Were you prescribed Taxotere for your chemotherapy treatment? Did you experience severe side effects like canalicular stenosis, epiphora, or other eye problems as a result? If so, the Virginia Taxotere eye injury lawyers of Hotze Runkle PLLC want to hear from you. We’re actively pursuing litigation against the drugmaker, Sanofi-Aventis on behalf of others who’ve suffered similar injuries. Don’t wait until it is too late to claim your compensation. Take our online quiz to find out if you qualify.
Medical researchers discovered that Taxotere causes an adverse reaction in cancer patients and survivors. The symptoms typically begin during the chemo regimen and subsequently progress when the treatment ends. After the publication of the research, people throughout the country started filing lawsuits against the pharmaceutical company, Sanofi-Aventis.
During early trials, the manufacturer marketed its drug as a groundbreaking treatment for those who have cancer of the lung, stomach, prostate, head, neck, and breast. They claimed that the results of their experiments showed an increased survival rate higher than that of another popular chemo drug, Taxol. Despite the discovery of serious side effects associated with the drug, Sanofi-Aventis distributed it anyway. It wasn’t until years later that they finally disclosed important information about the side effects.
Common Symptoms After Taking Taxotere
During chemo treatment, many breast cancer patients experience a strange symptom known as epiphora. Epiphora is excessive eye-watering typically caused by problems with the tear film on the surface of the eye. When functioning correctly, tears spread across the eye and drain into holes at the corners into the nasal cavity. The presence of certain medical conditions causes tears to build up along the surface of the eye, and get released during blinking, instead of draining as usual.
If epiphora develops into the diagnosis of canalicular stenosis, individuals experience various symptoms ranging from mild to severe. The most common symptoms after undergoing Taxotere chemo include the following:
- Blurry or cloudy vision
- Eye infections and irritations
- Light sensitivity
- Excessive tears
- Watery eyes
- Eyelid swelling
- Dry eyes
For many patients, the symptoms have continued to persist long after the treatment has ended.
Why Does Taxotere Cause Watery Eyes?
Studies show the reaction between Taxotere and tears as they travel through vital eye structures. A physician administers the drug intravenously on a weekly or every three-week basis. Secretions from Taxotere come in direct contact with bodily fluids as it travels through the bloodstream.
When Taxotere reacts with a person’s tears, it causes inflammation in a vital structure of the eye called the canaliculus. The canaliculus funnels tears from the tear duct and into the nasal cavity. Chronic inflammation leads to a blockage that prevents the proper drainage of tears. When that happens, the tears have nowhere to go except out of the eyes.
Eye-watering may seem like a minor inconvenience, but it negatively affects a person’s daily life. It makes simple tasks like driving, reading, and working extremely difficult.
If a doctor doesn’t treat chronic inflammation of the canaliculus, it could develop into an irreversible ocular condition. Canalicular Stenosis occurs when an eye infection causes the blockage of one or both canaliculi. In the beginning stages, it’s possible to manage symptoms with medical intervention. However, as it progresses, the blockage grows and leads to partial or total closure of the canaliculus.
What Are My Treatment Options for Canalicular Stenosis?
Unfortunately, canalicular stenosis is a permanent condition with no known cure. In its early stages, an ophthalmologist could monitor a patient’s health and manage watery eyes with the use of eye drops. A topical agent could also alleviate any inflammation and help prevent further obstructions in the canaliculus.
If obstructions lead to the canaliculus closing, the only option is an invasive and expensive surgery. Dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR) is a procedure that creates a new passageway for tears to travel through into the nasal cavity. The placement of a stent or reconstruction of adjacent structures in the eye and nose redirects tears around the damaged canaliculus. The surgery itself isn’t painful but comes with many risks. The most common side effects include:
- Hemorrhaging during and after the procedure
- Permanent facial scars
- Tissue damage
- Eye infections
- The body’s rejection of the stent
- Stent migration within the ocular cavity
- Unsuccessful surgery
In patients suffering from advanced obstructions of one or both canaliculi, DCR is no longer an option. CDCR, conjunctivodacryocystorhinostomy, is similar to DCR in creating a new tunnel for tears. With limited ability for reconstruction, a glass tube called a Jones tube gets inserted where the canaliculus was to initiate tear drainage.
Can I Continue Chemo After a Diagnosis of Canalicular Stenosis?
The short answer: yes. As soon as any symptoms occur, you must notify your oncologist immediately and consult with an ophthalmologist. You could continue with chemotherapy while undergoing treatment for canalicular stenosis. In certain situations, your doctor could place a stent as a temporary solution to keep your tears from running down your face. The stent would then get removed around four to six weeks after your chemo ends.
Anyone experiencing strange reactions might fear the continuation of taking Taxotere or any other drug for that matter. It’s completely safe to undergo treatment for your cancer as long as you’re also managing your canalicular stenosis. Attending regularly scheduled appointments with an opthalmologist allows him or her to monitor your health and keep symptoms from worsening.
Is My Doctor Responsible for My Diagnosis?
Most doctors were unaware of the link between Taxotere and canalicular stenosis. It’s unlikely that your doctor administered the drug knowing of its potential side effects. If you’re considering filing a lawsuit, the drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis is likely the party that should be held accountable. They failed to warn both doctors and patients of these severe side effects and didn’t give either party a chance to make an informed decision on whether they should continue with the treatment.
Hotze Runkle PLLC is currently handling thousands of lawsuits against Sanofi for their participation in distributing a defective product. All pharmaceutical companies hold a responsibility to ensure safe manufacturing and honest marketing efforts. Sanofi’s negligence in knowingly selling a harmful chemo drug is an outrageous injustice.
In product liability cases, the discovery of any negligence on the part of a company constitutes a person’s right to pursue legal action. In the state of Virginia, the statute of limitations is two years. That means you have two years from the date of your injury to file a lawsuit against Sanofi. In any lawsuit, you could receive financial compensation for the damages you suffered.
Damages: What are they and How Do They Determine the Amount of Compensation I Could Receive?
Damages are losses suffered as a result of someone else’s negligence. The three categories of damages are:
- Economic: Actual expenses, such as bills for medical treatment and travel reimbursement.
- Noneconomic: Intangible losses, such as emotional trauma, that are more difficult to prove.
- Punitive: Directly punishes the party responsible for your injury. It also sets a precedent in future lawsuits and aims to prevent continued acts of negligence.
Under Virginia law, you could claim the following damages in your product liability lawsuit:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Disfigurement or deformity
- Past and future loss of income
- Loss of affection or companionship
- Temporary or permanent disability
The amount of your financial award is dependent on multiple factors. Generally, the more damages you incurred, the higher your compensation. The details of your case most important in determining how much money you deserve include:
- The severity of your injury
- Duration of necessary treatment
- Invasiveness of medical procedures
- Amount of time away from work
- Effect of the injury on your lifestyle
- Future expenses required to treat your inquiry
Hire a Virginia Taxotere Lawsuit Lawyer
The experienced attorneys at Hotze Runkle PLLC will be ready to help you hold Sanofi-Aventis accountable if you developed serious eye conditions due to the use of Taxotere. Beating cancer then discovering the drug you took caused avoidable side effects can be devastating. We’re here to help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
When you hire us, we will handle every aspect of your case from beginning to end. We’ll provide you with the legal advice and emotional support you need. Our emphasis on customer service is what sets us apart from other firms. You’re not just another number to us. We treat every client like a priority and provide one on one attention. You can depend on us to come up with an individualized plan that fulfills your goals.
We offer free consultations so you can speak with us about your case risk-free. Hotze Runkle PLLC successfully represents clients in Virginia and around the country. If you or your loved one experienced serious side effects after taking Taxotere, take the Case Evaluation Quiz to determine if you qualify for compensation. We’ll help you get back on your feet and move forward with your life.