An Idaho woman indicates that side effects of an Injectafer iron injection used to fight anemia and other low blood iron conditions caused her blood phosphorous to fall to dangerously low levels, requiring medical intervention and leaving her with permanent injuries.
Christa Covington filed a product liability complaint (PDF) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on April 24, indicating that Luitpold Pharmaceuticals, Inc., American Regent, Inc., Daiichi Sankyo and Vifor Pharma Ltd. failed to adequately warn consumers and the medical communmity about the iron injection risks.
According to the lawsuit, Covington was prescribed Injectafer for the treatment of iron deficiency anemia in April 2018. She received two injections in May of that year. However, following her second injection, the lawsuit indicates her blood phosphorous levels dropped sharply and she developed Severe Hypophosphatemia (HPP).
As a result of the blood phosphorous level drops caused by the iron injections, Covington indicates that she suffered diffuse pain, muscle spasms, cramping, bone pain, stiffness, weakness, fatigue, paresthesia, sleep disturbances, and rashes. She also developed nerve pain which required surgery and she had to take multiple weeks off from work, the lawsuit states.
Injectafer (ferric carboxymaltose) was introduced by Daiichi Sankyo in 2013, as an iron infusion for adults with anemia, who are not able to be treated with an oral iron supplement and have non-dialysis dependent chronic kidney disease. However, side effects of the iron injection have been linked to reports of serious and life-threateningly low phosphorous levels.
The lawsuit notes that Injectafer is the only anemia treatment on the U.S. market which contains a unique ferric carboxymaltose (FCM) compound, which is known to cause severe HPP and potentially persistent HPP. The lawsuit claims the manufacturers knew about these risks but failed to warn the medical community or patients being given the injections.
“Failure to warn of Severe HPP, along with the injuries it can cause – osteomalacia, rhabdomyolysis, cardiac arrest, cardiac arrhythmia, or respiratory failure – given their clinical significance and Defendants’ knowledge of the frequency at which they occur in Injectafer users, is a complete derogation of Defendants’ responsibilities to properly warn of Injectafer’s known dangers in violation of all relevant state and federal laws,” the lawsuit states.
The case joins a growing number of other Injectafer lawsuits filed in recent months, each involving similar allegations of severe drops in phosphate levels linked to side effects of the iron infusion.