The antiviral drug interferon alfa-2b—sold under the brand name Intron-A—has been linked to birth defects and life-threatening side effects. If you’ve taken Intron-A and you believe it caused you or your child harm, you need a sympathetic advocate who will represent only your interests—and who will make the process of helping you to recover for your injuries as painless as possible.
The Rottenstein Law Group compassionately advocates for those who have suffered from the harmful side effects of potentially dangerous drugs. If you believe Intron-A harmed you or your child, contact RLG for a free, confidential legal consultation. We will evaluate your case and remain on the lookout for Intron-A recalls and Intron-A class action lawsuits. We might be the Intron-A law firm you are looking for.
What Is Intron-A and What Is Prescribed For?
Intron-A is the brand name for the drug interferon alfa-2b. Made and sold by Schering-Plough before it merged into Merck and Co., this prescription medication is used to treat chronic hepatitis C, chronic hepatitis B, hairy cell leukemia, chronic myelogenous leukemia, multiple myeloma, follicular lymphoma, carcinoid tumors, and malignant melanoma. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved it in June 1986. Merck sells Intron-A as a subcutaneous injection. Intron-A is frequently combined with Rebetol (ribavirin).
An interferon is a protein that cells release when pathogens such as viruses attack them. Its presence triggers a response by the immune system. Interferons also disrupt viruses’ replication processes. Injecting them into patients with serious viral infections helps speed up their recovery, though they aren’t as effective at destroying viruses as antibiotics are to bacteria.
In August 2011, The U.S. Department of Justice subpoenaed Merck regarding how it was marketing and selling Intron and two other drugs, Intron-A and Temodar. Merck claims it is complying with the Department of Justice’s subpoena.
Intron-A Side Effects Include Birth Defects and Life-Threatening Side Effects
Intron-A Birth Defects
When combined with Rebetol, Intron-A can cause severe birth defects, including fetal death. So dangerous is the combination that the FDA placed it in its Pregnancy Category X, the agency’s most serious category. The FDA based its pregnancy categorization on animal tests that produced “significant teratogenic and embryocidal effects.” Intron-A’s label recommends women not start taking Intron-A with Rebetol until they receive a negative pregnancy test. It also advises Intron-A and Rebetol users to also use two forms of contraception and take monthly pregnancy tests. The FDA even discourages women whose male partners are using the drugs from becoming pregnant.
The FDA placed Intron-A itself in its Pregnancy Category C because the drug has proven to cause spontaneous abortions when tested on rhesus monkeys. Although no studies on humans exist, the agency assumes it has the same effects.
Other Life-Threatening Intron-A Side Effects
Intron-A’s drug label warns of several other severe life-threatening side effects, some of which appear in a second black box warning. Intron-A can cause or aggravate:
- Neuropsychiatric events (suicidal and homicidal ideation and behaviors, relapse of drug addictions and overdose, psychoses, hallucinations, and bipolar disorder);
- Cardiovascular events (hypotenstion, arrhythmia, tachycardia, cardiomyopathy, angina pectoris, myocardial infarction);
- Endocrine disorders (hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, hyperglycemia, diabetes mellitus);
- Ophthalmologic disorders (decrease or loss of vision, retinopathy, macular edema, retinal artery or vein thrombosis, retinal hemorrhages, cotton wool spots, optic neuritis, papilledema);
- Cerebrovascular disorders (stroke);
- Bone marrow toxicity;
- Autoimmune disorders (thyroiditis, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, rheumatoid arthritis, interstitial nephritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and psoriasis);
- Pulmonary disorders (dyspnea, pulmonary infiltrates, pneumonia, bronchiolitis obliterans, interstitial pneumonitis, and sarcoidosis);
- Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (“Mad Cow”) because Intron-A contains human albumin; and
- AIDS-related Kaposi’s Sarcoma.
RLG’s Intron-A Lawyers Will Make Things Easier
The process of demanding compensation for the harm you’ve suffered can be complicated, even if it doesn’t seem fair that you should have to go through even more trouble to be made whole again. The lawyers at the Rottenstein Law Group believe that getting satisfaction shouldn’t be just more hardship. That’s why we do everything we can to streamline the process of helping victims to get the compensation they deserve. We will file an Intron-A lawsuit on your behalf if necessary. RLG will also keep you up to date on any Intron-A class action lawsuits, FDA Intron-A warnings, and Intron-A FDA recall announcements.
If you have taken Intron-A and believe it harmed you or your baby, contact RLG today.