What VIBERZI Is Used For?
Viberzi, also known as eluxadoline, is a drug sold by U.S. pharmaceutical company Allergan for the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with diarrhea in adults.
What is Viberzi?
Viberzi is a controlled substance that reduces diarrhea by activating receptors in the stomach and intestines to limit bowel contractions.
Viberzi was approved by the FDA in May of 2015. Since then, it has been prescribed to more than 100,000 patients.
Viberzi FDA Warning
In March of 2017, the FDA warned that Viberzi should no longer be prescribed to those patients who’ve had their gallbladder removed, as it may increase the risk of serious pancreatitis.
Already, the FDA has received over 120 reports of patient hospitalization or death from taking Viberzi. The majority of victims did not have a gallbladder and, in many cases, the onset of symptoms started within days of taking the medication.
HOW VIBERZI WORKS?
Viberzi works by activating or preventing various opioid receptors in the digestive tract. These are the receptors involved in intestinal motility, the sensation of pain and the secretion of intestinal fluid. Viberzi is unique because it stimulates two types of receptors and inhibits others, without providing relief from constipation.
Each of these receptors has different and unique characteristics:
- mu receptors are responsible for intestinal motility (contraction of the gastrointestinal muscles)
- Kappa receptors inhibit contractions of the colon
- Delta receptors are associated with intestinal secretions
The addition of a delta receptor antagonist is essential to avoid constipation observed with other drugs such as Imodium (loperamide) and Lomotil (atropine / diphenoxylate) affect only mu and kappa receptors.
The FDA approved Viberzi based on two phase III clinical trial studies concluded that the drug offered a modest improvement in the frequency and urgency of bowel movements and a slight improvement in abdominal pain and consistency stools.
SYMPTOMS & SIDE EFFECTS OF VIBERZI
Those who developed pancreatitis after using the IBS drug Viberzi, or lost a loved one to the disease should learn their legal options as soon as possible. The FDA has issued warnings about the safety of this drug due to higher risks of pancreatitis, especially in those without a gallbladder.
Pancreatitis is an inflammation or damage to the pancreas, an organ that produces digestive enzymes crucial to the digestive process. The disease can lead to diabetes, infection, problems digesting food, organ failure, pancreatic cancer or death.
Lawyers are filing lawsuits against Allergan, the manufacturer of Viberzi, due to their failure to protect patients or warn them of the dangers. Choosing the right Viberzi lawyer may significantly affect your case. But how should you choose who will represent you?
Most importantly, choose a lawyer or firm with experience filing defective drug injury lawsuits against large companies on a national level. These cases are typically filed in special federal courts. Therefore, while a local attorney may seem more convenient, they may not have the necessary resources.
Latest VIBERZI News & Recalls
This case, along with nearly 200 others filed in Florida during 2016, alleges that Allergan was complicit in defrauding women into undergoing unnecessary breast revision surgery after doctors told them their implants had developed leaks.
Court records show that, although the failure rate of the company’s implants was only around 1.2%, they continued to support warranty claims for revision surgeries by local doctors who performed more than 5,500 of these procedures.
In 2016 Allergan agreed to pay $38 million to settle federal charges against subsidiary Forest Pharmaceuticals of paying kickbacks to doctors in order to promote three different medications between 2008 and 2011.
The company allegedly compensated doctors with lucrative speaking engagements for prescribing the drugs Bystolic, Namenda and Savella.
In 2015, the parents of 21-year-old Mandy Fortuna filed a lawsuit in Vermont against Allergan alleging that the company’s drug Botox contributed to her death. She had been given Botox injections to control leg spasms associated with her cerebral palsy.
The suit followed a 2014 jury award in Vermont of $6.75 million to a family whose son developed epilepsy after receiving Botox injections for his cerebral palsy from the same doctor.
Latest news on Viberzi.
Lawsuits & Settlements
1. Why are patients filing lawsuits against Viberzi for pancreatitis?
Allergan marketed Viberzi as a safe treatment for IBS in those patients with no gallbladder, and even recommended a specific dose for these patients. However, they didn’t perform the necessary studies to determine if there were special risks for these patients, and failed to tell them about the dangers.
Since Allergan marketed a dangerous product, and didn’t properly warn patients about the risks, they have a responsibility to compensate those who were harmed. Lawyers are now helping those affected by pancreatitis after taking Viberzi file lawsuits.
2. Which patients are eligible for a Viberzi pancreatitis Lawsuit?
Patients who’ve taken Actemra and experienced any of the following side effects may qualify for a lawsuit:
- new pain in the stomach or abdomen
- worsening of existing abdominal pain
- pain from the upper right abdomen to the back or shoulder
The FDA has warned that anyone noticing symptoms of pancreatitis after taking Viberzi should stop taking the drug and seek immediate medical attention.
3. Is there a class action lawsuit for Viberzi pancreatitis?
So far, lawyers are only filing individual claims for those affected, rather than one single Viberzi class action lawsuit. This is done for several reasons. First, individual lawsuits can be consolidated into a central federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) court once there is sufficient volume, which gives victims many of the advantages of a class action without the limitations.
Second, by filing individual cases, plaintiffs may still make important decisions such as which lawyer to choose and whether to proceed to trial or settle. Lastly, individual lawsuits filed in an MDL often result in greater compensation to victims than class action lawsuits.
Since the FDA warning affects several thousand patients, a large number of claims are expected.
4. How much are Viberzi lawsuits worth?
Lawsuit values change depending on a number of factors, and this is the same with each Viberzi lawsuit. First, value depends heavily on the severity of the victims pancreatitis, and how much treatment is needed. Obviously, claims for death from pancreatitis are worth substantially more.
Also, the patient’s age and how long they took the medication will be a factor. Finally, the court district chosen for the lawsuit, the rulings of the judge and the aggressiveness of the victims lawyer can all affect the outcome of the case.
Due to the severity of pancreatitis and risk of death, lawyers expect some of these lawsuits will seek compensation into the millions of dollars.
5. What is the process for filing a Viberzi pancreatitis lawsuit? How long does it take?
The first step in filing a claim starts with talking to a lawyer. By contacting us you can speak with a lawyer today at no cost. They can ask a few important questions and determine if your case qualifies for further investigation that same day.
After you talk with a lawyer specializing in these cases and agree to let them represent you, they can begin gathering evidence such as pharmacy, insurance and medical records. This is all in preparation for filing a formal lawsuit. Due to busy court dockets, it may take a year or more to reach trial or negotiate a settlement.
Remember, though, it is usually not necessary for you to travel anywhere during the process, you won’t be responsible for any attorney’s fees or case costs unless you receive compensation.
From May 2015 to February 2017, the FDA received 120 reports of serious pancreatitis or death. The deaths associated with pancreatitis after taking Viberzi involved patients without gallbladders.
You’re not alone if you or your loved one developed pancreatitis or pancreatitis symptoms after taking Viberzi after May 2015. FDA data suggests patients without gallbladders faced an increased risk of severe illness or death after taking Viberzi, and our lawyers are here to listen to your story.
HOW TO FILE A CLAIM
Do you want to learn if you have a case? The lawsuits are being filed on behalf of those patients who suffered:
- Upper abdominal pain
- Abdominal pain that radiates to the back
- Abdominal pain that feels worse after eating
- Rapid pulse
- Abdominal tenderness
Lawyers expect that thousands of patients will ultimately come forward with injuries to file claims. As is often the case with drug injury lawsuits, cases may eventually be consolidated in a central federal court for expedited handling.
A lawyer can speak with you today to determine if your case qualifies, and it costs nothing to investigate or file your claim unless you receive compensation.