GranuFlo has been marketed by FMC as the “most widely-prescribed dry acid product in the dialysis industry,” claimed to be superior because of its greater conversion of bicarbonates. Unlike other acid concentrate products used in the dialysis industry, the active ingredient found in GranuFlo – a dry acid concentrate – converts to bicarbonate at higher rates. Unfortunately, research shows that elevated bicarbonate levels in dialysis patients can contribute to the development of hemodialysis metabolic alkalosis, a major risk factor for the development of low blood pressure, cardiac arrest, heart attack and other serious heart side effects.
Low blood pressure, also called hypotension, is pressure so low it prevents vital organs like the brain and heart from receiving the oxygen and nutrients they need to function properly. Unlike high blood pressure (hypertension), low blood pressure is identified by signs and symptoms of low blood flow, not by a specific blood pressure number. In other words, individuals who normally have higher blood pressure may experience symptoms of low blood pressure if their blood pressure drops to 100/60. Common symptoms of low blood pressure include lightheadedness, fainting, dizziness, chest pain or even a heart attack.
All individuals experiencing symptoms that may be linked to low blood pressure should be evaluated by a doctor, in order to identify the cause of the low blood pressure and receive proper treatment. Treatment for low blood pressure depends largely on the underlying cause of the condition. For example, if a patient’s low blood pressure is being caused by a medication, like GranuFlo, the medication dosage may have to be reduced or stopped altogether. Although lower blood pressure is common in individuals who exercise regularly, maintain ideal body weight and don’t smoke, low blood pressure caused by other factors – like medications – can have serious adverse consequences, including internal organ damage.
According to an FMC internal memo circulated throughout the company’s dialysis clinics in November 2011, as many as 941 kidney failure patients had experienced sudden cardiac arrest while taking GranuFlo. Unfortunately, FMC’s failure to issue a warning about this GranuFlo side effect risk may have exposed thousands of other patients to life-threatening side effects. If you took GranuFlo and have since experienced low blood pressure or another heart-related side effect, contact a qualified GranuFlo lawyer for legal help. The medical treatment required for low blood pressure and other heart conditions can be extensive and costly, possibly leading to a overwhelming financial burden for victims and their families. With the help of a knowledgeable GranuFlo attorney, victims of alleged GranuFlo side effects can protect their legal rights and pursue financial compensation for their medical condition, the associated cost of treatment, and other damages related to the side effect.