The rare and potentially fatal brain disease, Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML) has been linked to the use of several medications. Potential lawsuits are being investigated by PML lawyers for individuals who have been diagnosed with the neurological disease which may have been linked to a medication.
STATUS OF PML LAWSUITS: Lawyers are evaluating and reviewing the potential for cases of progressive multifocal leukoencepholapthy among users of the multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri, psoriasis drug Raptiva and organ transplant medications CellCept or Myfortic, or the multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri.
OVERVIEW: Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML), which is also known as Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalitis, is a rare viral disease that affects the central nervous system. It causes progressive damage or inflammation of the white matter of the brain at multiple locations and often has fatal consequences. There is no known cure for the disease, but in some cases it does slow or stop if the immune system improves. It often occurs in those with immune systems suppressed by disease or medicines.
Symptoms could include:
- Vision Loss
- Impaired Speech
- Cognitive Deterioration
In June 2008, the Roche (the maker of CellCept) and Novartis (the maker of Myfortic) announced changes to the Warnings and Adverse Reactions sections of the drugs’ prescribing information about the association with PML, after postmarketing data identified several reported cases of the potentially fatal brain disease.
TYSABRI SIDE EFFECTS: The multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri (natalizumab) has been linked to several cases of Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy since it was introduced in 2004. After three reports surfaced of users developing the brain disease, the manufacturers temporarily withdrew Tysabri from the market in 2005. Two of those users died as a result of the disease.
The manufacturers re-introduced Tysabri in 2006 with stricter guidelines for usage and more prominent warnings about the potential Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy side effects. In August 2008, additional reports were disclosed of two new cases of PML among users of Tysabri. These were the first known reports sincce the drug was put back on the market in 2006.
RAPTIVA SIDE EFFECTS: Following reports of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy among Raptiva users, the FDA announced a new black box warning in October 2008 which will high light the risk of the brain disease and other opportunistic infections. At least one case of PML has been associated with side effects of the psoriasis drug Raptiva.