Alabama Canalicular Stenosis (Taxotere) Lawyers
The experienced defective drug attorneys of Hotze Runkle are actively pursuing litigation of behalf of patients who developed canalicular stenosis and epiphora as a result of taking the chemotherapy drug Taxotere. If you experienced severe side effects including watery eyes and other eye problems, we’ll be ready to help you seek justice and secure the fair compensation you’re owed.
For many patients, chemotherapy treatments included the drug Taxotere. Suddenly you find tears streaming down your face for no reason. Surely watering eyes are the sign of anything to be concerned about, it’ll stop when treatment is over you tell yourself. What you may not know, what the drug company doesn’t want you to know, is that Taxotere has been linked to a serious eye condition called canalicular stenosis. If not caught early, this can be a permanent condition that will require delicate and dangerous surgery.
If you or someone you know is experiencing watery eyes or tearing that runs down the face after being given the drug Taxotere you need to get help right away both medical and legal. Hotze Runkle can help you begin the process of understanding what canalicular is and how the drug Taxotere and its manufacturer caused this serious eye condition. We have the skills and resources necessary to hold this manufacturer responsible for the negative side effects of their drug. Watery eyes may seem a minor hassle in the scheme of what you are going through, but it is a symptom of a much bigger problem that can end up costing you in more ways than one.
What is Taxotere?
Taxotere is an FDA approved drug used in chemotherapy in order to treat cancer. Taxotere is a medication that interferes with the ability of cancer cells to divide and thus spread through the body. It is typically used by physicians to treat breast cancer in particular but has also been used to treat lung cancer, prostate cancer, stomach cancer, and head/neck cancer. As with most drugs, a physician may also use it to treat other problems if they believe it will be helpful to the patient.
Taxotere can be administered as frequently as once a week depending on the course of treatment that a physician has prescribed. It is given to the patient through an IV during their course of chemotherapy treatment.
Are There Side Effects to the Drug?
Just like with any drug there are side effects that can impact the body. Some of the more common side effects related to the use of Taxotere include:
- Bleeding gums
- Blood in urine or stool
- Chest pain
- Tingling or numbness in limbs
- Dry eyes
- Sore throat
- Muscle pain
- Irregular heartbeat
The list is extensive. However, there is one unfortunate side effect that most people taking the drug have never been made aware of, it’s called Canalicular Stenosis. This condition is a newly recognize side effect of the drug and it can cause permanent damage. This follows another side effect, permanent hair loss, that has been the result of several lawsuits.
What is Canalicular Stenosis and What Are the Symptoms?
Canalicular stenosis is a condition that impacts the eyes and the complex systems of tear ducts and sacs. Although you may not realize it, your eyes are constantly producing tears. These tears not only keep your eyes moist and lubricated throughout the day, but they also keep out harmful dirt and debris. When you blink the tears are spread across your eye keeping it moist and clean. The tears are then funneled through a channel called the canaliculus and down into your nasolacrimal duct.
Canalicular stenosis is a condition where that channel begins to close or is obstructed. This, in turn, causes tears to run down the face. The major symptom of canalicular stenosis is watery and runny eyes. The problem can become so prevalent that it can begin to cause blurry vision, irritated eyes, and other vision problems.
How Does Taxotere Cause Canalicular Stenosis?
According to studies published in the American Academy of Ophthalmology the drug Taxotere can pass into a patient’s bodily fluids, which includes the tears. The drug’s presence in the tears may be responsible for causing chronic inflammation of the canaliculi and thus resulting in canalicular stenosis. Several new studies have continued to come out linking the use of the drug Taxotere to canalicular stenosis as it pertains to the treatment of cancer patients. This is a side effect of the drug that had not previously been reported. One such study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information finds that cases of the condition were more frequent when a patient was administered weekly treatments with the drug and that discontinuing the use of Taxotere did not reverse the condition.
That means that although this is a completely preventable condition, once the damage is done, it could be permanent. Watery eyes may seem at first, as only a minor inconvenience, especially when compared with the other side effects of chemotherapy. Watery eyes could be the first sign of something much more serious. If you have any changes in your vision, are experiencing watery eyes, or any other concerns talk to your doctor immediately. Catching the symptoms early improves your treatment options. Some patients may be under the impression that watery eyes are no big deal and will stop when treatment ends. That is far from the truth and early intervention could save you from painful surgery down the road.
Are There Treatment Options?
The unfortunate reality of canalicular stenosis is once you have developed the condition it can become permanent and irreversible. Treatment options will depend on the severity of your case and how severe the obstruction has become. If you have a mild case of the condition a course of antibiotics and warm compresses can ease symptoms. The use of steroids may also help with mild cases of the condition as well. However, in cases of severe canalicular stenosis, surgery may be the only course of treatment. The Journal of American Medical Association Ophthalmology outlines the surgical treatment that canalicular patients must undergo in order to see improvement in their condition. The surgery involves placing glass tubes in place of the canaliculus so that normal tear movement can take place.
This delicate surgery is not without its own set of risks. There is always a potential for infection, for the glass tubes to shift or move to another part of the body, the body may reject the foreign object, and there is potential for bleeding and scarring as well. These complications can result in more medical problems and even blindness.
What Can I Do If I Suspect Taxotere Caused Canalicular Stenosis?
You trusted your doctors when you were at your most vulnerable, they trusted the drug company. Now, not only have you had to battle cancer, you are fighting to keep your vision as well, all because there was no warning about this possible damaging side effect. Sanofi-Aventis is the multi-billion-dollar corporation responsible for the development, manufacturing, and marketing of the drug Taxotere.
There have been numerous scientific studies linking the use of the cancer drug to the condition of canalicular stenosis. So why didn’t you know about this side effect? Sanofi-Aventis has done nothing to warn people of the possibility that this drug can cause a serious and permanent impact on the health of your eyes. No preventative measures have been taken on their part and patients, even physicians are being kept in the dark.
What can you do when a huge company dodges its responsibility to the public? What are your options when they actively participate in denying, ignoring, or misleading patients about the safety of their products? You can fight back. You’ve fought cancer and you can fight them as well. At Hotze Runkle we are sympathetic to the pain you are going through.
We know you’ve already had to deal with the fight of your life against cancer. It’s hard to imagine going to battle again, but irresponsible drug companies can’t be allowed to get away with misleading and hurting cancer patients. They must be held accountable for their actions and you are entitled to receive compensation.
Currently, Sanofi-Aventis is attempting to fend off lawsuits filed by women who claim Taxotere caused them permanent hair loss. Yet, the company stands by its drug. Now patients and the scientific community have found that the drug can also lead to canalicular stenosis. Still, there is silence. It is time for patients to take Sanofi-Aventis to task and hold them responsible. Hotze Runkle is a firm you can trust to do just that.
How Can Hotze Runkle Help Me?
At Hotze Runkle we are aggressive and experienced attorneys who aren’t afraid to take on major corporations like Sanofi-Aventis. The thought of going up against a major company is daunting. You have been through so much already you are ready to start living your life again, not rehashing the pains of the past. At the same time, medical bills may be piling up for the unexpected treatments you needed to address your canalicular stenosis. Other patients, similarly, unaware as you were, are continuing to take Taxotere and having to come to grips with the reality that their eyes may never be the same again. Don’t let them get away with it. Take this quiz to find out if more about Taxotere and your potential case.