Also known as Alemtuzumab, Lemtrada belongs to a class of medication known as selective immunomodulators. Lemtrada mainly treats adults suffering from relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, commonly abbreviated as RRMS. The drug is ideal for people with active multiple sclerosis who may not benefit from other treatments. Multiple sclerosis is a disease that affects the nervous system. It is an autoimmune illness whereby people's immune system starts fighting their tissues.
The disease is not infections and cannot be transferred from one person to the other. If you are suffering from MS, your immune system considers the protective layer that covers the nerve as foreign and starts attacking. The protective layer covering the nerves is known as the myelin sheath. Despite its effectiveness in treating multiple sclerosis, Lemtrada has several side effects. If you suffer adverse side effects after using Lemtrada, Consumer Alert Now can help you file a mass tort to seek compensation for your injuries.
How Lemtrada Works
Lemtrada works by affecting the immune system and reducing its activity of attacking the myelin sheath. By affecting the immune system's activity, the drugs slow down the nerve damage. Alemtuzumab is often available in different brand names and comes in various forms.
Doctors may recommend this drug for other conditions other than the conditions outlined under the drug information articles. If you are not sure why you are taking the Lemtrada medication, you should consult your doctor. If you have already started the Lemtrada drug, you should not stop the dosage before consulting your doctor. If another person has similar symptoms, you should not give the Lemtrada medication to them if they do not have a valid prescription. It could be harmful to take this medication without a proper doctor's prescription.
Usually, doctors give the Alemtuzumab as two treatment courses. The first treatment course contains 12mg of the drug, often introduced directly into the vein as an intravenous infusion. Patients receive this medication once a day for five days. This medication is administered over an approximate period of 4 hours.
The second treatment course comes 12 months after the first treatment course. The doctors administer a single daily infusion of 12mg of Alemtuzumab drug for three days. Several factors will determine the effective dosage of the medication in different people.
The ideal dosage will depend on several factors, like other underlying medical conditions in a patient. The dosage will also depend on the patient's body weight. When recommending the proper dosage, doctors will also consider whether a patient is on other medications. If your recommended dosage does not rhyme with the dosages recommended in drug information, you should not change the dosage before consulting your doctor.
Proper administration and handling of the drug is essential. Therefore, you can only receive Lemtrada under the supervision of a medical doctor in a medical facility. Access to sterile equipment for the preparation of the drug is essential. You should receive Lemtrada precisely as per your doctor's recommendation. Therefore, if you happen to miss your appointment and you fail to receive the recommended dosage of Lemtrada, you should consult your doctor immediately. Your doctor will reschedule your appointment as soon as possible.
Pharmacies should always store Lemtrada under refrigeration. Proper disposal of Lemtrada is also essential. You should never dispose of the drug in your household garbage, and you should also avoid washing it down the sink. If you have expired medications or that you no longer require, you should consult your doctor regarding the best way to dispose of the drug.
People Who Should Avoid Using Lemtrada
Before you start using the Lemtrada medication, it is crucial to inform your doctor if you have allergies or other underlying medical conditions. You should also disclose to your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Ensure that you disclose any vital information regarding your health. This information will affect how you should use Lemtrada, and your doctor will make informed considerations before recommending the drug.
Some people are not ideal candidates for Lemtrada and should avoid taking the medication at all costs. You should not take the Lemtrada medication if:
- You are allergic to certain ingredients contained in the medication
- You are infected with HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)
- Previously had tuberculosis or you currently have tuberculosis
- Have a serious infection
- Suffering from an active form of cancer
- You are taking medications that could affect or weaken your immune system. You should particularly avoid Lemtrada if you are on cancer medications
- Have a history of PML (progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy)
- Have uncontrolled high blood pressure
- History of arterial dissection or a history of stroke
- Have a history of heart attack or an angina
- Currently taking anticoagulants or you have a clotting disorder
Lemtrada and Pregnancy
You should not use the Lemtrada medication if you are pregnant. Unless the benefits of the drug outweigh the risks, you should not use it. You should contact your doctor immediately if you become pregnant while you are on the Lemtrada medication. If you suspect that you are likely to become pregnant, you should use effective birth control for up to for months after receiving a course of Lemtrada treatment.
Lemtrada and Breastfeeding
The components of Lemtrada drug may pass into breast milk. Therefore, this medication may affect your baby if you take it while breastfeeding. After receiving a Lemtrada treatment, you should not breastfeed for the next four months. Therefore, you should talk to your doctor and enquire whether you should breastfeed after the Lemtrada treatment.
Can small children benefit from Lemtrada treatment? The effectiveness of the safety of Lemtrada use in children is not established. Therefore, a child should never receive this treatment unless a certified medical practitioner recommends it.
The Possible Side Effects of Lemtrada
Most drugs used in treating different medical conditions have side effects. A side effect refers to an unpleasant or an unwanted response to a drug even when you take the medicine at the right dose. The side effects of a drug can range from mile to severe. Also, the side effects of a drug might be temporary or permanent.
It is important to note that the potential side effects may range from one person to another. The side effects experienced by one person might not be present in another. If you are concerned about the side effects of Lemtrada, you should discuss this with your doctor. It is crucial to have a thorough understanding of the benefits and risks of Lemtrada before you start using it.
People who use Lemtrada report specific side effects. The mild side effects of Lemtrada are easy to manage, and some go away on their own. If you experience persistent side effects or severe and bothersome side effects, you should immediately contact your doctor. Your doctor will advise you on how to manage the side effects. Some of the common side effects of Lemtrada are:
- Abdominal pain
- Altered sense of taste
- Back, leg, arm, or joint pains
- Hair loss
- Dry mouth
Lemtrada users have also reported other side –effects like loss of balance, night sweats, nausea, spinning sensation, skin discoloration, or redness. You may also experience other side effects like weakness, vomiting, trouble sleeping, and weight changes.
Most of the side effects outlined above do not happen often. However, if you do not check with your doctor, the side effects might worsen and lead to other serious problems. Therefore, if a side effect persists, you should seek medical attention.
When Should You Concerned
Other than the common or the expected side effects, Lemtrada might have some unexpected or rare side effects. If you experience the rare side effects of the drug, you should seek immediate medical attention. You should contact your doctor immediately if you notice the following side effects:
- Double or blurred vision
- Difficulty swallowing
- Irregular or faster heartbeats
- Flu-like symptoms including coughs, fever, sudden lack of energy, or a sore throat
- Gallbladder inflammation, which may manifest through stomach pain or discomfort, vomiting, and nausea
- Heavy or irregular menstrual periods
- Lung issues, which may manifest through wheezing, shortness of breath, cough, chest pain and tightness, and spitting up blood
- Inflammation or pain in the mouth
- Muscle weakness or muscle pain
- Tingling, numbness, prickling, or a burning sensation
- Body rash
You should seek immediate medical attention if you notice signs of blood clotting problems. You can tell that you have blood-clotting issues if you experience unexpected nosebleeds, blood in your urine, bruising, and bleeding gums. You could also have blood-clotting problems if you cough up blood or get cuts that do not stop bleeding.
You should also seek immediate treatment if you experience depression signs, which may manifest through unexpected changes in weight and poor concentration. You may also lose interest in activities that used to excite you in the past. Contact a doctor if you notice changes in your sleep patterns and continuously have suicidal thoughts.
Seek immediate medical attention if you notice signs of kidney problems. You could have kidney problems if you have increased urination at night and blood in the urine. Kidney problems may also manifest through a decrease in urine production and swelling on the feet and legs.
If you notice signs of liver damage, you should seek immediate medical attention. You should seek treatment if you have symptoms like vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, fatigue, dark urine, and yellowing of the eyes or the skin.
Lemtrada could also affect your thyroid function. You should lookout for signs of a decrease in thyroid function, which may include weight gain, dry skin, fatigue, constipation, body aches, pain, stiffness, depression, intolerance to cold, and memory problems.
Ensure that you are alert and lookout for signs of infection. Some common symptoms of infections are shortness of breath, chills, fever, severe diarrhea, headache, prolonged dizziness, stiff neck, weight loss, cold sores, shingles, and listlessness.
You should also lookout for signs of an overactive thyroid. Some of the typical symptoms of an overactive thyroid include nervousness, anxiety, weight loss, breathlessness, feeling hot, and a rapid, pounding, or fluttering heart.
When to Stop Taking Lemtrada
You should stop taking Lemtrada immediately if you notice specific adverse side effects of the drug. You should stop taking Lemtrada if you see signs of:
- Heart attack
- Infusion reaction
- Serious allergic reaction
Some people may experience unique side effects other than the ones listed above. If you notice any sign that worries you while you are on Lemtrada medication, you should immediately contact your doctor.
Severe Side Effects That Often Lead to Lemtrada Mass Tort Lawsuits
Numerous patients have filed mass torts against the Lemtrada manufacturers due to the drug's adverse side effects. Lemtrada can cause severe side effects. If you suffer extreme side effects after consuming Lemtrada, you can join other victims in filing a mass tort to seek compensation. Some of the severe side effects of Lemtrada are:
Severe Autoimmune Issues
While consuming Lemtrada, you may develop a condition where the immune cells in your body attack other body organs or cells. This situation is often difficult and can cause death. Some of the severe autoimmune problems are:
- A reduction of the platelets counts in your blood, commonly referred to as immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). A reduction in the platelet count might lead to severe bleeding, which might be life-threatening. You should call your doctor if you notice easy bruising or excessive bleeding from a minor cut. Other signs that you should look out for are scattered spots on your skin, which may appear red, purple, or pink. You should contact a doctor if you notice bleeding in the nose or mouth. If your menstrual periods appear heavier than expected, you should also undergo a medical review.
- Autoimmune problems could also lead to kidney problems known as anti-glomerular basement disease. If you do not seek treatment for this condition, you may develop severe kidney damage or even kidney failure. In some instances, you may even require a kidney transplant or dialysis.
Severe Infusion Reactions
Immediately after receiving Lemtrada, you may experience severe infusion requirements. Some reactions are so severe that they can cause death. The reactions may appear after you receive Lemtrada or within 24 hours or longer after receiving the drug.
You should only receive Lemtrada in a health facility that has trained staff and proper healthcare facilities. In case of an adverse reaction, the staff will be able to manage the reaction. You should be under close monitoring as you receive Lemtrada and two hours after receiving the drug. The medics may stop the infusion if you develop a severe infusion reaction in receiving the treatment.
Some of the warning signs of a severe infusion reaction are:
- Trouble breathing
- Swelling in the mouth
- Chest pain
- Slow, fast, or irregular heartbeat
Stroke or Tearing of the Arteries that Supply Blood to the Brain
Some people suffer strokes or tears in the arteries that supply blood to the brain within three days after undergoing Lemtrada treatment. Some of the leading signs of stroke that you should look out for are:
- Weakness on one side of the body
- Sudden or a severe headache
- Drooping of your face or other parts of your body
Development of Certain Types of Cancer
Lemtrada treatment can increase your risk of developing certain types of cancers. The treatment places you at a higher risk of developing thyroid cancer, melanoma (skin cancer), lymphoma, and blood cancer. Some of the cancer symptoms that you should look out for are:
- Swelling in your neck
- A new lump in the body
- Pain in the front of your neck
- Trouble breathing or swallowing
- Persistent voice changes or hoarseness
- A cough that is not caused by a cold
You should have your skin checked before you start receiving Lemtrada treatment. You should also undergo an examination every year in your treatment to monitor the symptoms of cancer.
People receiving Lemtrada treatment may also have thyroid complications. You may have an overactive thyroid, commonly known as hyperthyroidism, or an underactive thyroid, commonly known as hypothyroidism. You should call your doctor if you notice the following signs:
- Faster heartbeat
- Unexplained weight loss
- Excessive sweating
- Eye swelling
- Worsening tiredness
- Unexplained weight gain
- Feeling cold
Lemtrada may lead to serious infections while you receive treatment or after receiving treatment. Some of the serious infections that you may record include:
- Herpes viral infections
Additional infections can occur after receiving Lemtrada treatment. If you have signs of serious infections, you should call your doctor immediately. Signs of a serious infection include swollen glands and fever.
Other Severe Side Effects of Lemtrada
The additional severe side effects of Lemtrada include:
- Inflammation of the liver
- Low blood counts
- Overactivity of the immune system
- Swelling of the lung tissue
- Inflammation of the gallbladder
Filing a Mass Tort
Most mass tort cases revolve around defective drug prescriptions that harm a large number of people. Typically, mass torts involve a large group of people as plaintiffs and only a handful of defendants. Most people find it hard to distinguish between a class action and a mass tort. In a class action, one lawsuit is filed on behalf of all plaintiffs. In a mass tort, every plaintiff files their lawsuit, but the court handles the lawsuits together for convenience.
Similar to personal injury and class action lawsuits, mass tort lawsuits have several stages:
Your mass tort attorney will review your records to determine whether you have a case. They have to review your statement with the allegations of the injuries suffered. Your attorney will examine your statements and your medical records to determine the injuries suffered due to Lemtrada medication. This is a crucial discovery stage because it allows an attorney to identify injury consistencies and other supporting factors for the mass tort litigation. The attorney will comb through your medical history to determine if you had a pre-existing medical condition.
Identifying Injury Consistencies
Your mass tort attorney will also look for injury consistencies among people who consumed Lemtrada. In mass tort cases, groups of plaintiffs claim to have similar or identical injuries. The mass tort attorneys have to identify the consistent injuries to build a strong case against the defendant. The attorneys will categorize the cases based on the severity of their injuries. They may also group the injuries based on the victims' ages and the duration of the injuries. After settling the mass tort lawsuit, you will receive compensation depending on the category your case falls in.
Understanding the shared injuries among plaintiffs helps attorneys to understand the best compensation for the plaintiffs.
Filing a Federal Lawsuit
The majority of mass tort lawsuits are filed in a federal court. The lawsuits are filed together even if the plaintiffs involved live in different parts of the country. Since mass tort cases are filed in a Federal court, it is important to work with an experienced mass tort attorney who understands the structure of mass tort cases and the filing process.
Consolidating mass tort claims make it faster and convenient to conclude them. The courts also prefer consolidating mass tort claims to avoid clogging the judicial system with individual lawsuits.
Conducting Bellwether Trials
The court then conducts Bellwether trials that involve trying a small group of lawsuits obtained from a larger group of similar cases. The attorneys handling mass tort litigations usually select the most serious lawsuits for the Bellwether trials. The samples may include people who are facing imminent death or have died due to the adverse effects of Lemtrada. The samples may also include plaintiffs who have suffered the greatest damages.
The Bellwether cases act as a litmus test and determine the direction that other cases will follow. If the defendant wins the Bellwether trials, the other mass tort cases will not proceed to trial. Therefore, your mass tort attorney needs to take your cases seriously.
The settlement is the final stage of mass tort litigation. Most of the mass tort cases do settle even if it might take months or years. Since trials are time-consuming and expensive, mass tort attorneys prefer to have cases settle out of court.
Find a Mass Tort Attorney Near Me
If you or your loved one suffers severe injuries after Lemtrada treatment, you can join other plaintiffs in filing a mass tort claim. Consumer Alert Now has helped many plaintiffs seek compensation for their injuries in the US. Contact us at 800-511-0747 and speak to one of our attorneys.