Tasigna is a cancer chemotherapy drug used by oncologists and other medical providers to treat chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). The generic name of Tasigna is nilotinib. There is growing concern that Tasigna may have serious health side effects for patients using the drug, as it has been linked to rapid onset atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Atherosclerosis is the build-up of plaque inside the arteries and can be a life-threatening condition including:
Many patients who go through chemotherapy are aware that the oncologist and the rest of their medical team are using a “cocktail” of drugs but are unaware of certain of those drugs specifically. Therefore, many patients do not know that Tasigna was actually administered to them during chemotherapy treatment.
What is Chronic Myeloid Leukemia, or CML?
Chronic myeloid leukemia is a cancer of the bone marrow and causes the body to make too many white blood cells. CML can be deadly, but it is usually a treatable condition when caught in the chronic phase and treated with drugs called tyrosine kinase inhibitors, or TKIs. Tasigna is one of several TKIs on the market.
Tasigna and the Risk of Atherosclerosis
In 2013 Novartis, the maker of Tasigna, and Health Canada issued a public warning that 277 patients had reported cases of atherosclerosis after using Tasigna. Subsequently, Novartis included this safety information in its Consumer Information Leaflet and to healthcare providers in Canada. However, no such warning was issued in the United States. Patients who have experienced an onset of hardening of their arteries have begun filing lawsuits in the United States because Novartis was clearly aware of the reports of atherosclerosis. There are other TKIs that are used to treat CML which do not show such evidence of atherosclerosis.
Who Should I Talk to if I have Atherosclerosis after using Tasigna?
Patients who have had hardening of the arteries, stroke, heart attack or death after or during chemotherapy may want to consider their legal options and should certainly consider contacting their oncologist and reviewing their records to determine if Tasigna was used. Currently there are a number of lawyers examining lawsuits against Novartis, the maker of Tasigna, alleging that the pharmaceutical company did not adequately warn users of the risks of atherosclerosis. A lawyer can help you to determine if your case warrants investigation.
Please contact Brett H. Oppenheimer with your questions and concerns. Brett is an attorney in Louisville, Kentucky who has successfully resolved pharmaceutical product liability cases across the United States.