Orange background with a pile of blue pills

South Carolina Truvada Injury Lawyers

Truvada is a medication combining tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) and emtricitabine manufactured by Gilead Sciences, Inc., that helps treat HIV and hepatitis B infections. It’s also used as a pre-exposure prophylaxis (or PrEP) to help prevent HIV infection in HIV-negative people who may be at risk of contracting the virus.

Unfortunately, Truvada’s effectiveness at treating the symptoms of HIV and hepatitis B and reducing the risk of contracting HIV comes at a high cost to many users. The medication is linked to serious and even fatal health problems, including:

  • Kidney disease
  • Kidney failure
  • Fanconi syndrome (kidney tube disorder)
  • Avascular necrosis (bone tissue death)
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Bone loss
  • Bone softening
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Reduced bone mineral density

If you or someone you love took Truvada and developed any of these illnesses or injuries, you may be eligible for compensation. At Joye Law Firm, our South Carolina defective drug lawyers are working to help injured Truvada victims get the money they deserve for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact us today for a free consultation.

How Does Truvada Work?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Truvada works by blocking important pathways that the HIV and hepatitis B viruses use to set up infection inside the body, which can help lower the body’s viral count. When used as a daily PrEP, Truvada can stop HIV from establishing itself and spreading throughout the body, reducing the risk of a user becoming HIV-positive.

How Does Truvada Cause Kidney Disease/Kidney Failure?

A 2018 study published in the National Library of Medicine found that for every year a person uses TDF (a component of Truvada), their risk of developing decreased kidney function increased by 14-33%. This risk is present in people who take Truvada to treat active HIV infection and in people who use Truvada to prevent HIV infection.

TDF is primarily eliminated from the body through the kidneys. During this process, it is filtered out of the blood and excreted in urine. The kidneys play a crucial role in maintaining a proper balance of electrolytes and fluids in the body. The filtration process involves transporters in kidney cells that can be impacted by TDF, potentially affecting the kidneys’ ability to clear the drug effectively.

While Truvada stands out as the most widely recognized TDF produced by Gilead Sciences, other TDF drugs manufactured by the company can lead to similar health concerns. These include:

  • Viread
  • Atripla
  • Complera
  • Stribild

What Are the Complications of Kidney Disease?

Kidney disease, also known as renal disease or nephropathy, can lead to several complications that affect various aspects of health. The severity of these complications can vary depending on the underlying cause and stage of kidney disease. Here are some common complications associated with kidney disease:

Electrolyte imbalance—The kidneys play a crucial role in regulating the balance of fluids and electrolytes (such as sodium, potassium, and calcium) in the body. Kidney dysfunction can disrupt this balance, leading to fluid retention, swelling (edema), and electrolyte abnormalities.

Bone and mineral disorders—The kidneys maintain the body’s mineral balance, including calcium and phosphorus. In kidney disease, imbalances in these minerals can occur, potentially leading to bone problems such as weakened bones and an increased risk of fractures.

Uremia—As kidney function declines, waste products and toxins normally filtered out by the kidneys can build up in the bloodstream. This condition, called uremia, can lead to a range of symptoms including nausea, vomiting, fatigue, confusion, and even coma in severe cases.

What Are the Complications of Kidney Failure?

When a person’s kidneys are damaged and they lose function, they’re diagnosed with kidney disease. When a person’s kidney disease progresses to the point that their kidneys can no longer function without dialysis or a kidney transplant, they’re diagnosed with kidney failure, which is a fatal condition without treatment.

Kidney failure, also known as end-stage renal disease (ESRD), is the most advanced stage of kidney disease where the kidneys can’t perform their vital functions adequately. This condition requires immediate medical intervention, typically through dialysis or kidney transplantation. Kidney failure can lead to a variety of serious complications, including death.

Management of kidney failure involves interventions such as dialysis or kidney transplantation, close medical supervision, and the management of associated complications.

What Is Fanconi Syndrome and How Is It Caused by Truvada?

A 2006 study published in the National Library of Medicine says that TDF is “increasingly recognized as a cause of acquired Fanconi syndrome.” Fanconi syndrome is a tubule defect that leads to malabsorption of electrolytes and other substances. Many people are born with it, but it can also be acquired later in life.

People with this disease can develop serious complications, including;

  • Excessive urination leading to dehydration
  • Excessive thirst
  • Severe bone pain
  • Bone weakness
  • Bone fractures
  • Muscle weakness

How Does Truvada Cause Bone Problems?

TDF is associated with bone mineral density (BMD) loss in some patients. Bone mineral density refers to the amount of minerals, such as calcium and phosphorus, present in bones. A decrease in BMD can lead to weakened bones, which may increase the risk of fractures and other bone-related issues.

The exact mechanisms by which TDF affects bone health are not fully understood, but several factors contribute to its potential impact, including:

Impaired kidney function—TDF is primarily eliminated from the body through the kidneys. Its use has been associated with a decrease in kidney function in some patients, which can lead to alterations in the body’s mineral and hormone balance, potentially affecting bone health.

Impaired phosphate handling—TDF can affect the way the body handles phosphate, an essential mineral for bone health. Imbalances in phosphate levels can disrupt the formation and maintenance of bone tissue.

Hormonal changes—TDF can influence the activity of certain hormones involved in bone metabolism, such as parathyroid hormone and vitamin D. These hormones play a crucial role in maintaining bone density and mineralization.

Imbalanced osteoblast and osteoclast activity—TDF may impact the activity of cells responsible for bone remodeling, namely osteoblasts (bone-forming cells) and osteoclasts (bone-resorbing cells). Imbalances in their activity can lead to decreased bone density.

Have Any Lawsuits Been Filed Against Gilead for Truvada Injuries?

In December 2022, Gilead Sciences, Inc., reported that it was facing more than 26,000 lawsuits in California, Delaware, Florida, Missouri, and New York over Truvada-related injuries from users who claim it damaged their kidneys and bones. In its 2022 annual report, Gilead stated that the first “bellwether” trials, which are trials that could open the doors for future lawsuits, may occur soon in California state and federal courts.

What Compensation is Available for My Truvada Injury?

If Truvada harmed you or a loved one, you may have experienced severe health problems resulting in:

  • Expensive medical bills
  • Weeks, months, or years of lost wages
  • Intense pain and suffering

An experienced South Carolina defective drug lawyer can collect evidence that proves you or your loved one were harmed by Truvada and work to get you every penny you deserve.

Call Joye Law Firm Today for a Free Case Review

Evidence that Truvada and TDF are capable of causing serious kidney and bone problems has existed for many years. However, the drug’s manufacturer has only recently faced legal scrutiny for its negligence in failing to warn patients about the dangers associated with Truvada and TDF.

Don’t wait another minute if you or someone you love developed serious complications after taking Truvada as a PrEP or to treat HIV or hepatitis B. You didn’t receive the information you needed to make a fully informed decision, and you deserve compensation if you were harmed.

Contact us today for a free consultation to learn how we can help.