Viberzi is an anti-diarrhea medication that has been linked to 120 reports of severe pancreas inflammation (pancreatitis) and death. People without gallbladders are more likely to suffer life-threatening side effects of Viberzi.
What You Can Do & How We Can Help
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Viberzi induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know was diagnosed with pancreatitis, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Defective Drug Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
What is Viberzi?
Viberzi (eluxadoline) is a twice-daily pill for adults who suffer from diarrhea due to Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Viberzi is a Schedule IV controlled substance because it activates opioid receptors in the intestines, which slows down muscle contractions to prevent diarrhea.
What is the problem?
Slowing down intestinal muscles is a good way to treat diarrhea, but it can also slow down other muscles that control the flow of bile and pancreatic juices. In people without a gallbladder, digestive juices are more likely to back up into the pancreas and cause inflammation. This side effect is called acute pancreatitis.
FDA Warning for Viberzi Pancreatitis & Death
FDA issued a Drug Safety Communication in March 2017 to warn that Viberzi increases the risk of pancreatitis and death and it should not be used by people without a gallbladder.
What is the Risk?
Viberzi was linked to 120 reports of serious pancreatitis or death, including 76 people who were hospitalized and 2 people who died, between its approval date in May 2015 through February 2017.
Did Everyone Have a Gallbladder?
No. At least 56 victims did not have gallbladders, including the 2 people who died. Just one or two doses of Viberzi can cause symptoms of pancreatitis in people without gallbladders. Severe pancreatitis can cause organ failure within 24 hours.
When to Call a Doctor
Immediately stop taking Viberzi and get emergency medical care if you develop new or worse pain in your stomach-area or abdomen. The pain may occur on your upper-right side, spread to your back or shoulder, or be accompanied by nausea and vomiting. These are the most common symptoms of pancreatitis.
Warning Signs & Symptoms
- Abdominal pain (most common)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- And more
What is the Gallbladder?
The gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ located below the liver near the stomach. The gallbladder stores and concentrates a digestive juice called bile that is made by the liver. When we eat fatty foods, the gallbladder squeezes bile into the intestines to help the body break down and absorb fats.
What is the Sphincter of Oddi?
The gallbladder and the pancreas both squeeze digestive juices into the intestines through the same duct. The flow is controlled by the sphincter of Oddi, a ring-shaped muscle that opens and closes at the end of the duct.
Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction
When medications like Viberzi slow down muscle contractions, the sphincter of Oddi may not open. This causes digestive juices to back up. In people without a gallbladder, digestive juices have nowhere to go except the pancreas, so they start digesting the pancreas. This can cause pain, inflammation, pancreatitis, biliary dysfunction, or death.
What Other Medications Can I Take?
Pepto-Bismol and Imodium are easily-available alternatives to Viberzi. The FDA recommends the following medications:
- Bismuth subsalicylate (Kaopectate and Pepto-Bismol)
- Loperamide (Imodium)
- Diphenoxylate/ atropine (Lomotil)
- Simethicone (Gas-X, Mylicon)
- Alosetron hydrochloride (Lotronex)
- Rifaximin (Xifaxan)
Do I have a Viberzi Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting Viberzi induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know was diagnosed with pancreatitis or died, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Defective Drug Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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