Have your eyes been watering uncontrollably after taking Taxotere? Were you diagnosed with Canalicular Stenosis that caused additional symptoms? If so, contact an experienced Taxotere attorney at Hotze Runkle PLLC so we can review your case and determine if you’re entitled to compensation from the drug’s manufacturer.
Sanofi-Aventis is a large drug company that manufactures and markets a range of medications. They developed Taxotere to treat various types of cancer, such as cancer of the breast, neck, head, stomach, lung, and prostate. A doctor administers it during chemotherapy to attack and shrink cancerous cells in the body.
Former and current cancer patients, especially those with breast cancer, developed excessive watery eyes. This unusual symptom was something their doctors didn’t discuss as a potential side effect of the chemo drug. Researchers studied Taxotere and found that its secretions travel through the body and interact with tears and other bodily fluids. This results in damage to the canaliculus, small ducts responsible for funneling tears from the tear duct and into the nasal cavity. Chronic inflammation of the canaliculus eventually leads to Canalicular Stenosis.
The Dangerous Side Effects of Taxotere
There are three common regimens while treating cancer with Taxotere. You could receive the treatment orally or intravenously on a weekly schedule, once every other week, or once every three weeks. Many patients noted that epiphora, excessive eye-watering, began while they were still doing chemo. It happens when Taxotere secretions cause inflammation to the canaliculus, creating obstructions that tears can’t bypass.
Epiphora has many other causes. During cold and allergy seasons, you might suffer from watery eyes. However, this symptom will typically go away on its own without much medical intervention. Taxotere, on the other hand, causes multiple symptoms that don’t subside without the help of a qualified doctor.
Without proper medical care by an ophthalmologist, the canaliculus closes, causing Canalicular Stenosis and additional symptoms, such as:
- Eyelid swelling
- Central vision loss
- Chronic eye infections
- Sensitivity to light
- Clouded eye lens
- Blurry vision
Notify your oncologist if you experience any of these symptoms while undergoing chemotherapy with Taxotere or after finishing treatment. Schedule a consultation with an ophthalmologist to determine if they can do anything to reduce the severity of these symptoms and prevent your condition from worsening.
Why Taxotere Causes Canalicular Stenosis
Taxotere can have adverse effects on a person’s health. It doesn’t matter what type of regimen you’re on; there are side effects with any chemotherapy drug. However, Taxotere comes into direct contact with a patient’s tears while traveling through the canaliculus.
Early studies by Sanofi provided results of this potentially hazardous interaction. However, they didn’t include Canalicular Stenosis symptoms on any warning labels. It wasn’t until years later that medical researchers uncovered the truth about this cancer drug and how chronic inflammation and infections can cause obstructions to the canaliculus. These obstructions block tears from draining into the nasal cavity. Naturally, when there’s nowhere for them to go, they become trapped on the surface of the eye, causing the eye to water.
Progression of this medical condition leads to the closure of one or more canaliculi (each eyelid, top and bottom, has its own canaliculus). Even if they don’t close entirely, there isn’t a cure to open them back up and eradicate the associated symptoms. There are two surgical options to manage these symptoms, but they can cause permanent damage, scarring, and other problems.
How You Could Treat Canalicular Stenosis
Canalicular Stenosis isn’t curable. A surgeon could perform a procedure that reduces your symptoms, but it’s invasive and comes with a long list of risks. Dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR) involves cutting into the area between the nose and eye and fusing adjacent structures beneath the skin. This creates a place where tears can bypass the damaged canaliculus and travel to the nasal cavity. It could alleviate epiphora and prevent other symptoms from recurring.
Many people don’t qualify for DCR. Sometimes, the irreversible damage to the canaliculus causes damage to nearby structures. When that happens, the doctor can’t use these structures to create a passageway. Conjunctivodacryocystorhinostomy (CDCR) might be a better option under these circumstances. Instead of fusing structures, the surgeon inserts a tiny glass tube called a Jones tube over the obstructed canaliculus, so tears don’t build up on the surface of the eye.
Although some patients have had success with these surgeries, they’re not for everyone. They can also cause permanent and debilitating symptoms, such as:
- Bleeding during and after the procedure
- Eye infections
- Facial scarring
- Damage to nerves, tissue, and other structures
- Migrating Jones tube
When you initially see an ophthalmologist, they will evaluate your health and discuss the available options for managing your Canalicular Stenosis symptoms. Some people are better off avoiding any surgery and using over the counter or prescription medications for their watery eyes. However, other people have no choice but to go under the knife to find relief.
Compensation Available In a Taxotere Lawsuit
The goal of any civil lawsuit is to hold the defendant accountable for their actions and recover the maximum available financial compensation. This compensation should cover the various losses you suffered from Taxotere chemo, such as:
- Past and future medical costs
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Loss of companionship
- Out of pocket expenses
- Lost wages and future earnings
- Pain and suffering
- Travel expenses associated with necessary medical care
Sanofi-Aventis should be the ones to pay for your total losses. You should not have to suffer the financial burden of medical treatment, lost wages, and other costs when their negligence led to your symptoms. You can depend on Hotze Runkle PLLC to advocate for your rights and seek the justice you deserve.
Take Our Quiz To Determine If You Qualify For Compensation
Hotze Runkle PLLC had faced pharmaceutical companies like Sanofi before and fought to secure the compensation our clients need to find closure and move forward with their lives. We will take your case on contingency, so you don’t have to worry about the additional cost of hiring an attorney to represent you. There are no legal fees unless we win.
To find out more about our legal services and how we can help you hold Sanofi liable, take our Taxotere quiz today.