Cancer and chemotherapy take a toll on the body, but once your treatment ends, you can focus on regaining your strength and health. What you may not realize is the chemotherapy drug that was supposed to make you healthy may have actually caused irreversible damage to your eyes.
The condition is called canalicular stenosis, and it is a previously undisclosed side effect of the chemotherapy drug Taxotere. Have you begun to notice tears streaming down your face for no reason? You may have developed the condition of canalicular stenosis as a result of your treatment with Taxotere.
One of the first questions that victims ask is, how did this happen to me? My doctor went over all the side effects with me before treatment, and I don’t remember hearing about canalicular stenosis? That could be because your doctor wasn’t aware of the serious side effect, either. The manufacture of Taxotere has done an excellent job of ignoring the mounting medical evidence that its drug is hurting cancer patients.
Hotze Runkle PLLC wants to make sure that patients who now suffer from canalicular stenosis get the medical and legal help they need to manage their condition and hold the drug manufacture accountable. At Hotze Runkle PLLC, we have the experience and resources available to help Vermont victims get the compensation they deserve. Taxotere may have made you a victim, but you don’t have to stay a victim. Arm yourself with knowledge about this condition. Take our quiz and let us help you fight back.
Taxotere is a medication that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Its primary use is for the treatment of cancer. Taxotere works by interrupting the ability of certain cancer cells to divide. By interrupting their division, the drug can help stop the spread of cancer through the rest of the body.
Taxotere is not used to treat every type of cancer. It is mainly used to treat breast cancer as well as lung cancer, prostate cancer, stomach cancer, and head and neck cancer. The dosage and frequency of use depend, to a large extent, on the type and stage of cancer. Other factors, such as weight and height, come into play, as well. Taxotere can be administered as often as once a week in some patients. As a chemotherapy drug, it is given to the patient through an IV line.
We all recognize that drugs have effects on the body that aren’t always intended. These are known as side effects. The FDA regulates that manufacturers of drugs must divulge those side effects. Taxotere, as with many other drugs, has an entire range of possible side effects that a patient may experience while being given the drug. The manufacture lists a few of those such as:
While there are a host of other side effects acknowledged by the manufacture, medical studies have uncovered that there is another side effect to taking the drug, one that was not disclosed until recently. The side effect is a condition called canalicular stenosis. It is a serious eye problem that begins with watery and runny eyes and can become permanent and irreversible.
Canalicular stenosis is a medical condition that impacts the eyes and the network of tear duct channels that lead to the eyes. One of the most important parts of maintaining eye health is tears. Our eyes are in constant need of moisture to stay clean and free from debris. Tears also help keep our eyes fresh and able to focus.
When we blink, tears are moved from the tear ducts and spread across the surface of the eye. Tears make their way to the eye via a channel known as the canaliculus and down into your nasolacrimal duct.
Canalicular stenosis impacts this process by closing off or obstructing this important channel. If the tears are not able to move through this system, they end up running down the face having nowhere else to go.
Watery or runny eyes on the surface may sound more like an inconvenience than a major medical problem. However, depending on the severity of the case, there may be an ever-present and sometimes constant flow of tears. Unfortunately, canalicular stenosis can be permanent, even when your course of Taxotere has been completed.
Several medical studies have found that when the drug Taxotere is administered, it finds its way into a patient’s bodily fluids. That means it gets into your tears. One study published in the American Academy of Ophthalmology finds that Taxotere in human tears can lead to chronic inflammation and irritation in the canaliculi. This persistent and unending inflammation is the main cause of canalicular stenosis.
Similar studies published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information first found evidence that linked canalicular stenosis to the frequency with which patients were receiving their Taxotere cancer treatment. While it found that the condition has been more prevalent in patients that received weekly treatments of the drug, patients who received any treatment with the drug Taxotere are at risk for developing canalicular stenosis.
Unfortunately, not only did these studies reveal that this side effect was not disclosed by the manufacturer, they also found that canalicular stenosis will not resolve itself once a patient stops taking the drug. Once you develop the condition, there will be a permanent impact on your eyes and vision.
If you or a loved one notices signs of watery or runny eyes following the use of Taxotere, speak to your doctor immediately. The sooner that the condition is caught and managed, the better your prognosis. There are treatment options for those who discover that they have this condition.
Treatment options will vary depending on the severity of the case of canalicular stenosis that you are diagnosed with. For mild cases, a doctor may be able to ease symptoms with a course of antibiotics and a series of warm compresses applied to the eyes. In some situations, prescription steroids may also help to ease the inflammation. However, for more severe cases of the disorder, there is only one course of treatment that can help ease symptoms, expensive and invasive surgery.
The surgical method for treating canalicular stenosis involves creating incisions and placing small glass tubes into the canaliculus themselves. These tubes are supposed to allow for the normal flow of tears, bypassing the blockage. The Journal of American Medical Association Ophthalmology highlights how the delicate procedure takes place.
As with any surgery, there are costs involved, both monetary and non-monetary. There is always the risk that the body itself will attack the glass tubes, viewing them as a foreign object that must be rejected. There are also risks associated with scarring, bleeding, and vision complications.
The secondary risk is to your pocketbook. You will have to shell out money for an expensive surgery that you had no idea you might need.
You are dealing with cancer, chemotherapy, and now a canalicular stenosis diagnosis. You have a lot on your plate, and it can feel overwhelming. Medical bills may be piling up as you are trying to work through the emotional and physical toll this has taken on your body. The last thing you are probably thinking of is calling a lawyer. That is exactly what the drug manufacture wants, to keep you vulnerable.
Sanofi-Aventis is a giant multi-billion-dollar drug company responsible for the development, manufacturing, and marketing of the drug Taxotere. They have a financial stake in making sure that their drug continues to stay in the market.
Despite the fact that Sanofi-Aventis began marketing Taxotere in 1998, it didn’t release a full description of warnings and side effects related to the drug until 2014. If doctors and patients knew about the risk of canalicular stenosis sooner, they may have opted for a different treatment altogether. Or, at the very least, they would have been able to monitor symptoms to prevent canalicular stenosis from occurring.
What’s more shocking is that this is not the first time Sanofi-Aventis has had to face lawsuits concerning its drug Taxotere. Currently, lawsuits are working their way through the system from victims claiming that Taxotere caused another undisclosed side effect, permanent hair loss.
Hotze Runkle PLLC wants to help victims of canalicular stenosis get the compensation they deserve and hold Sanofi-Aventis responsible for their negligent actions.
Hotze Runkle PLLC has a team of seasoned and experienced attorneys with the resources it takes to hold this large pharmaceutical company responsible for the financial and emotional damage they have caused their victims.
We understand that you may be uncomfortable with the idea of taking legal action against a giant company, but we aren’t. Hotze Runkle PLLC is ready to offer you compassionate guidance and aggressive representation. If you or a loved one is suffering from canalicular stenosis and think you may be ready to take the next step, take this short quiz. It offers more information on Taxotere and your potential case.