Gilead Sciences Inc.’s HIV medication Truvada is prescribed for patients who are already HIV positive as well as those who are at risk of contracting HIV. The antiviral is a composite drug that contains tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), which is believed to contribute to unwanted side effects, including bone loss and kidney damage.
Many individuals who have been injured by Truvada side effects have filed lawsuits against the manufacturer for failure to warn of the harm it can cause. If you have taken Truvada or another TDF HIV medication and been injured by serious side effects, you may be eligible for compensation.
Bone-related HIV medication side effects
HIV antiviral drugs in general, and those containing TDF especially have been linked with bone loss. As bone mineral density is lost, it can lead to osteopenia and osteoporosis, as well as pain, fractures, and other bone injuries.
In a healthy person, bones are continually growing and regenerating; old bone tissue is removed by cells called osteoclasts through a process known as resorption, while cells called osteoblasts form new bone tissue. The process slows down naturally with age as the formation of new tissue falls behind the speed of resorption, but young people taking Truvada and other medications containing Tenofovir have experienced unusually advanced bone loss and related injuries.
Symptoms of bone-related TDF side effects
Unfortunately, bone loss can occur for some time before any symptoms appear. If you notice any of the following signs, it could mean that bone loss has progressed to a serious level.
- Pain in the joints, especially in the wrists and hips
- Pain in the spine
- Osteopenia (bone loss)
- Osteoporosis (bone deterioration)
- Bone fractures
- Dental problems, including tooth decay
TDF and kidney side effects
TDF medications like Truvada have also been linked to kidney injuries due to damage to the tubule cells in the kidneys. This can interfere with the reabsorption of minerals, salts, bicarbonate, glucose, or other substances. Overall, those who take Truvada show a slight decrease in kidney function. However, studies have found that patients who took higher doses, as well as older patients, showed a significantly greater decrease in eGFR (estimated glomerular filtration rate, related to kidney function).
Some of the kidney-related injuries experienced by Truvada users include:
- Renal tubular dysfunction that can lead to the dangerous loss of electrolytes, as well as kidney stones, pain, vomiting, fatigue, and painful urination.
- Acute renal failure that results from a buildup of waste and leads to a fluid imbalance that can cause permanent impairment.
- Once kidney function is reduced for three months, a patient can be diagnosed with chronic kidney disease an require a transplant or dialysis to clean the blood and maintain healthy blood pressure.
- A rare kidney disease called Fanconi Syndrome prevents proper absorption of substances through the kidneys so that they are instead released into the urine.
Unfortunately, early stages of kidney damage are usually not accompanied by signs. If you are taking Truvada or another TDF medication, seek monitoring for kidney function and related medical problems. If you develop kidney problems, speak with a Truvada lawyer as soon as possible to determine whether you are owed compensation.
Additional Truvada side effects
Bone loss and kidney damage are the most widely recognized side effects of TDF. In addition, the FDA warning label on Truvada packaging cautions about the following potential side effects and adverse reactions:
- Severe acute exacerbations of hepatitis B virus
- Drug resistance
- Lactic acidosis/severe hepatomegaly with steatosis
- Abnormal dreams
- Abdominal pain
- Decreased weight
In addition, Truvada patients who experience adverse effects not already recognized should report them to the FDA immediately as there may be additional problems related to the medication.
Obtain help for TDF HIV medication side effects
If you suffer any ill effects that may be caused by TDF medication, see your doctor as soon as possible for an evaluation. It will be necessary for your doctor to determine whether the medical issue was caused by Truvada and, if so, whether it is safest for you to continue taking the drug or cease use.
In addition to health problems, Truvada side effects can cause disability and financial loss. However, if you are eligible to file a Truvada lawsuit, you may be entitled to receive compensation for these and other losses. An award may include payment for:
- Medical expenses (both past and future)
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional harm
- Loss of consortium
If you or a loved one has suffered kidney disease, bone problems, or another serious side effect of TDF medications like Truvada, speak with a dangerous drug lawyer at Rutter Mills today. Our team is competent and caring; we put our experience to work fighting for those who have been injured by pharmaceutical companies. Call today to schedule a free, confidential consultation.
Additional Truvada side effects resources:
- FDA Adverse Events Reporting System – Truvada, https://fis.fda.gov/sense/app/d10be6bb-494e-4cd2-82e4-0135608ddc13/sheet/45beeb74-30ab-46be-8267-5756582633b4/state/analysis
- Medical News Today, Truvada (emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate), https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325820.php
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