How Is Taxotere Linked to Canalicular Stenosis?
Taxotere is the brand name of the drug docetaxel, manufactured by pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis. This medication is used during chemotherapy to treat multiple different types of cancer, such as:
● Lung cancer, including locally advanced lung cancer and metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)
● Breast cancers, including early-stage breast cancer, operable node-positive breast cancer, and metastatic breast cancer
● Metastatic prostate cancer
● Advanced gastric adenocarcinoma, or stomach cancer
● Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN)
Taxotere belongs to a class of drugs known as “taxanes,” which are plant alkaloids used to slow cell growth and fight cancer. Taxotere limits cell growth by hardening individual cells’ supporting structures and membranes, preventing them from growing or dividing as easily.
Regrettably, the use of Taxotere has also been linked with serious side effects in some chemotherapy patients (ie: permanent hair loss and severe problems with their nails) including thousands who report developing an irreversible condition called canalicular stenosis. This condition causes abnormally and chronically watery eyes, which can contribute to many immediate and long-term side effects.
The more frequent the dosage of Taxotere, the higher a patient’s risk for developing canalicular stenosis. But even patients who previously received doses just once every three weeks have reported symptoms of the condition.
Today, the company responsible for manufacturing Taxotere is facing more than ten thousand canalicular stenosis lawsuits from patients claiming the company did not adequately warn providers or patients of its potentially severe side effects.
What is Canalicular Stenosis?
Canalicular stenosis is the obstruction of the canaliculus, which is a type of minuscule canal in your skull that plays an important role in healthy tear production. When these small canals are chronically obstructed, patients can experience excess accumulation of normal tear fluids. This can result in a variety of symptoms, which range from irritating to severely harmful, including:
● Persistently watery eyes
● Chronically dry eyes
● Epiphora, or excess tears
● Blurry or cloudy vision
● General vision loss
● Acute sensitivity to light
● Ocular irritation and infection
● Swollen eyelids
Even relatively mild symptoms of canalicular stenosis can significantly disrupt daily life and normal functioning. Patients who cannot see clearly may not be able to read, drive, or operate other heavy equipment. Those who prefer to wear makeup may be unable to without constantly wiping it all away. Whether big or small, these changes can dramatically alter or reduce a patient’s quality of life.
Is There a Connection Between Taxotere and Canalicular Stenosis?
Yes, medical experts believe there is a connection between this popular chemotherapy drug and canalicular stenosis.
Researchers have collected tear samples from Taxotere patients and confirmed the presence of the drug in the tear fluids, suggesting that Taxotere is absorbed into those fluids during tear production. And unfortunately, researchers also found that Taxotere causes fibrosis (scarring) when it passes through the canaliculus.
Experts hypothesize that chronic inflammation and scarring from the presence of Taxotere in the body directly contribute to canalicular stenosis. Cancer patients who relied on Taxotere have reported irritation and damage in some of the most delicate tissues of the body, sometimes resulting in permanent damage or vision loss.
These potentially devastating consequences are entirely preventable if Taxotere patients recognize and treat their symptoms early on. For instance, some patients with canalicular stenosis benefit from the insertion of temporary stents during the course of their chemotherapy treatments. These stents prevent the canaliculus from closing completely and can be removed within four to six weeks after discontinuing the use of Taxotere.
However, if neither patients nor doctors address symptoms of canalicular obstruction promptly, treatment options are substantially limited. And then, favorable outcomes may only be possible with advanced and costly surgical procedures. So, if you are prescribed Taxotere and find you have unusually watery eyes, it’s important to speak to your doctor right away.
What Are My Options as a Taxotere Patient?
Take the online case evaluation quiz to find out if you are eligible and to send us the details of your case. A member of our legal team will contact you about your legal options as soon as possible. In the meantime, you can learn more about our legal team and our case on the Video FAQ page.
Our attorneys are currently investigating many claims from patients from around the country who, like you, suffered severe eye injuries because they were not properly informed. We believe that doctors should know about the manufacturer’s behavior and patients should be able to give informed consent. Pharmaceutical companies that place profits over people should be held accountable for their actions.
Call us today at (800) 763-6155 or take the case evaluation quiz to begin your initial consultation with our dedicated legal team.