Diabetes is a medical condition that occurs when an individual cannot properly regulate his or her blood sugar. Those born with the condition suffer from Type I diabetes, but those who are overweight can develop Type II diabetes later in life. According to thousands of lawsuits filed across the country, taking the prescription drug Lipitor may also cause Type II diabetes.
What is Lipitor?
Lipitor is the brand name given to the generic drug atorvastatin by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer. Doctors prescribe the drug to patients suffering from high cholesterol. The human body contains two types of cholesterol: a good and bad cholesterol. Elevated levels of bad cholesterol often affect those who are overweight or lead sedentary lifestyles. Those diagnosed with diabetes have an increased risk of experiencing a stroke, heart attack and other health problems in the future. Some doctors recommend that diabetics take Lipitor to reduce their risks of developing those challenges.
Is Lipitor Available Over the Counter?
Lipitor is only available as a prescription drug, which means that patients need to meet with a doctor, go through some testing and receive a diagnosis of high cholesterol before obtaining a prescription. Pfizer hopes that it can make Lipitor an over the counter drug by the end of 2106. As it is one of the company’s top drugs and earned the company more than $1 billion in a single year, the company hopes to increase its profits when the drug moves into pharmacies. If the drug becomes an OTC medication, patients can purchase the drug without seeing a doctor, which may result in more patients unaware of the potential side effects.
The Diabetes Connection
Pain in the muscles and joints are some of the side effects associated with Lipitor. Some of its other common side effects include stomach cramps, throat pain, dizziness, muscle cramps and weakness. A large class action lawsuit also claims that taking Lipitor can lead to Type II diabetes. Research performed by the FDA found that patients taking statin drugs like Lipitor have a small risk of developing diabetes and other health conditions. This led to the FDA requiring that the manufacturers of those drugs add a warning label to alert patients to the risk. Many of those involved in the class action suit began taking the medication before this mandate.
Joining a Class Action Suit
Joining a class action lawsuit is one possibility for those who took Lipitor in the past and developed Type II diabetes. The attorneys working on this lawsuit have more than 4,000 clients who experienced the same problems when taking the medication. There are pros and cons associated with both individual cases and joint cases. Class action lawsuits and joint cases often bring more attention to the situation and can lead to higher settlements and judgments, but plaintiffs may make more when they work with a smaller group of people and divide the solution in fewer ways.
Are You a Candidate for a Lipitor Case?
If you took Lipitor after meeting with your doctor and receiving a prescription and you later developed diabetes, you might be a candidate for a Lipitor lawsuit. The court will look at your lifestyle and whether other factors may have led to your condition. A lawyer with experience in drug cases will walk you through the pros and cons of filing a lawsuit on your own or joining a class action lawsuit and help you identify common cases in your area that you might want to join.