Researchers involved in a new study are warning that the popular mesothelioma drug Alimta may put patients at an increased risk for kidney damage, even otherwise healthy patients with no pre-existing kidney problems. In the study, published this month in the Journal of Nephrology, researchers found that kidney problems were reported in more than one out of every five Alimta patients. If you took the mesothelioma drug Alimta, and you have since suffered kidney damage or another major medical complication, contact a knowledgeable product liability lawyer today to discuss your options for legal recourse.
Alimta (pemetrexed) was approved by the FDA in 2009, and is manufactured by drug maker Eli Lilly & Co. The medication is indicated to treat advanced nonsquamos non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and malignant plural mesothelioma, a rare and deadly type of cancer whose only known cause is exposure to asbestos dust or fibers. Mesothelioma has a long latency period, which means the cancer is often already at a very advanced stage when a diagnosis is made, resulting in a very short life-expectancy. Mesothelioma litigation is also the longest-running mass tort in U.S. history, with more than 6,000 defendants facing lawsuits filed on behalf of more than 600,000 plaintiffs who developed the cancer after inhaling asbestos dust or fibers.
The Alimta drug label already carries a warning indicating that patients should be administered oral folic acid and intramuscular vitamin B12 in order to reduce the risk of kidney toxicity during treatment, but this new study suggests that a higher-than-expected number of Alimta patients may suffer kidney damage while taking the drug. The researchers involved in the study conducted a retrospective analysis on the incidence of renal injuries affected by NSCLC, and found that, between June 2010 and March 2012, one hospital saw 38 cases of NSCLC patients suffering kidney problems, 29 of which were found to have been caused by Alimta treatment.
According to the study authors, 21% of patients taking Alimta experienced kidney damage, despite the fact that many tested normal for baseline kidney functions. These findings suggest that side effects of Alimta may put even patients with healthy kidneys at risk for kidney damage. If you believe you have been adversely affected by side effects of Alimta, or another potentially dangerous pharmaceutical drug, our consumer advocates at the Consumer Justice Foundation can help. We are dedicated to protecting the rights of consumers harmed by defective medications, and can help put you in touch with a reputable attorney who has experience handling drug injury claims.