Rituxan is a medication immunosuppressant that is used to treat patients who have B cell leukemia, autoimmune disorders, B cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis.
Rituxan Recently Linked to Dangerous Condition: Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy
This medication was initially approved in 1997, however the labeling was updated in 2006 to warn patients about the potential risks of developing progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy.
This condition is also referred to as PML. PML is a serious fatal and rare viral disease that involves the white matter of the brain becoming inflamed. Some of the most common symptoms associated with this condition include:
- Vision loss
- Mental deterioration
- Disturbances in speech
- Facial weakness
- Memory failure
- Cognitive failure
What You Should Know if You Have Been Injured by Rituxan
If you or someone you know has recently begun to suffer these symptoms after taking the medication Rituxan, you may be entitled to recover compensation. The manufacturer recently agreed to pay $20 million in a whistleblower lawsuit after claims were made that the manufacturer marketed the drug for off label uses as well as training sales representatives how to avoid being caught by the FDA doing so.
Drug companies must only market medications for uses that have been approved by the FDA. The antibody drug Rituxan helps to fight the kinds of cells associated with lymphoma cancer. The medication has generated annual sales of approximately $2.3 billion.
Those patients who have taken this medication and have experienced serious problems including reactivation of hepatitis B infections or higher risk of PML may be entitled to recover compensation. In 2013, the FDA sent out a drug safety communication warning public individuals about changes to the label with a black box warning as a result of the fact that Rituxan can lead the hepatitis B virus to be reactivated in individual who were carriers for the virus or previously has hepatitis B. Reactivation of hepatitis B can include problems such as hepatic failure, fulminant hepatitis and death. If you have experienced any of these challenges, you need to consult with a lawyer.