Since being administered after its FDA approval on June 8 2006, Gardasil has been widely used as the only current cervical cancer vaccine that helps prevent four kinds of HPV (human papillomavirus). Two types of HPV cause 90% of genital warts and two other types cause 70% of cervical cancer. With an estimated 12,000 women being diagnosed with cervical cancer every year and 4,000 dying from the disease in the United States, it’s no wonder that over 16 million doses of Gardasil, manufactured by Merck & Co., Inc., have been distributed in the United States to girls as young as 9 and to women well into adulthood.
Likeliness of Side Effects
Gardasil is administered as an injection in the arm given over a period of six months. As is the case for many pharmaceuticals and vaccines, Gardasil has side effects which are included in its prescribing information provided by its manufacturer, Merck & Co, Inc. These side effects include swelling, bruising, pain, itching, and redness at the injection site. Other side effects may include nausea, dizziness, headache, fever, vomiting, and fainting. Incidents of Gardasil-related fainting amounted to around 50 cases from 2002-2004; a number that grew to 230 from 2005 until last July. According to the FDA, as of June 30, 2008, there have been 9,749 adverse events reported after Gardasil vaccination; however, the FDA claims that only 6% of cases were serious events and 94% were non-serious events.
There are those, however, who believe Gardasil may result in much more serious side-effects than those the manufacturer warns against. As Merck continues to support that Gardasil holds no serious threat to those who receive the vaccine, women who did not know that they were pregnant at the time of receiving their vaccine have reported that they experienced miscarriages. Gardasil warns that it is “not for women who are pregnant.”, but pregnancy checks are not mandatory for women who are administered doses of the drug.
The FDA continues to investigate serious health incidents suspected to be connected to Gardasil. Merck, Gardasil’s manufacturer, has also stated that they are committed to conducting a large post-marketing study to further investigate and assure Gardasil’s safety.
While the FDA and Merck continue to thoroughly monitor the safety of Gardasil, parents and consumers continue to ask questions regarding the safety of the drug and whether it really is defective. And although there are some known Gardasil adverse reactions, the FDA holds that its benefits outweigh the pitfalls.
Cases have been reported of muscle weakness caused by Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), a neurological disorder, which was reported in individuals following a Gardasil vaccine. These cases have been discounted by supporters of the drug because Gardasil has not been proven to increase the average numbers of GBS anticipated in the population. Additionally, blood clots (thromboembolic disorders) have been reported in women treated with Gardasil; however, the majority of these patients had previous risk factors for blood clots due to oral contraceptive use, which is known to raise the chances of clotting in women who smoke or are over a certain age.
Even though a definitive link between the drug Gardasil and any of the adverse reactions discussed in this content has not been proven to exist, it is of the utmost importance for anyone who has suffered any of the health problems mentioned above or any other issues to seek medical attention right away and report the incident. Unreported cases can have a serious effect as they leave others unaware of potential side effect dangers.
Investigating Gardasil Lawsuits
The pharmaceutical drug lawyers at Farah & Farah are currently investigating claims by those who feel their health has suffered as the result of Gardasil injections. Our personal injury attorneys are prepared to represent clients in cases in which side effects from medications diminished their quality of life, and we are prepared to use our resources and full efforts to get you the compensation you rightfully deserve. Call Farah & Farah at 877-245-6707 for a free and confidential evaluation.