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Holding the Makers of Taxotere Responsible

San Antonio Taxotere Watery Eyes Attorneys

If you took or are currently taking the chemotherapy drug Taxotere (docetaxel) and now suffer from watery eyes or a more severe ocular condition called canalicular stenosis, you may be eligible to take legal action against the drug manufacturer. Cancer survivors just like you across San Antonio and the country have already taken the first step by a filing lawsuit, and with the guidance and care of Hotze Runkle, you can join them in pursuing financial compensation for your damages.

The San Antonio Taxotere lawyers understand how unexpected side effects can impact every area of your life, especially ones that cause permanent and irreversible ocular damage. Symptoms of canalicular stenosis include severely watery eyes, itchiness, irritation, blurry vision, and more. The condition can rob you of the ability to do routine tasks, such as driving, reading, or putting on makeup.

Canalicular stenosis is preventable if its initial symptoms are effectively treated. However, doctors and patients didn’t know to watch for symptoms of canalicular stenosis because the drug’s manufacturer, Sanofi-Aventis, failed to disclose possible side effects of its drug, Taxotere.

We’re currently investigating cases and listening to victim’s stories. If you received Taxotere as part of your chemotherapy treatment and were unaware of the side effects, we want you to know there is hope. Taking on drug companies with high-powered legal teams is no small feat. It requires courage, experience, and a level of conviction you will only find at Hotze Runkle. We promise to do everything in our power to hold the drug manufacturer responsible and get you the compensation you deserve to cover all medical bills, lost wages, and other costs related to your condition.

It’s time to hold Sanofi-Aventis accountable. Our team of compassionate lawyers is standing by, ready to start working on your case. To see if you are eligible to join the mass tort lawsuit against the drug’s manufacturer, take our quiz today.

What Is Taxotere?

Taxotere is an anti-cancer (antineoplastic or cytotoxic) chemotherapy drug given intravenously to patients every week, two weeks, or three weeks, depending on their treatment regimen. Classified as a plant alkaloid, it is commonly used to battle breast cancer, but it is also used to treat a variety of other cancers such as metastatic prostate cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, advanced stomach cancer, and neck or head cancer. It works by slowing the growth and spread of cancer cells.

The drug is manufactured and marketed by Sanofi-Aventis, a multinational pharmaceutical company, and was approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) in 1996. However, it was found to be connected to excessive tearing and canalicular stenosis in as early as 2000. These side effects were well documented in dozens of medical journals but weren’t fully disclosed to doctors and patients for almost 20 years.

During this time, thousands of patients—no matter how frequently they received the drug—developed eye-watering or canalicular stenosis. If you were given Taxotere by your oncologist as part of your chemotherapy treatment at Methodist Hospital, University Hospital, or any other cancer center in the San Antonio area and are now experiencing eye-watering, you have legal options.

Why Do I Need a Taxotere Lawyer?

Taking on billion-dollar pharmaceutical companies with unlimited access to resources is no small feat. These types of litigation are complex and require skill, experience, and a deep understanding of the legal process. Reaching a successful verdict against drug companies on your own without the guidance and knowledge of an established law firm is all but impossible.

These types of cases are also unique because they fall under the category of mass tort. A mass tort lawsuit is an action brought on by a group of people who all suffered in a similar fashion against a corporate defendant (in this case, Sanofi-Aventis). This is very different compared to a personal injury lawsuit where one plaintiff takes legal action against a single defendant who caused them harm. You need a legal team experienced in mass tort cases.

Another characteristic of mass tort cases is that they permit an attorney or group of attorneys to represent each individual victim. Because of this structure, attorneys can tap into an expansive network of lawyers, as well as shared resources, evidence, and findings to build the strongest possible case for new victims. At Hotze Runkle, we represent victims across San Antonio and the entire country, allowing us to learn from past cases and hone our arguments and tactics to get you the best result possible.

Common Side Effects of Taxotere

Along with permanent hair loss (alopecia), Taxotere has also been linked to the closing of a person’s tear ducts, a visually disabling and bothersome symptom that impacts a person’s ability to see and complete routine tasks. This can cause permanent tearing that can only be resolved with invasive surgery. Along with preventing a person from driving, putting on makeup, or reading, it also gives the misleading appearance of emotional tears. And while symptoms are most common in patients who received Taxotere on a weekly basis, studies show that patients who took any amount on any regimen are at risk.

Excessive tearing or tears that uncontrollably roll down a person’s face, also known as epiphora, is the result of blocked tear ducts. Our eyes contain a system of ducts and sacs that naturally produce tears, keeping our eyes lubricated and free of debris. When tears are unable to flow because of a blocked duct and become stagnant in the tear drainage system, they can well up and overflow, thereby obscuring your vision. If untreated, the tear ducts can permanently close. This is called canalicular stenosis, a permanent condition that may require invasive surgery and lifelong maintenance.

After examining the tears of patients who have developed epiphora or canalicular stenosis after taking Taxotere, medical professionals found that the drug spills over into the patient’s bodily fluids, including their tears. Once there, it moves through the tear ducts and canaliculi, causing chronic inflammation and scarring before eventually causing them to close.

Some of the most common symptoms of canalicular stenosis include the following:

  • Severe pain around the eyes
  • Enlarged blood vessels
  • Eye swelling and redness
  • Blurred vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Loss of vision

If you are undergoing chemotherapy and experiencing any of the above symptoms that get progressively worse, talk to your doctor immediately. Early detection and intervention from an ophthalmologist are critical to preventing long-term damage and the development of canalicular stenosis.

According to medical journals, close monitoring by an ophthalmologist and evaluation of the nasolacrimal ducts through probing and irrigation is the most effective way of preventing irreversible damage to the tear drainage apparatus. Through early intervention, most patients can avoid surgery and even continue using Taxotere as part of their chemotherapy treatment.

Treatment Options

For chemotherapy patients now suffering from excessive tearing, there are various treatment options available. If doctors recognize the side effects quickly, most patients can avoid complete canaliculi closure through ophthalmological intervention. This early intervention is critical in preventing canalicular stenosis and the need for expensive and invasive surgical procedures that require lifelong care. Unfortunately, thousands of cancer patients were unable to get this treatment because Sanofi-Aventis hid these side effects for so long.

Where some level of surgical intervention is needed, treatment options vary on the severity of the obstruction. For patients with minor closure, they can receive temporary bicanalicular silicone stents through a noninvasive procedure. The stints will then be removed four to six weeks after the conclusion of chemotherapy treatment.

In severe cases where one or both canaliculi become permanently obstructed, the only option is surgery where doctors create a new channel for tears to flow and/or implant glass tubes that require daily care and put the patient at risk of the following complications:

  • Migration within the body
  • Extrusion or rejection from the body
  • Tubes become obstructed
  • Severe hemorrhaging during or after surgery
  • Permanent facial scarring
  • Further irritation and infection
  • Damage to surrounding tissue causing partial or complete blindness

How We Can Help

For 20 years, Sanofi-Aventis misled patients, oncologists, and other medical professionals about the potential side effects caused by its chemotherapy drug Taxotere. These negligent actions and utter disregard for the health and safety of cancer patients resulted in unnecessary physical and emotional suffering.

With almost 10,000 pending lawsuits against Sanofi-Aventis, the San Antonio Taxotere lawyers at Hotze Runkle want you to know that you are not alone. We’re ready for you to join us in our fight and promise to handle every step of your case while you focus on your health and recovery. Take our quiz today and see if you’re eligible for financial compensation.