Infection After Taking Xeljanz? Here’s What To Do!

pill bottleDesigned to treat rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis, Pfizer’s Xeljanz (tofacitinib) has been linked with potentially deadly side effects, which include:

  • Liver enzyme elevations, lipid elevations, anemia, neutropenia, and lymphocyte abnormalities
  • Increased risk of blood clots in the lungs, causing death
  • Perforations of the stomach or intestines
  • Lymphoma and other cancers
  • Non-melanoma skin cancers
  • Hypersensitivity reactions
  • Serious infections

Serious infection is the most common, and also most dangerous, of the many Xeljanz side effects.

If you have fallen ill after taking the drug, you may qualify to file a Xeljanz lawsuit for compensation to help cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and emotional suffering. If a loved one has died shortly after taking Xeljanz, you may file a wrongful death lawsuit to cover medical bills, funeral expenses, burial costs, loss of support, and emotional distress.

Symptoms of Xeljanz Infection

Symptoms of infection caused by Xeljanz may include:

  • Headache
  • Feeling extremely fatigued
  • Having little to no appetite
  • Clay-colored bowel movements
  • Darkened urine
  • Uncontrollable chills
  • Muscle aches
  • Fever of 103 or higher
  • Warm, red, painful, or splotchy skin
  • Yellowed eyes or skin
  • Sore throat and runny nose
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach discomfort

If you suffer any signs of infection, see a doctor or head to the hospital immediately for care.

What Does the Boxed Warning Say About Xeljanz Side Effects?

Currently, patients are told that Xeljanz can lower the ability of the immune system to fight infections, that the risk of infection increases with higher doses, and that some people have died from these infections.

Xeljanz-related infections may include:

  • Tuberculosis with pulmonary or extrapulmonary disease.
  • Bacterial or viral infections like Herpes Zoster and shingles.
  • Activation of Hepatitis B or C for people carrying the virus in their blood.
  • Fungal infections (cryptococcosis, pneumocystosis, histoplasmosis, blastomycosis, coccidiomycosis).

Patients are advised to avoid taking Xeljanz if they are suffering from an active infection, they are taking immunosuppressants (like methotrexate or corticosteroids), they have a weak immune system, or if they travel in regions where tuberculosis is frequent.

Those with diabetes, HIV, chronic lung disease, or a past history of frequent, recurring infections should not take Xeljanz. Patients should be tested for tuberculosis prior to starting Xeljanz.

Should You Contact A Lawyer for Xeljanz Infection?

You can file a Xeljanz lawsuit if you suffered a financial loss (such as medical bills and lost wages from missed work) after taking the drug. While every type of medication carries a risk of potential side effects, there are certain grounds that allow patients to sue a manufacturer for damages.

With the help of an attorney, you can establish one or more of the following claims:

  • You weren’t warned about dangerous Xeljanz side effects. Though Xeljanz does carry a boxed warning with information about infection risk, plaintiffs may claim that the company knows more than they are saying – and that the warning could be improved.
  • Xeljanz was improperly advertised. In many cases, manufacturers conceal or downplay the risks in their advertising materials and dealings with physicians in order to peddle more drugs. Plaintiffs may claim that Pfizer exaggerated the effectiveness of the drug to secure greater marketing share.
  • Xeljanz is defective by design. Internal studies indicate Xeljanz patients have more than double the risk of infection compared to placebos. Lawyers will look into the following considerations: Did Pfizer conduct appropriate safety testing before releasing the product to market? Are there market alternatives that do not carry these risks? Why did the European Medicines Agency to deny approval of Xeljanz for use in Europe?

In some cases, a physician or pharmacist can be held liable for breaching a duty to warn.

Contact our firm if you have any questions about Xeljanz side effects or your eligibility to file a Xeljanz lawsuit. Over the years, our attorneys have recovered over $1 billion for our clients, so we are confident in our ability to help you.

All consultations are free of charge, and you owe us nothing for our legal services unless we secure a settlement or jury award on your behalf. “No recovery, no fee” is our commitment to you.

Complex national litigation is our specialty. Each state has a deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit — which could be as little as one to two years from the date of injury — so do not delay in seeking legal advice.

Additional resources:

  1. RX List – Xeljanz, https://www.rxlist.com/xeljanz-drug.htm
  2. Pfizer Medical Information – Adverse Reactions, https://www.pfizermedicalinformation.ca/en-ca/xeljanz/adverse-reactions
  3. Pfizer – RA Safety Data, https://www.pfizerpro.com/product/xeljanz/ra/ra-safety-data
  4. Rheumatology Advisor – ALC Asses Infection Risk in Tofacitinib Treated RA, https://www.rheumatologyadvisor.com/home/rheumatoid-arthritis-advisor/absolute-lymphocyte-count-assesses-infection-risk-in-tofacitinib-treated-ra/
  5. Imperial Beach News – Learning What Works For Your Chronic Inflammatory Illness, http://www.imperialbeachnewsca.com/online_features/health_and_wellness/article_d714e48a-2d7a-59a8-8116-e8e39a1d763c.html