Viberzi Pancreatitis Lawsuit
Since Viberzi (eluxadoline) was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in May 2015, the FDA has received at least 120 reports of pancreatitis or death linked to the use of Viberzi, resulting in the agency releasing a drug safety communication about the drug.
This suggests a possible link between Viberzi and pancreatitis, putting patients at risk of serious side effects linked to the IBS medication.
Attorneys are now investigating possible lawsuits against the maker of Viberzi, alleging patients were not adequately warned about the risks associated with taking the medication.
Viberzi is a prescription medication that treats adult irritable bowel syndrome where diarrhea is the main symptom. According to the FDA, Viberzi IBS medication decreases bowel contractions, easing stomach and abdominal pain and decreasing the incidence of diarrhea. The drug is made by Allergan.
From May 2015 through July 2016, approximately 34,000 patients across the U.S. had a prescription for Viberzi filled, and approximately 64,000 prescriptions were dispensed in the same period.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a gastrointestinal disorder in which patients experience a group of symptoms including chronic abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation and possibly fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and chronic pelvic pain. Currently, healthcare professionals are not sure what causes IBS.
Although IBS can cause severe discomfort and distress and can have a debilitating impact on a person’s life, it rarely requires hospitalization or surgery.
There are three FDA-approved prescription medications used to treat IBS. They are Lotronex, Xifaxan, and Viberzi.
Viberzi Side Effects
On March 15, 2017, the FDA issued a Drug Safety Communication regarding Viberzi side effects, especially in patients who do not have a gallbladder. The agency noted that use of Viberzi with no gallbladder could increase the risk of developing serious pancreatitis that could result in death or hospitalization. As such, healthcare professionals are encouraged to consider the Viberzi gallbladder link when prescribing the medication.
The Drug Safety Communication was issued after the FDA received 120 reports of “serious cases of pancreatitis or death” from May 2015 through February 2017 to its Adverse Event Reporting System. Of those reports, 68 patients reported their gallbladder status; 56 patients did not have a gallbladder and received the recommended doses of Viberzi. Seventy-six patients were hospitalized, and two of those patients died. Both patients who died took Viberzi with no gallbladder.
Additional Viberzi medication side effects included abdominal pain.
“Hospitalizations and deaths due to pancreatitis have been reported with Viberzi use in patients who do not have a gallbladder,” the FDA wrote. “Symptoms of pancreatitis have occurred with just one or two doses of Viberzi at the recommended dosage for patients who do not have a gallbladder (75 mg), and who do not consume alcohol.”
As of January 2018, there has been no Viberzi recall announced.
Viberzi and Pancreatitis
Patients are encouraged to stop taking Viberzi immediately and seek medication attention if they develop the following Viberzi complications:
- New or worsening stomach or abdominal pain
- Pain in the upper right side of the stomach or abdomen that moves to the back or shoulder
- Pain with nausea and vomiting
- Spasm of the sphincter of Oddi (a valve in the small intestine)
Viberzi Class Action Lawsuit
Currently, there is no Viberzi class action lawsuit pending. Rather, Viberzi claims are being investigated and filed on an individual basis.
Attorneys are now investigating possible lawsuits against Allergan, maker of Viberzi, alleging patients without gallbladders were not adequately warned about the risks associated with taking the medication.
Free Case Evaluation
If you or a loved one took Viberzi from May 2015 to March 15, 2017, and did not have a gallbladder at the time, and suffered serious Viberzi side effects. As a result, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the maker of the IBS medication. If you have a gallbladder and are still taking Viberzi, you may also be eligible to file a Viberzi lawsuit.