Kidney Damage Caused by Chemotherapy Overdose

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Kidneys help balance your body’s chemicals and produce hormones that impact your health. Properly working kidneys:

  • medical illustration of kidneysAllow waste and medication to leave your body through your urine
  • Balance the fluids in your body
  • Produce a hormone that helps regulates blood pressure
  • Produce Vitamin D
  • Control red blood cell production

Unfortunately, a chemotherapy overdose can interfere with proper kidney function and cause a catastrophic health crisis.

Chemo Drugs That Can Cause Kidney Problems

Some of the chemotherapy medications that are known to affect kidney function include:

  • Carboplatin. Carboplatin is primarily used to treat ovarian cancer, but it may also be used to treat lung cancer, endometrial cancer, head and neck cancer, esophageal cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, tumors in the central nervous system, osteogenic sarcoma, or to prepare a patient’s body for a bone marrow or stem cell transplant. Nephrotoxicity, or kidney poisoning, is possible, especially when a patient receives high doses of the drug or has pre-existing kidney problems. Therefore, a chemotherapy overdose or prescribing error could make kidney toxicity more likely.
  • Cisplatin. Cisplatin is an infusion form of chemotherapy that treats a wide variety of cancers including bladder cancer, ovarian cancer, testicular cancer, head and neck cancer, esophageal cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer, lymphomas, neuroblastoma, melanoma, multiple myeloma, and mesothelioma. Kidney toxicity is a common side effect that occurs in more than 30% of patients who take Cisplatin. The risk of suffering kidney toxicity increases as the Cisplatin dosage increases. Therefore, a Cisplatin overdose may make kidney toxicity more likely. Symptoms of kidney toxicity typically develop 10-20 days after a patient receives the medication.
  • Methotrexate. Methotrexate can treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), osteosarcoma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, breast cancer, head and neck cancer, lung cancer, stomach cancer, and other conditions, some of which are non-cancerous. High doses of methotrexate may cause kidney toxicity in approximately 10-29% of patients. Kidney failure can occur.
  • Mitomycin. Mitomycin is most commonly used to treat adenocarcinoma of the stomach or pancreas, but it may also be used to treat anal cancer, bladder cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, colorectal cancer, head and neck cancer, and non-small cell lung cancer. Fewer than two percent of patients who take mitomycin may experience a severe side effect known as hemolytic-uremic syndrome, which can lead to kidney failure. Hemolytic-uremic syndrome can develop at any time, so your doctor should perform regular blood tests to check for early signs of this dangerous condition.

If you receive the right dose of these drugs, you will probably not be able to pursue legal action for kidney damage, as this is a known risk of the drugs. However, if you received more chemotherapy than was necessary to treat your cancer and you suffered a kidney injury because of the chemotherapy overdose, you might have a legal case.

Signs of Kidney Problems

Whenever you experience any unusual or uncomfortable side effects while getting chemotherapy treatment, you should contact a doctor immediately. Potential symptoms of a kidney problem could include:

  • Decreased urination
  • Dark urine
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Muscle weakness
  • Swelling in the hands and feet
  • Nausea
  • Confusion

Your doctor will perform the necessary tests to diagnose your condition and recommend a treatment plan.

When to Call a Chemotherapy Overdose Lawyer

Chemotherapy side effects are expected. Chemotherapy is designed to kill your cancer, and, unfortunately, that often comes with dangerous side effects. Side effects alone are not a reason to call a chemotherapy overdose attorney. However, if you received a chemotherapy overdose and you suffered a kidney injury, you should contact a chemotherapy overdose injury lawyer as soon as possible.

Our Kentucky chemotherapy overdose law firm includes experienced attorneys and a staff nurse who will thoroughly investigate all aspects of your case. If you suffered kidney problems due to a medical error, we will fight to get you the fair compensation that you deserve for all of your medical expenses, lost income, physical pain, emotional suffering, and other damages. Call us or start a live chat with us any time to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation about your possible chemotherapy overdose lawsuit.

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