Nilotinib, sold under the brand name Tasigna, is used in the treatment of Philadelphia chromosome positive chronic myeloid leukemia (Ph+CML). The prescription drug is manufactured by Novartis and works by inhibiting a protein that helps cancer cells grow and proliferate without harming normal healthy cells in the body. However, Tasigna has been associated with a serious condition called atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries.
Atherosclerosis is caused by a buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries. This buildup causes the arteries to get stiff and hard, reduces blood flow and decreases the oxygen supply to cells. Atherosclerosis can cause serious health problems including-
- Coronary artery disease caused by plaque in the arteries going to or from the heart
- Chest pain called angina which is caused by reduced blood flow to the heart
- Carotid artery disease is a plaque buildup in the arteries that supply blood to the brain
- Peripheral artery disease in which plaque builds in the arteries that feed blood to the extremities which can lead to amputations.
Ph+CML patients who suffer hardened arteries are alleging that drug maker Novartis didn’t warn the medical community and their patients about the risks of arteriosclerosis, and instead promoted the drug as a safe and effective alternative treatment. In fact, patients and their families are filing lawsuits against the drug maker accusing the company of knowing for years that the drug could cause rapidly developing atherosclerosis in some Ph+CML patients who receive treatment.
If you or your family member suffered atherosclerosis that led to coronary artery disease, carotid artery disease, peripheral artery disease and amputations, contact us now learn more about the options that may be available to you, including how to get compensation for your injuries.