attorneys will provide you with a free no-obligation consultation and explain your legal rights.