Premarin is the brand name for a combination estrogen hormonal replacement drug. Prescribed to treat symptoms that go along with menopause, as well as to treat breast cancer and prostate cancer, Premarin has been shown to cause heart disease and several types of cancer in some patients.
If you believe you’ve suffered harm as a result of taking Premarin, contact RLG for a free consultation . We might be the Premarin law firm you are looking for. To file a lawsuit for injuries you suffered as the result of a medicine you took, that medicine doesn’t have to have been recalled.
You shouldn’t have to go through a lot of hassle to receive compensation for the injuries you’ve suffered. The Rottenstein Law Group knows this, and we want you to believe it. You need a sympathetic advocate who will represent only your interests—and who will make the process of obtaining compensation for your injuries as painless as possible.
What Is Premarin and What Is It Prescribed For?
Made and sold by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, which Pfizer purchased in 2009, this prescription medication is used to treat several symptoms brought on by menopause, specifically:
(1) Severe vasometer symptoms (hot flashes);
(2) Vulvar and vaginal atrophy;
(3) Hypoestrogenism (estrogen deficiency); and
Doctors also prescribe Premarin as a breast cancer or prostate cancer treatment.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Premarin in oral tablet form in 1942, as an intravenous solution in 1956, a topical cream in 1978, and again in tablet form at lower doses for osteoporosis treatment. Premarin is a common drug, with as many as six million people using it worldwide.
Premarin combines three forms of estrogen derived from sodium salts of hormones found in horse urine: sodium estrone sulfate (50%), sodium equilin sulfate (15-25%), and sodium equilenin sulfate (25-35%). The sodium estrone sulfate is the most active component of the combination, and the human body can easily convert it into estradiol. Once metabolized, the estradiol replaces the patient’s diminished hormones, thereby alleviating her menopause symptoms.
Premarin Side Effects Include Cancer and Heart Disease
Studies have shown that Premarin causes three types of cancer, endometrial cancer (cancer of the membrane of the uterus), breast cancer, and lung cancer. According to the Premarin drug label, users can develop endometrial cancer at a rate of two to 12 times greater than non-users. The longer a woman stays on Premarin, the more the likelihood of her developing cancer increases. Women who use the drug for less than one year do not show much of an increased risk, but those who take it for five to ten years are 15 to 25 times more likely to develop endometrial cancer. The risk persists eight to 15 years after use.
When Premarin is used with the hormone progestin (medroxyprogesterone acetate), such as in the combined drug Prempro, users are more likely to develop breast cancer than non-users. According to the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) substudy of women who took 0.625 mg of Premarin combined with 2.5 mg of progestin, those who took Prempro in the past were 1.86 times more likely to develop breast cancer than those who took the placebo. The cancers in women who took the hormones were larger and more advanced than in those who did not take them. Although women who used Premarin alone did not show increased risk of cancer, the FDA states that it has received reports that Premarin users produce abnormal mammograms, leading the FDA to recommend that these women receive yearly breast examinations and perform their own breast examinations monthly.
A September 2009 study published in The Lancet established that women who used Premarin with progestin were 71 percent more likely to die from lung cancer than those who took a placebo. For hormone replacement drug users, the likelihood of developing lung cancer increased 28 percent, though the researchers cautioned that the increased risk was not statistically significant.
The WHI substudy also found that Premarin, whether used alone or with progestin, can cause several cardiac side effects, including:
- Deep vein thrombosis;
- Venous thromboembolism; and
- Myocardial infarction.
The FDA recommends discontinuation of estrogen replacement therapy if any of these events occurs.
Breast Cancer Victims Are Suing Premarin’s Manufacturer
Because of the breast cancer risk associated with Premarin when combined with progestin, plaintiffs in the U.S. and now Canada have filed Premarin breast cancer lawsuits against Wyeth and its parent, Pfizer. In the U.S. 10,000 women filed lawsuits, and in May 2011, Pfizer agreed to settle those suits for $772 million. In Canada, on August 5, 2011, the Supreme Court of British Columbia certified a class action Premarin lawsuit against Pfizer and Wyeth.
In July 2012, a Pennsylvania appellate court upheld a Premarin plaintiff’s jury award of $10.4 million in damages because it was not excessive, according to Bloomberg. Audrey Singleton sued Wyeth over Premarin injuries, and in 2010 a jury awarded her $3.4 million in compensatory and $6 million in punitive damages, and the trial court added $1 million in interest.
RLG’s 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 from the company that manufactured a drug that you believe harmed you shouldn’t be just more hardship. That’s why we do everything we can to streamline the process, and we will file a Premarin lawsuit on your behalf if necessary. RLG will also keep you up to date on any Premarin class action lawsuits, FDA Premarin warnings, and Premarin FDA recall announcements.
If you have taken Premarin and experienced adverse side effects, contact RLG today.