Avastin Side Effects

Avastin side effects may lead to lawsuits for heart attacks, heart failure, stroke, and gastrointestinal (GI) perforations.  Contact an Avastin attorney immediately if you have been affected.

The cancer medication Avastin may be associated with a number of serious and potentially fatal side effects, according to recent studies and FDA warnings. In fact, Avastin may no longer be considered an appropriate treatment for breast cancer, which may lead to the FDA rescinding its approval of Avastin for breast cancer treatment. Avastin was approved by the FDA in 2008 to treat breast cancer, and is also used in the treatment of kidney, lung, and brain cancers. Avastin was approved as a breast cancer treatment under the FDA's accelerated approval program, which permits drugs to enter the market based solely on clinical data suggesting the treatment may have a meaningful clinical benefit, pending further investigation. Under the accelerated program, patients have early access to medications like Avastin under the impression that the drug will effectively treat their condition. Unfortunately, limited testing of a drug before making it available to the public can be dangerous, as consumers may not be adequately informed of the side effects of these medications, which may actually outweigh the possible benefits of the treatment. Avastin functions by interfering with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body and is currently manufactured by Genentech, a subsidiary of Roche Pharmaceuticals.

As new information is released about the life-threatening side effects potentially associated with Avastin, the cancer drug has become the subject of significant scrutiny. In light of the severity of these alleged Avastin side effects, the drug may not be appropriate as a treatment for breast cancer, a condition for which the drug has shown little effectiveness in treating. In short, the potential risks associated with Avastin as a breast cancer treatment may actually outweigh the possible benefits of the drug in treating these particular patients. If you or a loved one has suffered from a life-threatening side effect resulting from Avastin use, contact an Avastin attorney to discuss the benefits of filing an Avastin lawsuit against Genentech (Roche Pharmaceuticals).

Potential Avastin Side Effects

The accelerated approval of Avastin as a breast cancer treatment was based upon clinical data which showed that Avastin merely slowed the progression of tumors for approximately six months when used in combination with standard chemotherapy, but did not extend lives. Two follow-up trials submitted by Avastin maker, Genentech, found that tumor progression was slowed for an even shorter amount of time, again without extending lives. Besides the failure of Avastin to extend the length of a cancer patient's life, the drug also exposes these patients to serious side effects which may be linked to the drug, including:

  • Heart attack
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Gastrointestinal perforations

Despite the financial success Avastin has achieved for Genentech (nearly $6 billion in global sales), the drug has been shown to increase the risk of potentially fatal side effects by nearly 50% when used in combination with chemotherapy, compared to the use of chemotherapy alone. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, approximately 2.5% of cancer patients who use Avastin in combination with chemotherapy die from the treatment rather than from the disease. Another Avastin side effect analysis involved 10,000 patients being treated for tumors, approximately half of which used Avastin and chemotherapy together, and half of which used chemotherapy alone as treatment. The results indicate that 148 patients using Avastin with chemotherapy died, compared to only 72 fatalities among patients who took chemotherapy alone.

Avastin FDA Warnings

The most dangerous aspect of Avastin treatment is that is it nearly impossible to determine which patients will benefit from the drug and which patients will suffer life-threatening side effects. After reviewing recent clinical trial results, the FDA has determined that Avastin does not prolong overall survival in breast cancer patients or provide an adequate benefit in slowing the progression of the disease to outweigh the serious risk the drug poses for Avastin users. In late 2010, the FDA recommended that Avastin's breast cancer approval be removed based on side effect evidence from four independent studies. Pending the finalization of this decision, patients taking Avastin are advised to consult their physician to discuss alternative treatment options.

Avastin Attorneys for Side Effects

Based on all available data concerning the cancer drug Avastin and potential Avastin side effects, the FDA has determined that the risks of the drug outweigh the benefits for its use as a breast cancer treatment. If you or a loved one has suffered from a potential Avastin side effect, contact an Avastin attorney immediately to discuss your legal options. You may have grounds to file an Avastin lawsuit against Genentech (Roche) in order to seek financial compensation for your injuries and medical expenses. If the FDA does rescind its approval of Avastin as a breast cancer treatment, insurance companies may stop covering the drug for breast cancer. For those patients who suffer from potentially fatal Avastin side effects, the associated medical costs, which can be as high as $88,000 a year, may present an overwhelming and impossible financial burden. You are not at fault for any adverse side effects sustained during the use of a dangerous drug. With the help of an Avastin lawyer, victims of alleged Avastin side effects can protect their rights and collect the compensation they deserve.

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