Avastin and Heart Failure Side Effects

Heart failure side effects linked to Avastin may result in injury lawsuits being filed by patients. If you have suffered from a side effect associated with the cancer drug, contact an Avastin attorney today.

Serious concerns have been raised about the safety of the cancer drug Avastin, due to new evidence suggesting the drug may be linked to significant heart failure side effects in patients. Avastin has been available in the United States since 2004 and is commonly used in combination with chemotherapy to treat breast, brain, kidney and lung cancers. Avastin (bevacizumab) is currently manufactured by Genentech, a subsidiary of Roche Pharmaceuticals, and functions by interfering with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body. Avastin was approved to treat breast cancer in 2008 under the FDA's accelerated approval program, which permits drugs to enter the market based solely on the results of clinical trials which suggest the medication may have a meaningful clinical benefit. However, an emerging body of research has indicated that the side effects associated with Avastin may be common and severe enough to outweigh any possible benefits of the drug in treating breast cancer patients. If you took Avastin and have since suffered from a dangerous side effect like heart failure, contact a qualified Avastin attorney to discuss your legal options.

Heart Failure Symptoms

Heart failure is a long-term condition characterized by the heart's inability to pump enough blood to the rest of the body. Heart failure can affect only the right side of the heart or only the left side of the heart, although the condition most often affects both sides of the heart. Common symptoms of heart failure include:
  • Loss of appetite
  • Cough
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weight gain

Heart Failure Treatment and Outlook

In order to treat heart failure, some patients may require medications to help the heart muscle pump better, to keep their blood from clotting, to open up blood vessels, or to slow their heart rate. Other treatments may include the implantation of devices like a pacemaker to help slow heart rate, or a defibrillator to send an electrical pulse to prevent life-threatening abnormal heart rhythms. Other patients with heart failure may require coronary bypass surgery and angioplasty to help improve blood flow to the damaged heart muscle, or heart valve surgery to repair damaged heart valves. Unfortunately, some patients may suffer from end-stage heart failure, at which point a heart transplant is necessary for survival.

FDA Warnings and Avastin Side Effect Studies

Panels of cancer experts commissioned by the FDA have indicated that Avastin may no longer be an appropriate method of treatment for patients with breast cancer, due to the risk of serious side effects the medication poses for these patients. The FDA has also indicated that Avastin does not prolong overall survival in breast cancer patients, nor does it provide an adequate benefit in slowing the progression of the disease to outweigh the side effect risks associated with the medication. Although Avastin is one of the best-selling cancer drugs in the world, research has suggested that the medication increases the risk of life-threatening side effects by nearly 50% when used in combination with chemotherapy, compared with chemotherapy treatment alone. According to a 2011 study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, which included 3,784 breast cancer patients, 1.6% of patients taking Avastin suffered from high-grade heart failure, compared to only 0.4% of patients taking a placebo. This is the first comprehensive report to show that Avastin is associated with an increased risk of significant heart failure in patients with breast cancer.

Avastin Attorneys for Heart Failure Side Effects

Heart failure is a serious condition which can significantly limit even normal daily activities, like walking. If you or a loved one has suffered from a side effect like heart failure, and you believe Avastin to be the cause, contact an Avastin attorney to explore your compensation options. You may have grounds to file an Avastin lawsuit against Genentech (Roche) in order to seek financial reimbursement for your injuries, the medical expenses resulting from injury treatment, and the pain and suffering endured by you and your family. Consumers expect drug companies to produce safe and effective medications that are unlikely to cause them unnecessary harm. Unfortunately, there are some drugs on the market in the U.S. that are associated with side effects so severe they may significantly outweigh any possible benefits of the treatment. Only by hiring an Avastin attorney to represent their case can victims of Avastin side effects protect their rights and collect the compensation they deserve.

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