Viberzi and Pancreatitis – What They Knew, When They Knew It
Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Diarrhea (IBS-D) is an uncomfortable, embarrassing and painful condition. It can create many stressful interruptions during the workday and it can cause you to hesitate to make plans for a night out with friends. Viberzi was put on the market to calm your intestines, but countless patients have discovered that this medication is even more harmful and life-altering than the initial medical condition that it was supposed to treat.
What They Knew
Viberzi (eluxadoline) is an IBS-D drug that was introduced to the market in May 2015 by pharmaceutical company Allergen. Viberzi works by interacting with opioid receptors within the digestive tract that are involved in food digestion and intestinal sensitivity.
When taking Viberzi, the opioid relaxes muscles involved in digestion. While this initially seems like a good way to stop diarrhea, it can also slow down other muscles that control the flow of fluids into the intestines like the sphincter of Oddi. The sphincter of Oddi opens and closes the bile duct, but if this important muscle relaxes and does not open, the digestive fluids will get backed up into the gallbladder and pancreas which causes the acidic fluids to digest the organ. The result is pancreatitis that can lead to excruciating pain, hospitalization and even death.
When They Knew It
On March 15, 2017, the FDA published a warning informing doctors and users of Viberzi that those who do not have a gallbladder are at risk for developing pancreatitis with this medication. The FDA reported that, “From May 2015, when Viberzi was first approved, through February 2017, FDA received 120 reports of serious cases of pancreatitis or death. Among the 68 patients who reported their gallbladder status, 56 of them did not have a gallbladder and received the currently recommended dosage of Viberzi. Seventy-six patients were hospitalized, of which two patients died. These two patients did not have a gallbladder.”
What Can You Do?
If you had pancreatitis and took Viberzi between May 2015 to March 15, 2017 and you don’t have a gallbladder, you may be able to make a claim because Allergen didn’t warn you of the risk. If you took Viberzi and had pancreatitis and do have a gallbladder, you may also be able to make a claim because Viberzi doesn’t warn patients with a gallbladder about the risk for pancreatitis. If you had pancreatitis after taking Viberzi, you probably have expensive medical bills and debt from being unable to work. Allergen should financially compensate you for these expenses that they caused. Contact us today to see if you qualify to make a claim.