Revatio contains sildenafil, a drug that was linked to an 84% increased risk of melanoma skin cancer in a study by Harvard researchers. The FDA is investigating if it causes aggressive skin cancer.
Revatio Class Action Lawsuit
Pfizer is facing hundreds of lawsuits involving men who developed melanoma. The problem is that Revatio and Viagra both contain sildenafil, a drug that is linked to to a higher risk of skin cancer.
Instead of a class action, lawsuits are centralized individually in Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 2691) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California under Judge Richard Seeborg — In RE: Viagra and Cialis Products Liability Litigation.
How Does Revatio Work?
Revatio is a medication for adults with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH), a disorder that causes high blood pressure in blood vessels inside the lungs. Revatio relaxes smooth muscles lining the blood vessels that control blood pressure. This reduces pressure and makes it easier for the heart to pump blood into the lungs.
Revatio and Melanoma
Revatio works by blocking an enzyme called phosphodiesterase type-5 (PDE5). This is the same way Viagra (sildenafil), Cialis (tadalafil), and Levitra (vardenafil) treat erectile dysfunction. The FDA investigated the link between these drugs and melanoma in July 2016.
About 50% of all melanomas have a natural genetic mutation that blocks PDE5. Studies have shown that these melanomas invade nearby tissues more quickly. The problem is that studies also show medications that block PDE5 make melanoma more aggressive.
Studies Show Increased Melanoma Aggressiveness
For example, Harvard researchers published a study in 2014 linking sildenafil with an 84% increased risk of melanoma. Earlier studies have shown that PDE5 inhibitor medications cause a “dramatic increase in melanoma cell invasion” and promote the synthesis of melanin in melanoma.
What is Melanoma?
Melanoma is the most dangerous type of skin cancer. The problem is that melanoma is fast-growing and spreads very quickly to nearby organs, making it hard to cure. Another problem is that melanoma looks like a harmless mole in its early stages, which often delays diagnosis until it cannot be treated with surgery.
Types of Skin Cancer
There are three main types of skin cancer: basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and melanoma. The first two are classified as non-melanoma skin cancers.
Types of Melanoma
- Superficial spreading melanoma
- Nodular melanoma
- Lentigo maligna melanoma
- Acral lentiginous melanoma