Avastin and Stroke Side Effects

Patients who have experienced a stroke or been adversely affected by the cancer drug Avastin may be entitled to financial compensation. Contact an Avastin attorney to discuss your injury claim.

New side effect studies and FDA warnings have raised serious concerns about the safety of Avastin, due to information about severe Avastin side effects like stroke. Avastin is a cancer medication which has been available in the United States since it was approved by the FDA in 2004. The active ingredient in Avastin is bevacizumab, and the drug is commonly used to treat breast, kidney, lung and brain cancers. Avastin works by interrupting the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body, and is currently manufactured by Genentech, a subsidiary of drug maker Roche Pharmaceuticals. Avastin was approved to treat breast cancer in 2008 under the FDA's accelerated approval program, which allows drugs to enter the market based solely on clinical data suggesting the medication may have a meaningful clinical benefit. However, recent research indicates that Avastin may be associated with life-threatening side effects, including stroke, which significantly outweigh the benefits of the treatment, especially in breast cancer patients. If you took Avastin and have since suffered from a side effect like stroke, contact an Avastin attorney for legal help.

Stroke Symptoms

A stroke occurs when the blood supply to any part of the brain is interrupted, preventing that part of the brain from receiving the blood and oxygen it needs to function. If blood flow isn't restored after a few seconds, brain cells may sustain permanent damage or begin to die. One of the most common causes of stroke is when a blood clot blocks a blood vessel delivering necessary blood to the brain. Common symptoms of stroke include:
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Muscle weakness in the leg, arm or face
  • Confusion or loss of memory
  • Changes in alertness
  • Loss of balance

Stroke Treatment and Prognosis

A stroke is a medical emergency requiring urgent care in order to save lives and reduce disability. Some patients who suffer a stroke may benefit from medications that break up the problem clot and restore blood flow to the damaged area. Other patients may require an angiography to highlight the clogged blood vessel and open it up, or even surgery on the carotid artery. The prognosis for a stroke victim depends on a number of factors, including the type of stroke, how much brain tissue is damaged, what bodily functions have been affected, and how quickly treatment is received. Common life-altering complications of stroke include loss of movement or feeling in parts of the body, dementia, problems speaking or thinking, and loss of mobility.

FDA Warnings and Avastin Side Effect Studies

An advisory panel of cancer experts, commissioned by the FDA, have concluded that Avastin should no longer be marketed for the treatment of breast cancer, due to the significant risk of side effects for these patients. The FDA has also indicated that Avastin does not prolong survival in breast cancer patients, nor does it provide a great enough benefit in slowing the progression of the disease to outweigh the serious side effects breast cancer patients may face. Despite the fact that Avastin is one of the most popular cancer drugs in the world, researchers have indicated that the drug increases the risk of potentially fatal side effects by nearly 50% when used in combination with chemotherapy, compared with chemotherapy treatment on its own.

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2008, patients taking Avastin had an increased risk of developing dangerous deep vein clots or venous thromboembolism in the legs or lungs, compared to patients who did not receive Avastin treatment. A thromboembolism occurs when a blood clot develops in a deep vein and a piece breaks off and blocks blood flow in a vessel near the heart, leading to a stroke or heart attack.

Avastin Attorneys for Stroke Side Effects

Stroke is the leading cause of disability and is also the third most common cause of death among Americans, affecting approximately 750,000 people in the U.S. each year. If you or a loved one has suffered from a stroke which you believe to be linked to Avastin, contact an Avastin attorney to discuss your legal options. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries, medical expenses, and pain and suffering, which you can collect by filing an Avastin lawsuit against Genentech (Roche Pharmaceuticals). Drug companies like Genentech are expected to produce safe and effective medications, and should be held accountable for any adverse side effects sustained by consumers of their products. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case. Some pharmaceutical companies intentionally conceal the more serious side effects of their drugs in an attempt to make their products more appealing to the public. Only by hiring an experienced Avastin lawyer can victims of Avastin side effects protect their rights and hold the allegedly negligent drug company liable for their injuries.

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