Written by Avvo Staff

Dangerous Drug: Evista Risks & Lawsuit Information

Evista, also known as Raloxifene, is an oral hormone therapy drug that is used to combat osteoporosis (a bone disease that leads to the thinning of bone tissue and loss of bone density over time) in post-menopausal women. Additionally, Evista is currently being studied for its effectiveness in fighting breast cancer.

Evista is a synthetic drug produced by Eli Lilly and Company and is classified as an antiestrogen because it inhibits the effects of estrogen on certain tissues. It is approved only for post-menopausal women because they are past child-bearing years and are at a higher risk for developing osteoporosis. Clinical trials testing Raloxifene for its effectiveness in killing cancer cells in breast tissues are still under way.

Common Side Effects of Evista

Most patients report experiencing very few side effects while taking Evista, however others do experience some mild side effects such as:

  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Cramping
  • Stomach pain
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Hot flashes
  • Weight gain
  • Hair thinning
  • Bone pain

More Serious and Potentially Life-Threatening Risks

  • Blood clots in the legs (deep vein thrombosis)
  • Blood clots in lungs (pulmonary embolism)
  • Leg swelling
  • Stroke
  • Itchy skin rash
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unusual uterine bleeding
  • Chest pain

On May 18, 2006, Health Canada and Eli Lilly Canada issued a safety warning concerning an increased risk of death due to stroke in postmenopausal women taking Evista who are also at increased risk of cardiovascular disease. This risk was discovered during the RUTH clinical trial which examined the use for Evista for cardiovascular disease.

Evista is not meant for women who are pregnant because there is an increased risk of miscarriages and birth defects. Patients who are at risk of developing blood clots cannot take Evista because the risk of clotting triples. Women with liver disease are also not ideal patients for this treatment because raloxifene levels in their blood may increase. A healthy liver provides a better filtering system for the drug.

The side effects were reported by women taking the drug for a short period of time. Taking the drug for longer could produce different side effects.

Evista Claims & Lawsuits

Although there have been some issues regarding clotting and heart disease associated with taking Evista, there have been no major lawsuits or class action suits against Eli Lilly and Company as yet. Eli Lilly once asserted that the drug is effective at combating heart disease, when the opposite is true. No lawsuits were officially filed against them for making this claim, but a few medical professionals gave scathing reviews in medical journals.

Women taking Evista need to be aware of the major side effects of the drug, especially swelling and difficulty breathing. These problems are serious and could be signs of clotting. Also be sure to consult a doctor before taking any other medication with Evista because certain drug combinations can cause a host of other problems.

Getting Legal Help

There are laws protecting patients from negligence that differ from state to state. A person injured by Evista should consult a personal injury lawyer to find out if they have the right to compensation. A personal injury lawyer will assess the case and help to file a claim against the company. The lawsuit must be filed within the statute of limitations so it is necessary to quickly make a decision about whether or not to file a lawsuit. The amount of time varies from state to state, as does the law, so be sure to find a good personal injury lawyer and to file quickly.

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