Arlington Canalicular Stenosis-Taxotere Lawsuit Attorneys
When you are in the middle of battling cancer and following through with a course of chemotherapy, watery eyes may seem like a small complaint in comparison to what you are going through. However, uncontrollable watery eyes may be a sign that something else is wrong, something you may not know anything about because a drug manufacturer kept the information from you and your doctor.
Patients being treated with the drug Taxotere may risk developing an undisclosed side effect known as canalicular stenosis. Canalicular stenosis is a serious eye condition that can result in watery eyes, blurred vision, and other complications. Independent medical studies have linked the use of Taxotere in cancer patients to the development of this eye disorder.
If you’ve been given a course of Taxotere and now suffer from watery eyes or have been diagnosed with canalicular stenosis, you may have a claim against the negligent pharmaceutical company responsible for making and distributing the drug. To find out more about your rights and if you have a case take this short quiz.
The experienced Arlington Taxotere attorneys with Hotze Runkle want to make sure you are informed about your rights and about what you can do to try to collect valuable compensation.
Taxotere is a drug that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat certain forms of cancer. The drug was approved by the organization in 2004 and is used to prevent the spread of cancer. Taxotere works by inhibiting the growth of cancerous cells, thereby preventing their spread to other areas of the body. This drug is generally used in connection with chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer. However, it has also been used to help prevent the spread of other cancers, such as stomach cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and some forms of head and neck cancer as well.
The only way that Taxotere can be effectively administered is through an IV or intravenous line. A treatment regimen could be weekly or even every two to three weeks. The dosage and frequency depend on the type and stage of cancer being treated as well as the patient’s height and weight and must be prescribed by a physician.
Physicians practicing at Texas Health Arlington Memorial, Texas Oncology campuses, USMD Hospital at Arlington, and other health care facilities in the Arlington area may use Taxotere to treat cancer patients. While it can be an effective tool for preventing the spread of cancer, health care providers were never told about the potentially serious side effects that Taxotere can trigger in certain patients.
Side Effects of Taxotere
Side effects are secondary reactions or undesirable or unintended consequences of taking a drug or medical treatment. The FDA requires manufacturers to disclose all side effects of their drug before final approval can be given for placing the drug on the open market. These side effects are then listed on the drug’s box and package inserts. The information is also made available to the public and health care professionals. This allows caregivers and patients to make informed decisions about their health and weigh all their treatment options.
Taxotere has several known side effects, according to the FDA. Some of the most common include:
- Bleeding gums
- Blood in urine or stool
- Tingling or numbness in limbs
- Irregular heartbeat
- Infusion site reaction
However, one potential side effect missing from this list is canalicular stenosis. Canalicular stenosis is a dangerous eye condition that, if left untreated, can seriously impact an individual’s vision. It is not listed as a side effect of Taxotere because the drug manufacturer never disclosed to the FDA or the public that the side effect was possible, thereby misleading consumers and physicians about the safety of the drug. It took independent medical studies published in journals like the National Center for Biotechnology Information and American Academy of Ophthalmology to link the drug’s use to this serious side effect.
What Is Canalicular Stenosis?
Canalicular stenosis is a serious eye disorder that results in the narrowing or total obstruction of the canaliculi. These channels are part of a vital network of tubes, sacs, and glands that produce and distribute tears to the eyes. Tears are the body’s natural lubricant and keep the eye itself moisturized and free from debris. Every time a person blinks, they are taking tears from the tear duct and evenly distributing them across the entire surface of the eye.
Canalicular stenosis interrupts this important process by restricting proper tear flow. The narrowing or obstruction of the canaliculi can become so significant that tears never make it to the eye and instead begin to flow freely and sometimes uncontrollably down a person’s face.
Canalicular stenosis can result in mild to severe eye complications, including:
- Persistent watery eyes
- Dry eyes
- Eye infections
- Blurred vision
- Cystoid macular edema or a loss of vision
Treatment Options for Canalicular Stenosis
Treatment options for the disorder can vary depending on the severity of the case. If it’s caught early and symptoms are mild, a course of antibiotics and warm compresses may be enough to ease the symptoms. A course of steroids may also be needed to help get more moderate symptoms under control. Patients may need to rely on artificial tears to help keep their eyes moisturized and clear.
For severe cases of the disorder, sometimes surgery is the only viable treatment option. A study in the Journal of American Medical Association-Ophthalmology outlines how some cancer patients receiving weekly Taxotere treatments needed surgical intervention to ease the symptoms of canalicular stenosis.
This surgical procedure, also known as dacryocystorhinostomy or DCR, involves inserting small glass tubes, or Jones tubes, into the area of the eye where the canaliculus is located. These tubes can help bypass the obstruction or narrowing of the channel caused by canalicular stenosis.
Surgery this delicate is not without risk, however. Some of the complications that can arise from this type of surgery may include:
- Eye damage
- Rejection of the tubes
- Sinus problems
Links Between Taxotere and Canalicular Stenosis
Although the drug’s manufacturer never disclosed the link between Taxotere use and canalicular stenosis, independent medical studies did. These studies found that the drug is passed into most of the body’s fluids, such as urine and tears. The presence of Taxotere in tears can cause chronic irritation and inflammation. It is this chronic inflammation that leads to the development of canalicular stenosis.
Studies also showed that those receiving the drug Taxotere weekly were more likely to develop serious cases of canalicular stenosis. However, even those receiving treatments every two to three weeks were still at risk of developing the condition. Multiple studies also revealed that stopping the drug did not reverse the symptoms of the condition.
Do I Have a Case, and What Is Its Value?
It took independent medical studies to link the use of Taxotere to canalicular stenosis. Lawsuits have been filed claiming that the manufacturer of Taxotere knew that canalicular stenosis was a potential side effect of the medication. The company never disclosed this information. As a result, vulnerable cancer patients and their physicians were misled about the risks of the drug. When a pharmaceutical company puts profits over patients, that kind of negligence should not go unpunished.
Cancer patients who have been given the drug Taxotere and now suffer from canalicular stenosis or uncontrollable watering of the eyes may be able to recover compensation from the drug company. A claim may entitle you to economic and non-economic damages to cover your medical expenses and pain and suffering. Ultimately, victims may be able to recover compensation for the following:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of income
- Loss of earning capacity
- Out-of-pocket costs
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
The total value of your claim can depend on a variety of factors, including the severity of your condition, the treatment options open to you, and how the condition impacts your overall quality of life.
If you are interested in learning more about if you have a case against the pharmaceutical company or what the value of your claim might be, the experienced Taxotere team at Hotze Runkle can help.
Contact an Experienced Arlington Taxotere Lawsuit Attorney from Hotze Runkle
Lawsuits already working their way through the court system claim that the maker of Taxotere knew canalicular stenosis was a potential side effect. The company continues to make denials and engages in misleading tactics. You and your doctor should be able to make informed decisions about your medical care. That right was taken away from you when the drug company failed to disclose the information it had about Taxotere and canalicular stenosis.
Negligence should never be rewarded with profit. If you have been given a course of Taxotere and now suffer watery eyes or have been diagnosed with canalicular stenosis, you may be able to hold the drug company accountable for their actions. For more information about whether you have a claim against the pharmaceutical company, take this short quiz.
The Arlington attorneys of Hotze Runkle want to help you get all the information you need about how our dedicated team can help you during this difficult and frustrating time.