Truvada, marketed by the manufacturer Gilead, is the most popular and oft-prescribed TDF drug designed to treat and prevent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). A combination of the chemicals emtricitabine and tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), Truvada prevents HIV cells from multiplying once those cells are present in the human body. It’s important to know that Truvada and similar brand name medications in the TDF family do not cure HIV or AIDS; these drugs merely work to prevent HIV from becoming full-blown AIDS.
Truvada, which has been around since the 1980’s, is often used as a prophylactic drug to prevent HIV contraction. Many people who do not have HIV or AIDS, like those in an intimate relationship with someone who is HIV-positive, can take Truvada to reduce the risk of becoming infected. In the past, Truvada’s use to treat HIV has been limited because it could only be taken intravenously. When Gilead Sciences, Inc. bought the rights to sell TDF, the company modified the drug so it could be taken orally, in the form of a pill; the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved that pill in 2001 under the brand name Viread. Truvada is also referred to as a “pre-exposure prophylaxis” (PrEP) drug.
Recent studies indicate that Truvada is linked to serious side effects such as kidney damage and failure, osteoporosis, decreased bone density, and even broken bones. Mass tort lawsuits are claiming that not only did Gilead fail to warn patients about these risks by not disclosing them, but went so far as to withhold a safer drug for ten years in order to maximize its profits.
Decreased bone density is just one of the serious side effects of Truvada. Decreased bone density may lead to osteoporosis; high dosage levels of Truvada lead to a toxicity level that slowly deteriorates a person’s bone structure. Truvada is intended to be taken for prolonged periods of time, and the long-term exposure to Truvada and the drug TDF takes a significant toll on a patient’s bone density. People taking this drug are at risk for:
- Bone fractures
- Broken bones
Kidneys are tasked with ridding the body of toxins, and Truvada puts a lot of stress on the kidneys. The strain of expelling the drug’s toxins out of the human body can lead to kidney damage and kidney failure, which can create numerous other medical problems, including lactic acidosis, which is the accumulation of lactate in the bloodstream. When kidneys are unable to work at their full function, they fail to remove enough lactate acid from the blood, which leads to the following symptoms:
- Breathing difficulty
When lactate acid builds up, pH levels in the bloodstream may be altered, creating numerous medical problems. In many cases, these complications can be fatal, especially if a prompt and correct diagnosis is not made.
The lawsuits against Gilead claim that not only did the concealed information about TDF prove that Gilead knew that TDF carried significant risks, it also seriously hurt everyone taking Truvada and other TDF-based HIV treatments. For almost ten years, people taking the drug were put at severe risk of osteoporosis, bone fractures, kidney damage, renal failure, and potentially fatal lactic acidosis because Gilead only cared about the profits being made from this dangerous drug.
If you or a loved one has been harmed by the dangerous drug, Truvada, please contact a product liability attorney in your area today who handles complex dangerous drug cases. To qualify for a TDF drug lawsuit, you would need to show that you took a TDF drug and that you suffered a kidney or bone injury. Please don’t delay because product liability cases are subject to strict statutes of limitations, and your time to take legal action may expire sooner than you think.