In December 2018, the Journal of Clinical Investigation published research that linked Injectafer, an injectable iron drug, to the life-threatening condition hypophosphatemia.
Hypophosphatemia occurs when an individual has critically low phosphate levels in their blood. Severe hypophosphatemia is characterized by phosphate levels below 2.0 mg/dL and extreme hypophosphatemia is characterized by levels below 1.3 mg/dL. Very low phosphate levels can have devastating consequences on an individual’s health and lead to serious health complications such as seizures, coma, bone fractures, musculoskeletal disorders, and death. Short-term symptoms include extreme weakness and fatigue that frequently require extensive hospital stays.
The five-week randomized study compared the complications of Injectafer with another iron injection drug called Feraheme in nearly 2,000 individuals. The results indicated a disproportionately high prevalence of severe hypophosphatemia in Injectafer patients:
- Over half (50.8%) of the Injectafer patients had severe hypophosphatemia, while less than one percent (0.9%) of Feraheme patients did.
- One in 10 of Injectafer patients had extreme hypophosphatemia, while no Feraheme users did.
- Nearly three in 10 (29.1%) Injectafer patients had persistence of severe hypophosphatemia at the end of the study period, while no Feraheme patients did.
Despite the piling up of reputable research connecting Injectafer use to dangerously low phosphorus levels, Injectafer’s labeling does not mention severe or persistent hypophosphatemia as potential side effects. Instead, the label implies that any hypophosphatemia experienced by patients is fleeting and presents little to no symptoms.
Perhaps even more alarmingly, medical providers are still widely unaware of the link between Injectafer and hypophosphatemia. Even when patients present symptoms already associated with low phosphorus levels, many physicians will fail to identify hypophosphatemia as a potential issue, not order blood tests, or not make the connection between the presented symptoms and Injectafer use.
Pogust Millrood LLC believes this problem and lack of awareness within the medical community is due in large part to the deficient warnings on the Injectafer label. Pogust Millrood has already initiated several actions against the manufacturers of Injectafer in the state of Pennsylvania, and continues to investigate claims from consumers across the country whose illnesses and hospital stays can be attributed to medication-induced severe hypophosphatemia.
If you or a loved one has experienced severe hypophosphatemia after taking Injectafer, call Pogust Millrood toll free at 888-348-6787 or direct to our Pennsylvania office at 610-941-4204 to see if you are entitled to seek damages.
A Pennsylvania native, Mike Daly has spent most of his life in the greater Philadelphia area. A proud graduate of Penn State and the Villanova School of Law, he's currently a partner at Pogust Millrood, where he represents individuals throughout the country in class action and mass tort claims involving consumer fraud, environmental harm, defective medical devices, and harmful pharmaceuticals.