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A dangerous condition called atherosclerosis is the leading cause of death in developed countries. It causes your arteries to stiffen and clog with plaque and greatly increases your risk of dangerous clots. Unfortunately, a medication used in the treatment of a certain type of leukemia is causing patients to develop a rapidly-progressing and irreversible type of atherosclerosis. Patients who suffered this serious adverse event are filing Tasigna lawsuits seeking answers and justice. They want to know why they weren’t warned that the medication could cause them to develop a condition that has potentially-fatal health consequences and why they were denied the opportunity to make informed decisions about their health and treatment options.
Hardened Arteries Lead to Serious Health Consequences
When a patient develops atherosclerosis, their normally flexible arteries become stiff and thick with plaque buildup. Plaque, made up of stuff like cellular waste, calcium, and cholesterol, and fibrin, the protein that helps the blood clot, builds until the arteries become narrow and blood flow is diminished. Pieces of plaque can also break away from the deposits and cause blockages elsewhere in the body including to critical organs. When blood flow to critical organs is restricted, the patient may suffer a heart attack, stroke, tissue death, gangrene, and death.
Peripheral Artery Disease
When plaque blocks blood flow to the extremities, such as the arms or legs, it is called peripheral artery occlusion disease or PAOD. The symptoms of this disease may include:
- An arm or leg that is cooler or hotter than the other
- differences in the color of your arms or legs
- wounds on the feet or legs that do not heal
- tissue death and gangrene
- leg cramps when exercising
- erectile dysfunction
Carotid Artery Disease
When plaque restricts blood flow to the brain, it is called carotid artery disease. Unfortunately, there are very few symptoms associated with this disease. In fact, it is most often found after a patient suffers a stroke, or when a physician uses a stethoscope to listen to the carotid artery in the patient’s neck. A whooshing sound may be heard if plaque has built up and further testing may be required.
Coronary Artery Disease
When plaque builds in the coronary artery that feeds the heart, it’s called coronary artery disease, and the symptoms are varied and include:
- Arrhythmia/irregular heartbeat
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Pain, pressure, or a tightness in the neck, arms, back, shoulder, or jaw
- Shortness of breath, especially when walking up stairs
Leukemia patients who were treated with Tasigna and developed atherosclerosis and the families of patients who died from complications of rapidly-progressing hardening of the arteries are seeking justice and demanding answers from the drug manufacturer. They are filing lawsuits against Novartis alleging the drug maker knew or should have known about the increased risks of irreversible and rapidly-progressing atherosclerosis but failed to warn the medical community and their patients about this risk. If you or a loved one developed atherosclerosis after receiving treatment with Tasigna, a skilled and experienced dangerous drug attorney can help you understand your rights and help you determine if you can seek justice.