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Enbrel Lawsuits

The arthritis drug Enbrel has been linked to an increased risk of fatal infections, incluing tuberculosis and fungal infections. In May 2008, a “black box” warning was added about the risk of tuberculosis. In September 2008, the FDA added information to the “black box” warning about the risk of potentially fatal fungal infections, which were often going undiagnosed.

STATUS OF ENBREL LAWSUITS: Potential for legal claims are being evaluated for individuals diagnosed with tuberculosis before May 1, 2008 or who died as a result of an infection.

MANUFACTURERS: Amgen, Inc. and Wyeth

OVERVIEW: Enbrel (etanercept) is a Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) Blocker, which was approved in 1998 to treat various auto immune disorders, such as Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, plaque psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis and juvenile idopathic arthritis (previously known as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis). It is administered as an injection given either by the user or a caregiver.

There are three other TNF blockers currently approved in the United States, Remicade, Humira and Cimzia. When all uses are considered, including indications that Remicade is not approved for, Enbrel is the most widely useed TNF blocker.

ENBREL TUBERCULOSIS RISK: In May 1999, information was added to the warning label about a possible risk of serious infections, including sepsis, which has caused a number of deaths. In April 2008, this information was added to a “black box” which was more prominently displayed on the label.

The “black box” warning also included information about cases of tuberculosis associated with use of Enbrel injections. The FDA and manufacturers indicated that healthcare providers should screen their patients for latent tuberculosis before prescribing Enbrel.

Tuberculosis, also known as tubercle bacillus or TB, is a deadly infection which commonly attacks the lungs (pulmonary TB), the central nervous system, circulatory system, bones, joints or the skin.

Symptoms of tuberculosis could include:

  • Chest Pain
  • Coughing Blood
  • Fever, Chills or Night Sweats
  • Appetite Loss or Weight Loss
  • Fatique

ENBREL CANCER SIDE EFFECTS: In June 2008, the FDA released an early communication about an ongoing safety review involving Enbrel and a possible association with the development of lymphoma and other cancers among children and young adults and an Enbrel black box cancer warning was added in August 2009.

At least 30 reports of childhood cancer were received by the FDA involving the use of TNF blockers. Other medications indicated in this early communication were Humira and Remicade.

Approximately half of the cancers seen in all children and young adults taking TNF blockers were lymphomas, including bother Hodgkin’s and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which is a cancer of cells in the immune system. Lymphoma is not a recognized complication of JIA (Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis) or of Crohn’s disease. Other cancers reported included leukemia, melanoma and solid organ cancers.

ENBRAL FUNGAL INFECTIONS: A number of users who were receiving TNF blockers, such as Enbrel, have experienced fungal infections, such as histoplasmosis, blastomycosis and cocciioidmycosis. In several of these cases the infection resulted in death.

In September 2008, the FDA issued an alert to healthcare providers to provide new information about the risk of Enbrel fungal infections. At that time the agency also indicated that new information will be added to the Enbrel black box warning to ensure that doctors and consumers are aware of the risk, especially for those who live in or visit areas where fungus is prevalent.

Unfortunately, many cases of fungal infections from Enbrel go undiagnosed by doctors, since the symptoms are similar to the flu. Symptoms could include cough, fever, fatigue, loss of weight, sweating and shortness of breath.

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203 comments

  1. Matt Reply

    My father Paul M. Vaughan MD, MPH age 63 died in April of 2014 from Advanced Mucinous Adenocarinoma of the lungs….. The man never smoked a cigarette in his life and began taking Enbrel 2 years ago for his Rheumatoid Arthritis. This drug is pure poison and should be taken off the market. The man stood no chance and living in Pittsburgh surrounded by the Best Doctors in The World he was left with no cure for this extremely rare 1 of 3 reported cases in the Pittsburgh region over the last 25 years. To say these risks are minimal or rare maybe a nice way of saying we don’t care about the people taking this drug, I just need my Corporate Jet washed before I leave for Dubi. The case studies on this drug I believe are flawed. The statistics for Malignancy make no sense when you read all of the above stories of fatal out comes from this drug. And to think Phillip Morris is not allowed to advertise smoking but Enbrel can advertise a death sentence is ridicules. My father made sure his Rheumatologist performed all the proper tests before being prescribed this medication, alongside using the statistics given by Enbrel to analyze the risk of Malignancy and fell remarkably short of a cure, and most certainly lead him to an early death. Maybe if Phil passes away tragically, which I prey to god not, we may see some justice for All of the above. Big Pharma has a Big Fucking Problem and I will be damned if I let this go.

  2. ivy Reply

    I’ve been hearing the commercial for enbrel and never really noticed what the side effects was until my mom passed from pancreatic cancer. My mom was always, faithfuly going to the Dr for check UPS. The only thing she had was the psoriasis and was prescribed this shot. Literally she went from healthy to deathly ill over night. Was first told after many test they were unsure what she had. Then after going to Cooper the cancer was discovered but it was to late. She already was at stage 4. She was diagnosed September 2012 and passed April 3013. I’m so sick of these Dr prescribing meds and not telling you the whole story all the side effects. If i knew i was going to lose my mom from this i would have never aloud her to take this shot

  3. Gary Reply

    My wife was diagnosed with RA. In May of 1999 were went to Duke University for treatment, at the time she was started on Enbrel. We did not know much about the drug and it did help for a couple of months. But in July 1999 she was admitted to UAb in Birmingham, Al. Hosp., where she lay in a coma and on life support for 69 days and nights. Finally it became to much for her and she passed on Sept. 29. It was was not until years later that the potential for this type of death came to my attention. Is it to late to file a lawsuit against Enbrel she suffered for 69 days.

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