HIV Medication and Kidney Injuries

Have you or a loved one suffered kidney injuries after taking HIV medication? HIV Litigation Attorneys™ are fielding calls from around the country of patients who have suffered kidney failure or kidney damage after taking drugs like Atripla, Complera, Truvada, Stribild, and Viread. It is our intention to hold HIV drug manufacturer Gilead accountable for developing a defective drug and failing to warn patients of known risks associated with their product. Depending on your unique case, you may qualify for compensation of past, present, and future medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, or – in the worst cases – funeral expenses for a loved one.

Are HIV Drugs and Kidney Problems Linked?

We believe there is a direct link between kidney injuries and an older version of the antiretroviral drug tenofovir (TDF), which is found in drugs like Truvada, Atripla, Viread, Complera, and Stribild. A newer version released in 2016 (TAF) appears to be safer for kidneys, according to research conducted by David Stein, MD of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx. We believe Gilead knew about this safer drug for decades and shelved development of this safer drug in order to maximize profits on its other unsafe TDF-based HIV medication.

What Type of Kidney Failure Is Caused by HIV Medication?

Common types of kidney injury associated with HIV medication use include:

  • Chronic kidney disease (CKD) – Chronic Kidney Disease is diagnosed after three months of diminished kidney function. Symptoms may include weakened immune system, bone problems, abnormal heartbeat, loss of appetite, pulmonary edema, fatigue, and depression. The worsening of symptoms can be unpredictable. Some people will end up with end stage renal disease, requiring transplant or routine dialysis to survive.
  • Acute kidney injury (AKI) or acute renal failure (ARF) – Acute kidney injury or renal failure can occur over several hours or several days when waste products build up in the blood. There may be no symptoms at all, or patients may suffer from lack of urine, swelling around the ankles and the eyes, fatigue, shortness of breath, confusion, nausea, seizures, or chest pain. Treatment may require a stay at the hospital, possibly to receive dialysis.
  • Fanconi syndrome – Fanconi Syndrome is a rare kidney tube disorder, where the body excretes vital substances out through the urine that should have been absorbed into the bloodstream through the kidneys. Most people do not realize they have acquired Fanconi Syndrome until they suffer pain, bone fracture, and/or muscle weakness. There is no cure for FS. Treatment can involve infusions to receive much-needed electrolytes, bicarbonates, and nutrients.
  • Renal Tubular Acidosis – Renal tubular disorders caused by excess acid in the blood can have very serious consequences. Initial symptoms of renal tubular dysfunction may include muscle weakness, fatigue, painful urination, vomiting, and pain. Without proper treatment, chronic acidity of the blood results in kidney stones, bone disease, chronic kidney disease, and total kidney failure.

Are You at Risk for Kidney Disease?

Having one or more risk factors does not preclude patients from receiving treatment with antiretroviral drugs but, rather, may affect which drugs are selected and may mean the patient must undergo routine kidney function tests.

Risk factors for kidney disease include:

  • Age over 50
  • African-American race
  • Lower body weight
  • Low CD4 count
  • High viral load
  • Estimated glomerular filtration rate of 60-89 ml/min
  • Comorbidities like diabetes, high blood pressure, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C

If you are already suffering adverse kidney health after taking HIV medication, we are here to help. Contact HIV Litigation Attorneys™ for a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation to explore your legal options. Our law firm is well-funded and staffed by experienced litigators with the grit and determination to prevail against Big Pharma. Our clients do not pay a cent until their cases have won through settlement or court jury award.

Additional HIV Medication Kidney Injuries Resources:

  1. Med Page Today – New Tenofovir Easy on the Kidneys,
  2. Aids Info Net – What Are The Risk Factors For Kidney Disease?