Many people struggling with high cholesterol take the well-known statin drug Lipitor, which was introduced by Pfizer in 1996, and works by blocking enzymes that the liver uses to produce cholesterol. However, recent studies and FDA warnings have indicated that people with high cholesterol who take Lipitor may actually have an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and other life-altering side effects. If you have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, and you believe Lipitor to be the cause, consult a knowledgeable Lipitor lawyer as soon as you can to discuss the possibility of filing a product liability lawsuit against Pfizer. With a qualified attorney on your side, you can protect your legal rights and seek fair and timely reimbursement for your losses.
Lipitor (atorvastatin) belongs to a class of medications called HMG CoA reductase inhibitors, or statins, and is designed to reduce levels of “bad” cholesterol in the body, while increasing levels of “good” cholesterol. For people with high cholesterol, Lipitor treatment can help reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and certain heart and blood vessel problems, but Pfizer has faced growing criticism over the potential risk of diabetes and other medical complications from Lipitor. According to a growing body of research, Lipitor and other popular cholesterol-lowering medications may increase the likelihood of users suffering the following side effects:
A number of studies published in recent years have examined the potential connection between Lipitor use and Type 2 diabetes, but there is limited research available detailing exactly why the connection exists. Some researchers believe that Lipitor and other statin drugs impair the function of special cells in the pancreas that store and release insulin, and others suggest that statin treatment can decrease the body’s sensitivity to insulin, thereby increasing the risk of Type 2 diabetes, particularly for older women. According to one study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine in 2012, researchers found that post-menopausal women who used Lipitor or another statin drug had a 48% increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, compared to women who didn’t use the medication.
That same year, the FDA issued a drug safety communication requiring the manufacturers of all statin medications, including Lipitor, to update their drug warning labels to include the alleged risk of Type 2 diabetes. The new drug labels were also required to include information about the potential link between statin drugs and damage to the liver, muscles and cognitive function in some users, which may lead to injuries like rhabdomyolysis, myopathy and memory loss. More recently, a study conducted by Canadian researchers in May 2013, indicated that statin drugs like Lipitor, Crestor and Zocor increased the risk of diabetes by 10-22%, with the highest risk being from Lipitor, at 22%.
Lipitor and other widely-used statin medications can provide life-saving benefits for some people, particularly those at high risk for experiencing a repeat heart attack, but the alleged risk of diabetes and other serious side effects from Lipitor may outweigh the possible cardiovascular benefits for many patients. This is particularly alarming, considering many people take statins to prevent a first heart attack, despite having no history of heart disease. If you believe you have been adversely affected by Lipitor diabetes complications, contact a reputable Lipitor attorney today to discuss your options for legal recourse. You may have grounds to file a Lipitor lawsuit against Pfizer, in order to pursue the financial compensation you deserve for your injuries, medical expenses, and pain and suffering.