Avastin and Gastrointestinal Perforation Side Effects

Avastin side effects, like gastrointestinal perforations, may lead to injury lawsuits being filed by patients. If you have been adversely affected by the cancer medication, consult an Avastin attorney for legal guidance.

The cancer drug Avastin has become the subject of significant scrutiny in recent years, as side effect studies have exposed the serious risks, including gastrointestinal perforations, associated with the medication. Avastin has been available as a cancer treatment in the United States since it garnered FDA approval in 2004, and is currently manufactured by Genentech, a subsidiary of Roche Pharmaceuticals. Avastin (bevacizumab) works by interfering with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body, and is commonly used to treat breast, brain, kidney and lung cancers. Although Avastin entered the market in 2004, it wasn't until 2008 that the FDA approved its indication as a breast cancer treatment under the agency's accelerated approval program. Unfortunately, a mere three years later, experts are calling for the FDA to rescind Avastin's approval in treating breast cancer, due to the risk of life-altering side effects like gastrointestinal perforations. If you took Avastin and have since suffered from a GI perforation, contact a qualified Avastin attorney to discuss your legal options.

Symptoms and Treatment of Gastrointestinal Perforations

A gastrointestinal perforation is a complete penetration of the wall of the stomach, small intestine, large bowel or gallbladder, allowing intestinal contents to flow into the abdominal cavity and potentially causing dangerous bacterial contamination. Common symptoms of a GI perforation include:
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Chills
  • Vomiting
  • Severe abdominal pain
Treatment for gastrointestinal perforations depends on the underlying cause of the injury. Surgery is almost always required in patients suffering from a GI perforation, in order to repair the hole or to remove a small part of the intestine, if necessary. Surgery is typically successful, although it depends on the severity of the perforation and how quickly treatment is received.

Avastin Side Effect Studies and FDA Warnings

A number of FDA panels have recommended that Avastin no longer be marketed as a treatment for breast cancer, due to the risk of serious side effects associated with the drug in this patient population. In fact, the FDA has indicated that Avastin does not prolong survival in breast cancer patients, nor does it provide an adequate benefit in slowing the progression of the disease to outweigh the serious side effects in breast cancer patients. Although Avastin is one of the best-selling cancer drugs in the world, serious concerns have been raised about the safety of the drug, amid studies suggesting the medication increases the risk of life-threatening side effects by nearly 50% when used in combination with chemotherapy, compared to chemotherapy alone. In 2009, researchers found that cancer patients treated with Avastin had a significantly increased risk of developing potentially deadly gastrointestinal perforations, compared to patients who did not receive the cancer drug. According to the study, which was published in The Lancet Oncology, an analysis of seventeen randomized trials indicated that patients treated with Avastin were twice as likely to develop GI perforations as patients treated with control medication.

Avastin Attorneys for Side Effects

A gastrointestinal perforation is a medical emergency, which can lead to dangerous complications for affected individuals. If you or a loved one has suffered from a GI perforation and you believe Avastin to be the cause, contact an experienced Avastin attorney for legal help. You may have grounds to file an Avastin lawsuit against Genentech (Roche) in order to seek financial compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. You are not at fault for any injuries caused by a dangerous pharmaceutical drug, and you should not be held accountable for the resulting consequences. Drug companies like Genentech are responsible for producing safe and effective medications for consumer use, and should be held liable for any adverse side effects sustained by consumers of their products. With the help of a knowledgeable Avastin lawyer, victims of Avastin side effects can collect the compensation they deserve and protect themselves and their family from further harm.

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