Recently, a second woman in her 70’s using the psoriasis drug Raptiva, developed progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML) and died. In a Dear Doctor letter, Genentech stated its belief that Raptiva "likely increases the risk of PML." This year, PML has also been reported in several patients who were using Tysabri, a multiple sclerosis treatment, as well as patients using Cellcept and Myfortic, immunosuppressants.
Earlier this year, the FDA ordered a black box warning for Raptiva, after serious infections, including PML, were reported in Raptiva patients. Raptiva was approved for psoriasis treatment in 2003, and works by suppressing immune system T-cells and blocks the migration of those cells to the skin. This can increase the risk of serious infections because the immune system is weakened. PML is a serious, usually fatal, iinfection, which attacks the brain and central nervous system. Some symptoms of PML include dizziness, loss of coordination, vision problems, memory loss and confusion. The black box warning, ordered by the FDA, for Raptiva highlights the risk of serious infections like PML, viral meningitis, bacterial sepsis and invasive fungal disease. According to the FDA, patients using Raptiva should be educated about recognizing the symptoms of various infections and health problems associated with Raptiva, so that they can seek immediate medical attention.
If you or someone you know has developed serious infections or suffered other serious iinjuries while using a prescription drug, contact Sheller, P.C. The lawyers at Sheller have many years of experience successfully representing people who have been injured by prescription drugs, including Avandia, Baycol, Fen-Phen and Vioxx. Contact us to discuss your legal options.