Iron-deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia, but many patients with this condition are unable to take or tolerate iron supplements. These patients, along with certain patients with chronic kidney disease who aren’t receiving dialysis, can be treated with an injectable iron complex called Injectafer®.
However, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that patients who received Injectafer had a 50.8% chance of developing a serious and potentially fatal condition called hypophosphatemia (HPP) compared to just 0.9% of patients who received another iron therapy injection called ferumoxytol.
What Is Injectafer?
Injectafer has been used to treat iron-deficiency anemia since it was first released in the U.S. in 2013. It’s an injectable form of ferric carboxymaltose (FCM), an iron complex. It’s delivered directly into patients’ bloodstreams and can provide up to 1,500 mg of iron. It’s administered in two injections spaced at least seven days apart.
However, the medication is facing serious scrutiny after being linked to the development of HPP, especially in comparison to other injectable iron-deficiency anemia treatments.
What Is HPP?
When a patient’s blood phosphate levels become dangerously low, they can develop HPP. Phosphate is the combination of phosphorous and oxygen. Phosphorous is found in many foods, including milk, eggs, meat, and beans. It turns into phosphate after binding with oxygen upon digestion.
Phosphate is necessary to support healthy bones, teeth, muscles, and nerves. When people experience reduced levels of phosphate, their bodies are less capable of functioning normally, which can result in a wide range of dangerous complications. And the lower their phosphate levels get, the more severe the effects are.
What Are the Complications of HPP?
People who develop HPP can suffer from profound and life-threatening complications, including:
- Rhabdomyolysis (breakdown of muscle tissue resulting in a damaging protein leaking into the blood)
- Respiratory failure
- Muscle pain
- Heart failure
- Heart arrhythmias
- Acute hemolytic anemia
- Bone fractures
- Osteomalacia (softening of the bones, typically due to a deficiency of vitamin D or calcium)
What Has Injectafer’s Manufacturer Done About These Dangers?
Injectafer is manufactured by American Regent, Inc., a subsidiary of Luitpold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. To date, neither company has warned either doctors or patients about Injectafer putting patients at a significantly increased risk of developing severe HPP, which can be fatal if left untreated.
This is unacceptable.
We’re Working Hard to Help Victims of Injectafer
If you or someone you love received Injectafer treatments then experienced any of the symptoms listed above or additional symptoms such as fatigue, loss of appetite, irritability, or anxiety, and was diagnosed with HPP, our lawyers want to speak with you.
We’re ready to fight to get Injectafer’s victims the compensation they’re owed for the serious complications and side effects they’ve experienced — especially after the manufacturer failed to warn them or their doctors about these possibilities.
Contact us today for a free consultation.
Injectafer is a registered trademark of American Regent, Inc., and is used here only to identify the product in question. This law firm is not associated with, sponsored by, or affiliated with American Regent, Inc., Luitpold Pharmaceuticals, Inc., or the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
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