Humira (adalimumab) is an injectable prescription medicine intended to assist in the treatment of several autoimmune disorders. However, the use of Humira on such disorders has become synonymous with catastrophic complications. Patients who receive Humira treatment may significantly increase their risk of developing extensive nerve damage, opportunistic infections and severe, life-threatening forms of cancer.
If you or a loved one has been injured by Humira, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free confidential case evaluation. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and we can help.
Humira Lawsuit Overview
As a relatively new prescription medicine, Humira was introduced to the U.S. market on December 31, 2002. Following mandatory regulation practices, Humira injections were approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to assist in the treatment of several autoimmune disorders. Subsequently, Humira treatment helped those diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, plaque psoriasis, and juvenile idiopathic arthritis. As Abbott’s flagship drug, Humira has been prescribed to approximately 500,000 people in 83 countries across the globe.
Humira resides in a category of drugs known as tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) blockers. As their name suggests, TNFα blockers are specifically designed to neutralize tumor necrosis factor-alpha, a protein with the inherent ability to promote inflammation in the presence of inflammatory diseases. Subsequently, TNFα blockers bind to tumor necrosis factor-alpha, preventing it from activating receptors. Doing so has proven to be beneficial in suppressing inflammatory reactions associated with autoimmune diseases.
Unfortunately, the pharmacodynamics of TNFα blockers may also be responsible for a variety of complications with varying degrees of severity. Subsequently, severe infections, rare forms of cancer, and extensive neurological damage have all become synonymous with the use of TNFα blockers such as Humira. Patients who receive Humira injections may significantly increase their risk for developing these catastrophic complications. Due to the sever nature of these adverse events, patients may contact a Humira lawyer at The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP for a free case evaluation of their potential lawsuit.
Humira Side Effects
The most common side effects associated with Humira injections include the following:
- Injection site reactions (redness, rash, swelling, itching, or bruising)
- Upper respiratory infections
Though these side effects are not severe in nature, they may serve as indicators for more comprehensive complications.
Humira Nerve Damage Risk
Several Humira lawsuits have been filed against Abbott in regards to the use of Humira. Two cases, in particular, have sought litigation for extensive Humira nerve damage. Kara Mae Pletan has alleged that Humira injections are responsible for “stabbing pains and hypersensitivity” in her feet. “The progression of the nerve damage seems to have stopped [after ceasing Humira injections],” Pletan said in court documents. “But the nerve damage appears to be permanent.” According to court documents, Pletan noticed the initial signs of nerve damage during her third month of Humira treatment in 2008. Subsequently, her Humira lawyer in the process of suing Abbot for peripheral neuropathy.
The second Humira lawsuit filed against Abbott was on behalf of Jamie Bixby. According to court documents, Bixby’s use of Humira resulted in the permanent damage of her optic nerve in 2008. Bixby’s Humira lawsuit alleges that extensive nerve damage was responsible for severe pain and vision problems in her eye.
Humira Infection Risk
Because Humira is specifically designed to suppress the immune system, prolonged treatment may significantly increase the risk of infection. Accordingly, serious infections have recently been associated with patients receiving Humira injections. These serious infections include tuberculosis (TB), Legionella, Listeria and infections caused by viruses, fungi, or bacteria that have spread throughout the body. Unfortunately, several of these infections have resulted in fatal circumstances. Symptoms of infection include the following:
- Fever, sweats, or chills
- Muscle aches
- Shortness of breath
- Blood in phlegm
- Significant weight loss
- Warm, red, or painful skin sores
- Stomach pain
- Burning sensation during urination
- Lack of energy
According to the FDA, a number of patients developed Legionella pneumonia after taking TNFα blockers such as Humira. After conducting a search of their Adverse Event Reporting System (AERS) database, the FDA discovered a total of 80 patients who were diagnosed with Legionella pneumonia after having received TNFα blockers between 1999 and 2010. Sixty-five percent of the cases that involved TNFα blocker administration dealt with rheumatoid arthritis. The median duration of TNFα blocker administration prior to onset of Legionella pneumonia was 10.4 months. Of the 80 cases, reports for 30 patients provided information regarding laboratory confirmation of Legionella infection. According to the reports, there were 14 deaths in the case series investigated by the FDA.
FDA Safety Communication
The following FDA Safety Communication acknowledges the dangers associated with TNFα treatment:
Serious, including fatal, infections are a known risk of TNFα blockers. These infections can involve various organ systems and sites due to bacterial, mycobacterial (e.g., tuberculosis), fungal (e.g., histoplasmosis, aspergillosis, candidiasis, coccidioidomycosis, blastomycosis, pneumocystosis), viral (e.g., hepatitis B), and other opportunistic pathogens (organisms that usually do not cause disease in healthy people, but can cause serious illness when a person’s immune system (resistance) has weakened).
Humira Cancer Risk
Recent studies suggests that adults, and particularly children, who receive Humira treatment may significantly increase their risk of developing a rare type of cancer that attacks white blood cells. According to anFDA Safety Communication, some people have developed hepatosplenic T-cell lymphoma, following Humira treatment. There is currently no cure for this aggressive cancer that often leads to fatal circumstances.
Those who use Humira may also increase their risk of developing two types of skin cancer (basal cell and squamous cell). While these types are generally not life-threatening, neglecting treatment may result in catastrophic complications. Due to the sever nature of these aggressive forms of Humira cancer, patients may contact a lawyer at The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP for a free case evaluation of their potential Humira lawsuit.
Do I Have a Humira Lawsuit?
The trial lawyers at The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP have decades of experience navigating through complex legislative and regulatory issues and litigating high stakes cases all over the nation. Our law firm focuses on the representation of plaintiffs in Humira lawsuits. We are currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
Again, if you or a loved one has been injured by Humira, you should contact our lawyers immediately by clicking the link below or calling toll free 1-(949) 557-5800. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and we can help.