People suffering from gout know all too well how painful the condition can be and how few treatments are proven to address gout’s main cause – a buildup of uric acid in the blood. Fortunately, there may be an alternative remedy for gout sufferers considering treatment with medications like Uloric, which has been linked to an increased risk of heart-related death and death from all causes. Vitamin C, for one, may offer benefits for people diagnosed with gout, as it can help lower uric acid levels and may reduce gout flares without putting users at risk for potentially life-threatening side effects. If you or someone you know has suffered a serious cardiovascular side effect while taking Uloric for gout, you are not alone. Since Uloric entered the market over a decade ago, the gout medication has been prescribed to more than a million gout sufferers, who may now be facing an increased risk of cardiovascular side effects or death. Contact Consumer Safety Watch today to discuss your legal options.
Gout is a common form of inflammatory arthritis caused by hyperuricemia, or an excess of uric acid in the blood. Uric acid is naturally produced by the body as it breaks down a chemical called purine, but when there is too much of the substance, it can cause painful uric acid crystals to build up in the body’s joints, tissues, and fluids. Gout typically occurs in one joint at a time – usually the joint in the big toe – and it can cause symptoms like intense pain, redness, and swelling. Painful gout flares can begin suddenly, without warning, and last for days or weeks, followed by long periods where no symptoms occur. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no cure for gout, but gout sufferers may find relief from gout symptoms by lowering their uric acid levels naturally, without medications. This may be accomplished by eating a healthy diet, limiting alcohol intake, avoiding foods that are high in purines, and taking a vitamin C supplement.
For nearly a decade after Uloric was approved by the FDA in 2009, the medication was considered a first-line treatment for adults experiencing chronic joint pain associated with gout. Before that, the go-to treatment for gout was allopurinol, which was introduced in the U.S. in the 1960s. As effective as Uloric seemed to be in relieving gout symptoms, however, the new medication was scrutinized for its potential ties to serious cardiovascular side effects, like heart attacks, strokes, and heart-related death in users. In 2019, ten years after approving Uloric for the treatment of gout, the FDA added a black box warning to the drug label, notifying consumers that results of a clinical trial evaluating the safety of Uloric and allopurinol “found an increased risk of heart-related death and death from all causes with Uloric.”
Since Uloric was slapped with this ominous black box warning, concerns about the potential for the gout medication to cause serious or possibly even fatal side effects in users have been on the rise. In light of this development, gout sufferers may be looking for a safer alternative to Uloric for lowering their uric acid levels and relieving their joint pain, which is where vitamin C comes in. Several studies conducted in recent years have found that vitamin C can significantly reduce uric acid levels in the blood, which could have beneficial effects for gout sufferers.
In one 2009 study of nearly 47,000 men conducted over the course of 20 years, researchers found that study participants who took a vitamin C supplement had a 44% lower risk of gout compared to study participants who did not take a vitamin C supplement. The researchers concluded that “Higher vitamin C intake is independently associated with a lower risk of gout.” They also noted that “Supplemental vitamin C intake may be beneficial in the prevention of gout.” In 2011, a meta-analysis of 13 different studies assessing the effect of vitamin C supplementation on serum uric acid tied vitamin C intake to a significant reduction in blood uric acid levels. The researchers involved in the meta-analysis noted that “Future trials are needed to determine whether vitamin C supplementation can reduce hyperuricemia or prevent incident and recurrent gout.”
Gout is a chronic condition affecting approximately 8.3 million adults in the U.S., which is why there is such an urgent need for alternative remedies that are safer than Uloric and other potentially dangerous pharmaceutical drugs. Keep in mind that there is no known cure for gout. There is also no definitive proof that taking vitamin C supplements will relieve your gout. However, several studies have shown that vitamin C can help lower your uric acid levels, which could prevent gout or have a positive effect on recurrent gout flares. If you took Uloric to treat your gout and you have since suffered a heart attack, stroke, or any other serious side effect, you may have a legal claim against Uloric manufacturer Takeda Pharmaceuticals. To find out whether you are eligible to pursue a Uloric lawsuit against Takeda, contact us as soon as possible.