Viberzi has been linked to 120 reports of pancreatitis or death, according to the FDA. The highest risk is in patients who do not have a gallbladder.
Need a Texas Viberzi Lawyer? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one was diagnosed with pancreatitis or died from Viberzi, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit.
What is Viberzi?
Viberzo (eluxadoline) is a medication for adults with irritable bowel syndrome when the main symptom is diarrhea (IBS-D). It is a twice-daily pill sold by Allergan that was approved in May 2015. Viberzi is a Schedule IV controlled substance that works by activating opioid receptors in the intestines to decrease diarrhea and abdominal pain.
What is the problem?
Viberzi slows down muscle contractions in the intestines, which is a good way to treat diarrhea. The problem is that it can also slow down the flow of digestive juices from the liver and pancreas. In patients without a gallbladder, these digestive juices can easily back up and cause severe inflammation in the pancreas (pancreatitis) or death.
FDA: Viberzi Linked to Pancreatitis and Death
Viberzi should not be used in patients with no gallbladder because it increases their risk of severe pancreatitis and death, according to an FDA Drug Safety Communication in March 2017. These side effects can also occur in people who have a gallbladder.
How Many People Were Injured?
From May 2015 through February 2017, Viberzi was linked to 120 reports of severe pancreatitis (pancreas inflammation) or death, including 76 people who were hospitalized and 2 people who died.
Did All of the Victims Have a Gallbladder?
No. Some had gallbladders and some did not. Out of 68 people who reported their gallbladder status, 56 did not have a gallbladder. Both of the deaths were in people without a gallbladder. Just one or two doses of Viberzi can cause symptoms of pancreatitis.
The Pancreas & Gallbladder
The gallbladder is a small organ where bile from the liver is stored and concentrated. When we eat fatty foods, the gallbladder squeezes bile into the intestines to help the body digest fats.
The pancreas uses the same duct to squeeze digestive juices into the intestines. Humans can live without a gallbladder because bile has other ways of reaching the intestines.
When to Get Medical Attention
Stop taking Viberzi immediately and get emergency medical care if you develop new or worse pain in your abdomen or stomach-area. The pain may start on the upper-right side of your stomach and move to your back or shoulder. It may occur with nausea or vomiting.
Warning Signs & Symptoms
Viberzi is associated with pancreatitis and a condition called sphincter of Oddi dysfunction. The symptoms may include:
- Abdominal pain (most common)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- And more
What is Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction?
Six people on Viberzi who suffered pancreatitis or death also had sphincter of Oddi spasms. This is a ring-shaped muscle that opens and closes so bile and pancreatic juices can flow into the intestines.
People who have their gallbladders removed are far more likely to develop sphincter of Oddi dysfunction, in which the muscle squeezes shut and digestive juices back up.
The pancreas and the gallbladder share the same duct. Without a gallbladder, digestive juices have nowhere to go, so they back up and start digesting tissues in the pancreas. This can cause sudden and severe inflammation, pain, biliary dysfunction, pancreatitis, and death.
What is the Alternative?
Pepto-Bismol and Imodium are easily available over-the-counter alternatives to Viberzi for diarrhea. The FDA recommends the following medications for symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome:
- Bismuth subsalicylate (Kaopectate and Pepto-Bismol)
- Loperamide (Imodium)
- Diphenoxylate/ atropine (Lomotil)
- Simethicone (Gas-X, Mylicon)
- Alosetron hydrochloride (Lotronex)
- Rifaximin (Xifaxan)
Need a Viberzi Lawyer in Texas?
Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.
Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”
The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more than 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $260 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact our Texas Viberzi lawyers for a free lawsuit review.