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Holding the Makers of Taxotere Responsible

South Dakota Taxotere Watery Eyes Lawsuit

If you have cancer, your primary concerns are for your own health and the well-being of your family. You expect that your doctor and the medications they prescribe are trustworthy, and that while your medication regime might not be pleasant, it will beat back your cancer and save your life. Unfortunately, some medications are faulty or have dangerous side effects.

Taxotere, also known as docetaxel, has an uncommonly known side effect that can damage a patient’s eyes. Hotze Runkle is leading a lawsuit against Sanofi-Aventis, the manufacturer of this drug, for not properly disclosing a very dangerous side effect of Taxotere, which causes an eye disorder called canalicular stenosis. Take our quick and easy quiz right away to find out if you should join the lawsuit: Taxotere Quiz.

Doctors are very clear about this point: timely diagnosis of canalicular stenosis can make a huge difference, and may prevent costly surgery. If you’ve been taking Taxotere for chemotherapy treatment and you experience excessive tearing, you should see an ophthalmologist immediately.

Why You Need a Lawyer

Pharmaceutical manufacturers have an obligation to disclose all known side effects of their medications to doctors and patients. When they don’t, they need to be held accountable for the safety of the patients taking the drug. If you’ve been taking Taxotere for your cancer treatment and have experienced watery eyes and excessive tearing, you may be facing very expensive corrective surgery on top of your already-expensive cancer treatments.

An experienced lawyer can help you file your lawsuit, meet all filing deadlines, and organize your medical records and paperwork. They can arrange for expert witnesses to testify in court related to your injuries from using this drug. They will fight for your rights against Sanofi-Aventis, the pharmaceutical company that manufactures Taxotere.

South Dakota has a statute of limitations of three years for product liability lawsuits. While you should speak with your doctor immediately about any symptoms you are experiencing, it is also important to hire a lawyer as soon as possible to begin work on your case.

Why You Should Hire Hotze Runkle

The experienced defective drug lawyers at Hotze Runkle understand South Dakota pharmaceutical law and can hold the manufacturer of this drug accountable for the harm it has caused. As our client, your success is important to us. Hotze Runkle has helped many other cancer patients in situations just like yours, and we can make this painful experience less stressful for you, too.

Our firm knows medical liability law, we understand every aspect of this case, and we know the legal maneuvers a big pharmaceutical company like Sanofi-Aventis will make in order to avoid taking responsibility for the harm they have caused. In addition to our top-notch legal team, we have assembled a team of experienced investigators, expert witnesses, and medical researchers that will allow us to make the strongest case for your compensation. We will represent you relentlessly throughout the course of this lawsuit. You shouldn’t have to choose between fighting your cancer and access to safe, effective medication. Take the quiz today to see if you qualify.

Taxotere and Its Dangers

If you are being treated for breast cancer, you may have been prescribed Taxotere. Taxotere is a chemotherapy drug, and it interferes with the growth of cancer cells in the body. It is commonly prescribed for breast cancer, but is also taken for other types of cancer such as prostate cancer, lung cancer, and cancers of the neck, stomach, and head.

Taxotere has a number of potential side effects, including vomiting, diarrhea, and alopecia, or hair loss. One side effect, less commonly known, causes a disorder known as canalicular stenosis. This is a narrowing of the tear ducts, and leads to epiphora, or excessive tearing, and dry eyes. This disorder is irreversible if not caught early enough. The only method of treatment is invasive, expensive eye surgery that requires lifelong maintenance.

More About Canalicular Stenosis

Over the course of the day, your tear ducts produce tears to lubricate your eyes, washing away dirt and debris. Tears move through the canaliculus, a small passageway near your eye, into your tear duct. Stenosis is a closing of this passageway, which forces tears out onto your face. Ophthalmological studies show that “canalicular stenosis associated with docetaxel [Taxotere] is most likely caused by the secretion of docetaxel in the tear film and resultant chronic inflammation of the canaliculi caused by direct contact with the drug as the tears travel through these structures.”

In other words, the presence of the medication in the tear fluid inflames the passageways and causes them to close. This can cause permanent damage to the apparatus around the tear ducts. If caught early enough, however, doctors can place stents in the passageways to keep them open, averting further harm.

The studies are clear: if you have completed your Taxotere regimen and still suffer from tearing, you likely have some form of canalicular obstruction. You need to see a doctor as soon as possible to prevent further damage. It doesn’t matter whether you took the drug weekly or your regimen was every two weeks or every three weeks. If you were taking Taxotere and experienced watery eyes, you may have developed canalicular stenosis.

Surgery to Correct Canalicular Stenosis

The damage caused by Taxotere can permanently harm a patient’s eyesight, affecting their ability to read, to drive, and to enjoy life. A mild case may only require monitoring to ensure the condition doesn’t worsen. Serious cases may require surgery, however. The surgery to correct the damage caused to the passageways by Taxotere is known as dacryocystorhinostomy, or DCR.

In DCR, the surgeon makes a small incision in the skin under the eye and next to the nose. They then make a small opening in the bone underneath, connecting the lacrimal sac to the nasal cavity. This creates a new channel to the inside of the nose from the tear sac, letting the tears completely bypass the blocked duct. They may insert a small tube to help keep the tear duct open. The surgery comes with its own potential risks, however, including infection, a misplaced stent, facial scarring, or damage to the optic nerve.

About Sanofi-Aventis

French pharmaceutical corporation Sanofi-Aventis is the manufacturer of Taxotere. Sanofi, founded in 1973 and headquartered in Paris, France, merged with Aventis in 2004, and is usually referred to as Sanofi-Aventis. Sanofi-Aventis has been marketing Taxotere since 1998. Despite a number of medical reports over the next decade linking Taxotere to risks of canalicular stenosis, the company did not release a full description of warnings related to the drug until 2014.

Consequently, doctors felt safe to prescribe the drug to their cancer patients, ignorant of the potential risks to the patients’ ocular health. There are currently 8,000 lawsuits pending related to Taxotere and its side effects.

What Are the Other Known Side Effects of Taxotere?

Aside from canalicular stenosis, other known side effects include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Joint pain
  • Constipation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lack of energy
  • Missed menstrual periods
  • Temporary hair loss
  • Rash or reactions at the site of injection
  • Changes to fingernails or toenails
  • Changes in the sense of taste
  • Sores on the mouth or lips
  • Shortness of breath
  • Numbness in fingers or toes (peripheral neuropathy)

There may be other side effects, however, most people do not experience all of the side effects listed. Most side effects go away when treatment is complete, but it is important to note that the damage due to canalicular stenosis persists after stopping use of the drug.

Eye-Related Side Effects

In addition to watery eyes, many people with canalicular stenosis also experience:

  • Vision loss in certain areas (Cystoid macular edema)
  • Swelling of the eyelids
  • Dry eyes
  • Headaches
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Eye infections
  • Blurred/dulled vision
  • Lens clouding

The fact that the canalicular stenosis can be prevented with early detection is especially difficult for Taxotere patients to bear, when they are looking at a permanent eye condition and possible surgery.

What Could I Receive Compensation for in a Taxotere Lawsuit?

Compensation for side effects from taking Taxotere may help with:

  • Medical and surgical bills from Canalicular Stenosis
  • Long-term care resulting from side effects of taking Taxotere
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages during recovery
  • Loss of household income

Your attorney at Hotze Runkle will work closely with you to review all possible avenues for compensation, so that you receive the maximum amount in damages to help with your medical condition, losses, and your pain and suffering.

If Your Eyes Are Watering After Taking Taxotere, Take This Quiz

If you have taken Taxotere, whether weekly, every two weeks, or every three weeks, for breast cancer or another type of cancer and have noticed watery-eyes, you may be experiencing epiphora from canalicular stenosis. This is a serious medical condition and requires expensive surgery to treat. You may be entitled to compensation.

You have enough to worry about in managing your illness and your treatment without dealing with all of the stress and demands that go along with a lawsuit. Let the experienced pharmaceutical attorneys at Hotze Runkle fight for your rights and help make your recovery as pain-free as possible. Find out if you should take part in this lawsuit by taking our Taxotere quiz today.