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Holding the Makers of Taxotere Responsible

Utah Canalicular Stenosis Taxotere Lawyers

Cancer is one of the most daunting and life-changing illnesses that a person must endure. Although cancer treatments leave you vulnerable, at least you feel sure that the difficult treatments you’re undergoing today are saving your life and making you healthier.

However, if one of your medications actually poses a risk to your health, you and your doctor need to know about it in order to make the best decisions for your care. Taxotere, a chemotherapy drug manufactured by Sanofi-Aventis, has a side effect that can permanently damage a patient’s eyes, as well as cause other dangerous problems. And until recently, most doctors knew nothing about this risk.

If you’ve been taking Taxotere to treat breast cancer or another type of cancer and you suffer from watery eyes, check with your doctor immediately. You may have a condition known as canalicular stenosis, or a closing of the passageways near your eyes. This can lead to permanent damage and expensive surgery.

The Utah attorneys at Hotze Runkle are suing Sanofi-Aventis for unleashing this dangerous drug on the public. You may have a strong case for compensation. Take our Taxotere quiz today to find out if you qualify to join the lawsuit.

What Is Taxotere and Why Is It Dangerous?

Taxotere, also called docetaxel, is a chemotherapy drug that has been on the market since 1998. The manufacturer only released a full report detailing the potential risks of the drug in 2014, however. Before that, many doctors were not aware of these dangers, and Taxotere has been prescribed to thousands of patients to treat their cancer.

It is usually prescribed for breast cancer in a regimen of once every three weeks, but is also taken for prostate cancer, lung cancer, and head, neck, and stomach cancers. It stops cancer cells from dividing, blocking cancer’s growth. It may also be taken on a more frequent basis—weekly or once every two weeks.

No matter what type of cancer a patient has or how often it is taken, Taxotere has been shown to cause damage to the passageways around the eyes that funnel tears out of the tear ducts. This condition, called canalicular stenosis, is easy to spot because it causes epiphora, where excessive tears flow down the face.

If diagnosed and treated early enough, canalicular stenosis is easy to manage. But permanent damage could result if the condition is allowed to go unchecked. In advanced cases, the only treatment is an invasive and expensive ocular surgery.

How Can a Lawyer Help?

If you have canalicular stenosis resulting from a Taxotere cancer regimen, you may be eligible to join the lawsuit against Sanofi-Aventis. You may be facing expensive surgery on top of the cost of your cancer treatments, and a successful claim could help with medical bills and other costs for things like long-term care and lost wages.

A skilled medical liability attorney will be able to collect all the evidence related to your case, including doctors’ diagnoses, medical records, and other paperwork. They can put together a team of experts to testify in court about the damage this drug has caused to your health.

An experienced law firm will know how to fight the big pharmaceutical company and their lawyers, and will keep you apprised of any progress in the case. Utah product liability law can be complex, but our lawyers will be able to navigate all the rules and deadlines to get you the best possible result for your claim.

Why Should I Hire Hotze Runkle?

If you’ve suffered damage to your eyes from Taxotere, you need a team of attorneys who are knowledgeable about pharmaceutical liability law in Utah. The medical liability lawyers at Hotze Runkle know the law and this case, specifically, and have studied every facet of Taxotere and the harm it can do. We are prepared to bring the fight to Sanofi-Aventis so that their negligence can’t harm anyone else.

If you choose Hotze Runkle to represent you, you will have all the resources and research behind you that we’ve used to help many other clients going through the same ordeal as you. Cancer is already a devastating illness to deal with, and health complications from your treatment make it that much worse. But you don’t have to face this alone.

What Exactly Is Canalicular Stenosis?

The lacrimal canaliculus is a channel near your tear duct that helps drain tears from your eye into your nasal cavity. Taxotere can inflame this channel, obstructing the passageway, causing the tears to run down the face.

The inflammation may continue even after the patient ceases taking the drug, and the damage it causes may be permanent if not checked. This disorder marked by the closing of the passageways is called canalicular stenosis.

In cases that are identified early, doctors can place stents in the channels to keep them from closing, but surgery will be required if the damage progresses too far.

What Kind of Surgery Is Needed for Canalicular Stenosis?

In advanced canalicular stenosis cases, ophthalmologists use a surgery known as DCR, which stands for dacryocystorhinostomy. In this procedure, a doctor makes a small incision between the nose and the area underneath the eye. They make a small hole in the bone beneath the skin to create a new passageway for tears to flow in order to bypass the blocked channel. They may also insert a small tube to keep the tear duct from closing.

As with any surgery, DCR is not free of risk. There are the dangers of excess bleeding or infection, as well as the possibility for abnormally fused tissue in the nose, misplacement of a stent, or facial scarring. The procedure is also expensive, potentially costing thousands of dollars, and can require lifelong maintenance.

Who Is Sanofi-Aventis?

Taxotere is manufactured by the French drug company Sanofi-Aventis. The company was founded in 1973 and has its headquarters in Paris, France. It has been producing Taxotere since 1998 as a chemotherapy drug to combat breast cancer and other types of cancer.

Although scientists have found troubling side effects such as alopecia (hair loss) and canalicular stenosis over the course of the last two decades, it wasn’t until 2014 that Sanofi-Aventis fully warned the medical community of the risks associated with its drug.

Taxotere has 8,000 lawsuits filed against it for various medical risks, and Hotze Runkle is suing on behalf of patients suffering from canalicular stenosis. It’s important to note that doctors are not the target of this lawsuit. Sanofi-Aventis is being held accountable for misleading both patients and doctors about the risks of taking Taxotere.

Common Adverse Reactions and Side Effects of Taxotere

In addition to canalicular stenosis, some of the side effects most often associated with the use of this drug include:

  • Neutropenia (low white blood cell count)
  • Alopecia (hair loss)
  • Fluid Retention (edema)
  • Asthenia (lack of energy or abnormal physical weakness)
  • Anorexia
  • Nail disorders
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Infections
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Hypersensitivity
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Irregular menstruation

Most side effects go away when treatment is complete. However, it’s important to know that the symptoms of watery eyes may persist after chemotherapy treatment, and that canalicular stenosis may become permanent if not treaty early on.

Side Effects of Canalicular Stenosis

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

Canalicular stenosis can be painful for many and affect the quality of life of victims who must struggle with severely watery eyes on a daily basis.

How Much Time Do I Have to File a Lawsuit in Utah?

Product liability law in Utah allows for two years from the time you discovered the problem to file a lawsuit, but you should speak with your lawyer as soon as possible, as there are complexities in the law that may affect your case.

On the medical side, if you experience any symptoms of canalicular stenosis, you should speak with your doctor immediately.

Take the Quiz—You May Be Eligible to Take Part in This Lawsuit

Whether you’ve been taking Taxotere weekly, every two weeks, or every three weeks, you should talk to your doctor now about the risks associated with this drug. They may be unaware of the links to canalicular stenosis. Watery eyes are a sure sign of the damage this medication causes. This is a serious medical disorder, and the surgery is expensive and invasive. You may have a solid case for compensation, which could help with your losses, medical bills, and other necessary expenses.

Managing your cancer and all the pain and stress that go along with it is hard enough, without suffering additional damage to your eyes. The top-notch pharmaceutical lawyers at Hotze Runkle are here to support you. We will relentlessly pursue the compensation you deserve so that you can focus on recovering from your cancer. Take our Taxotere quiz right away to see if you qualify.