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Liver failure and liver damage are being diagnosed in greater and greater numbers of people who have taken the weight loss drugs Alli and Xenical and who have had their diabetes treated with Actos or Avandia.

The liver performs many basic functions. It digests food, eliminates toxins, and makes proteins. When the liver is damaged, every system in the body suffers.

By the time a person becomes aware of liver failure, serious damage has already occurred. People suffering from liver damage may be constantly tired. Their skin may turn yellow, they may be very itchy, and they may experience swelling because their bodies cannot eliminate fluids.

Liver failure traditionally was due to cirrhosis by excessive and prolonged alcohol consumption.Of these four drugs, Alli, marketed by British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is the only one that consumers can buy without a prescription. Alli works by preventing some of the fat that a person consumes from being broken down and turned into calories.

The clever marketing machine behind Alli hypes the drug as the first over-the-counter (OTC) weight loss aid approved by the FDA, but the marketing doesn’t bother to shout the fact that Alli is also the first OTC medication approved by the FDA that is known to cause pre-cancerous lesions. As I have reported many times before, the FDA is a national embarrassment.

Xenical, marketed by Roche Laboratories, is actually the same drug (orlistat) as Alli. The difference is that Xenical comes in a stronger dose than Alli and requires a prescription.

The dangers of orlistat have been obvious for many years.  Public Citizen filed a petition asking the FDA to ban Xenical in 2006, and not only did the FDA ignore the evidence against the drug, but a year later it approved Alli, making it simple for everyone to buy orlistat at the nearest drug store.

Avandia, marketed by GSK, and Actos, marketed by Takeda Pharmaceuticals, are dangerous drugs that also have strong links to liver damage and liver failure, which usually follows with liver dialysis and a drastically shortened life expectancy.

Avandia and Actos are prescribed for the treatment of diabetes, and their dangers have been widely known for many years. Research previously linked Avandia to heart disease, loss of vision, and bone fractures. Liver failure is just the latest problem to surface with Avandia.

That same research found Actos to be just as toxic as Avandia. “Public Citizen’s study shows it (Actos) has liver toxicity risks similar to its relative (Avandia); 10 cases of death from Actos-related liver failure were found in the study.”

A compilation of the side-effects of Actos reported to the FDA showed that in addition to liver damage, the drug has caused a wide range of serious health problems.

Alli, Xenical, Actos, and Avandia are dangerous drugs. The FDA knows that, but it allows these poisons these drugs to remain on the market. The manufacturers know how harmful their products are, but they continue to put profits ahead of the health of their customers, and the number of personal injuries and wrongful deaths associated with these drugs continues to grow.

Anyone suspecting they have been injured by these drugs can talk to an experienced lawyer by contacting us at 888.777.1776. There is no charge. All work is performed on a contingency basis. If we don’t collect, you owe nothing.


Richard Alexander