The asthma medicines Advair, Serevent and Foradil have been shown in some cases to cause just the opposite of asthma relief – severe asthma attacks and even death.
Because of this potential danger, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has asked the manufacturers of Advair Diskus, Serevent Diskus and Foradil Aerolizer to add new warning labels to the products, which are taken by inhaler.
The FDA asked the manufacturers of the asthma drugs – GlaxoSmithKline makes Advair and Serevent while Foradil is made by Novartis and distributed in the United States by Schering-Plough – to alert patients and doctors that “these medicines may increase the chance of severe asthma episodes, and death when those episodes occur.”
If you or someone you know was seriously injured or died as the result of using Advair, Serevent or Foradil, you may want to contact an Advair lawyer, Serevent lawyer or Foradil lawyer.
The FDA, in a Public Health Advisory issued Nov. 18, 2005, said Advair, Serevent and Foradil should not be used as a first-line treatment against asthma but only after other medications have failed to work. (It also urged patients NOT to stop using the medicines without first consulting their doctors.)
All three drugs belong to a class of medicines known as long-acting beta agonists, or LABAs, which are long-acting bronchodilator drugs. While these asthma medicines work to reduce the frequency of asthma attacks, the attacks can be worse when they do occur among patients using LABAs.
Glaxo noted in a letter to health care professionals that while a study showed the number of deaths was small, it was nonetheless relatively much higher than that for patients given a placebo. One major study found 13 deaths among 13,174 patents using Serevent while there were only four deaths among a similar number of patients given a placebo – or more than triple the number of deaths. Study analyses suggested the risk might be higher among African-American patients.
Serevent and Advair, which combines Serevent with a steroid, had worldwide sales of $4.4 billion last year, making the medicine the biggest-selling product for the London-based Glaxo. Foradil had 2004 sales of about $320 million.
About 15 million Americans have asthma, nearly one-third of them children. The chronic lung disease causes inflammation in the airways of the lungs and constriction of nearby muscles.
Kline & Specter PC is based in Philadelphia and has some 30 attorneys, several of whom are also highly skilled doctors. Our law firm has had success litigating product liability and prescription drug lawsuits in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and nationwide. For a free evaluation of your case, contact an contact an Advair attorney, Serevent attorney or Foradil attorney.
For information about previous litigation results see our Major Victories.
- The FDA is alerting asthma patients and their doctors that three long-acting inhaled asthma medicines "may increase the chance of severe asthma episodes, and death when those episodes occur."(Full story)
- The Food and Drug Administration warned Friday that three asthma drugs may increase the risk of severe asthma attacks and even death.