Viberzi IBS Medication Lawsuit
Attorneys are investigating a potential lawsuit against Allergan, the maker of Viberzi medication, alleging patients and medical professionals were not adequately warned about the risks associated with taking the medication. Viberzi, also known as eluxadoline, is a prescription medication used to treat irritable bowel syndrome. It has been linked to severe cases of pancreatitis and, in at least two cases, patients died after taking Viberzi.
What is IBS?
IBS—also known as irritable bowel syndrome—is a chronic condition that affects a person’s large intestine. Patients may suffer from mild IBS, which can be controlled through diet and lifestyle changes, or more serious IBS, which may require medication.
Symptoms of IBS include:
- Abdominal pain
- Abdominal cramping
- Excess gas
- Mucus in the stool
It is not known exactly what causes IBS but factors that may affect it include issues with the nervous system, intestinal inflammation, infection, changes in abdominal bacteria, and intestinal muscle contractions. IBS may be triggered by food, stress, or hormones and can cause patients to experience a decreased quality of life and be at a risk of mood disorders.
What is IBS-D?
IBS-D refers to cases of IBS where the main symptom is diarrhea. Viberzi is approved to treat adult patients with IBS-D.
Viberzi IBS-D Medication
Viberzi decreases bowel contractions, slowing down the rate that food moves through the intestine and decreasing the risk of diarrhea.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Viberzi has been linked to an increased risk of pancreatitis. The FDA issued a warning that use of Viberzi with no gallbladder could result in an increased risk of pancreatitis, which can be fatal. Two patients reportedly died after using Viberzi, with one patient showing symptoms of Viberzi complications within an hour of taking the first dose. That patient reportedly died three days later. The second patient who the FDA has records of also showed symptoms of complications soon after taking the first Viberzi dose. This second patient suffered from sphincter of Oddi spasm.
What is Sphincter of Oddi Spasm?
The sphincter of Oddi is the smooth muscle connecting the bile duct and the pancreatic duct. It controls the flow of bile and pancreatic juice into the intestine. When the sphincter of Oddi malfunctions, it doesn’t contract or relax in a normal way, preventing adequate flow of bile fluid and pancreatic juice and potentially leading to pancreatitis.
FDA Viberzi Warnings
On March 15, 2017, the FDA issued a warning that Viberzi IBS medication should not be taken by patients who have no gallbladder or who suffer from sphincter of Oddi dysfunction. In the same warning, the FDA noted that pancreatitis had been reported in patients with a gallbladder but the FDA did not recommend patients with a gallbladder take other medications.
Patients who develop new or worsening stomach pain or abdominal pain, pain in the upper right side of the stomach or abdomen that moves to the back or shoulder, combined with nausea and vomiting are advised to stop taking Viberzi immediately and seek emergency medical care.
Attorneys are now investigating possible Viberzi lawsuits against Allergan, maker of Viberzi medication. Those lawsuits allege patients and healthcare professionals were not properly warned about the risk of pancreatitis linked to Viberzi. If you or a loved one has been harmed by the use of Viberzi, contact a Viberzi attorney today.