Truvada is a combination of emtricitabine and tenofovir used to treat and/or prevent human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis B in patients. Truvada has been used for over a decade to treat and prevent the spread of HIV, and although considered generally effective, it can potentially carry some serious negative side effects. While many people take Truvada without noticing these side effects, others have experienced severe kidney damage, bone density loss, and even kidney failure, leading them to seek recovery through litigation. If you or a loved one experienced adverse health conditions as a result of taking Truvada, reach out to a product liability attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case.
Serious ramifications of taking Truvada may include the following:
- Lactic acidosis: This condition refers to the dangerous build up of lactic acid in the bloodstream. Although uncommon, lactic acidosis can have serious effects on a patient’s health and may even be fatal if left untreated.
- Liver problems: The development of fat in the liver (i.e. fatty liver disease) in addition to other types of liver damage which could be fatal, especially if the patient’s liver is already damaged prior to taking Truvada.
- Kidney disease and/or failure: Truvada is considered to put patients at higher risk of renal and kidney failure than some other HIV treatments. Kidney failure occurs when the kidney is too damaged to properly filter waste and water from the blood and is often fatal without treatment.
- Bone density loss: This condition occurs when the body is unable to develop new bone at the same rate that it absorbs old bone, resulting in weak or brittle bones that may break easily under pressure.
Symptoms of liver, kidney, or bone damage as the result of taking Truvada may include the following:
- Abdominal pain
- Jaundice (i.e. changes in skin color, eye color, and urine/stool color)
- Muscle pain
- Difficulty breathing
- Increased heart rate
- Back pain
- Stooped posture or loss of height
- Bones that break more easily than they should
If you suspect your illness is related to taking Truvada, there are a series of steps you can take to pursue recovery.
- Preserve the medicine: If you suspect that any medication you are taking may be connected to certain adverse health effects or injuries, it’s important to maintain possession of the medicine itself. Place it in a sealed container or sealed plastic bag in addition to any instructional material or product packaging that may have come with it. Do not throw away a medication you suspect might be defective, as it will act as the central piece of evidence in your case should you choose to pursue litigation.
- Talk to your doctor: If you suspect that Truvada or any other medication is causing you harm, talk to your doctor as soon as possible; it may be possible to change to a different medication or stop taking it altogether. Additionally, this ensures that an official medical record exists documenting your new or worsened health conditions and that you can begin to receive the necessary medical treatment for recovery as soon as possible.
- Collect your records: It’s a good idea to collect any records documenting when you began taking the medication, how long you took it for, as well as any side effects you experienced or health conditions you developed which might be related to Truvada. Medical records play an important role in any case of potentially defective medicine and will help an attorney connect your injuries to the medicine in question.
- Talk to an attorney: It’s important to talk to a product liability attorney as soon as you begin to suspect your health conditions or injuries might be related to a potentially defective medicine like Truvada. If litigation is already ongoing, an attorney may be able to help you join it so that you can receive damages for your medical bills, lost wages, and more. Similarly, an attorney can help you evaluate your case at no cost, collect evidence, and file your claim to seek compensation for your physical and financial losses.