Thyroid eye disease, or Graves’ disease, is a rare condition that affects only around 19 in 10,000 people per year. While it is rare, it can seriously affect a person’s quality of life.
That’s why so many people with thyroid eye disease have turned to Tepezza, the only medication for the disease. Unfortunately, Tepezza’s manufacturer has misled consumers and has caused many of them to suffer from irreversible damage, including hearing loss.
If you have suffered from permanent damage due to Tepezza side effects, contact the Houston Tepezza lawyers at Reich & Binstock. You may be able to file a claim for compensation against the drug’s manufacturer and receive compensation for your losses. Call us at (713) 622-7271 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney on our team.
What Is Tepezza?
Tepezza (teprotumumab-trbw) is a prescription medication administered through an intravenous infusion. Those prescribed Tepezza receive intravenous infusions of the medication once every three weeks for a total of 8 transfusions. It comes in two dosage forms: a 10 mg/kg dose for the first infusion, and 20 mg/kg doses for the second through eighth infusions.
What Is Tepezza Used to Treat?
Tepezza was designed by drug manufacturing company Horizon Therapeutics to treat thyroid eye disease. It is currently the only medication approved by the FDA for treating this condition.
Thyroid Eye Disease
Thyroid eye disease (TED) is an autoimmune disorder that affects the eyes or, more specifically, the muscles and fat behind the eyes. This condition causes those tissues to become inflamed, which then causes pain, redness, and bulging, making it hard to see.
It’s believed that TED is caused by the protein IGF-1R, so Tepezza works to inhibit that protein, reducing inflammation and pain. While this can be great for those struggling with thyroid eye disease, there are several serious side effects, some of which were not properly advertised by the manufacturer.
If you or a loved one has suffered from injuries due to Tepezza, you need an experienced drug injury lawyer who can help you hold the drug’s manufacturer accountable for their actions. Call the skilled attorneys at Reich & Binstock today at (713) 622-7271 to discuss your potential Tepezza case at no cost to you.
What Are the Possible Side Effects of Tepezza?
People being treated with Tepezza may experience several different adverse effects.
Below are some of the known side effects of Tepezza.
Musculoskeletal Side Effects
According to clinical studies by the manufacturer, about 25% of patients treated with Tepezza experienced muscle spasms due to the medication. Some also experienced muscle cramps while taking Tepezza.
Metabolic Side Effects
Since Tepezza is used to suppress a hormone in the body, it can have some metabolic side effects, like causing high blood sugar. Horizon Therapeutics only found that 10% of patients in their clinical trial experienced higher-than-normal blood glucose levels, but outside studies have found that percentage to be deceivingly low. Tepezza has been found to seriously increase a person’s risk of hyperglycemia, especially if they have any form of diabetes.
Nervous System Side Effects
Tepezza can affect the nervous system in a few different ways. One of the most common nervous system side effects that Tepezza users have reported is hearing impairment or other related hearing problems. This is among the most common and most serious side effects of Tepezza.
The medication can also cause additional nervous system problems. One case study reports that one patient suffered from severe and rapid cognitive decline after taking four of the eight total doses of Tepezza.
Additionally, the manufacturer warns that patients treated with Tepezza may experience a change in taste perception or suffer from headaches due to the medication.
Gastrointestinal Side Effects
Some patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) who were treated with Tepezza reported that the medication made their IBD symptoms worse. Some of these symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pain, and weight loss.
Dermatologic Side Effects
Tepezza can also cause certain dermatologic side effects. Some of the most common ones that they report include hair loss and dry skin. Some patients experience symptoms of a nail disorder, such as nail discoloration or broken, brittle nails.
Menstrual Side Effects
Certain side effects of Tepezza only had an effect on menstruating patients. Menstruating women treated with Tepezza experienced menstrual disorders, missed their periods, and experienced spotting or painful cramps.
What Are the Most Common Side Effects of Tepezza?
According to the manufacturer, the most common adverse reactions related to Tepezza include:
- Muscle spasms
- High blood sugar
- Hearing problems
- Menstrual disorders
- Change in perception of taste
What Are the Less Common Side Effects of Tepezza?
While receiving Tepezza during clinical trials, some patients also reported that they experienced side effects such as:
- Muscle pain
- Dry skin
- Weight loss
- Changes in nail appearance
What Are the Serious Side Effects of Tepezza?
There are several serious adverse reactions a person can suffer from as a result of taking Tepezza. Unfortunately, some of these serious side effects were not properly advertised before the drug was administered to TED patients.
Hearing impairment from Tepezza can be lifelong, and things like hyperglycemia and serious infusion reactions can be life-threatening. That’s why it’s so important that drug manufacturers warn users of any serious side effects. Below are some of the more serious adverse events that have been linked to Tepezza.
One of the most prevalent and devastating Tepezza side effects is hearing loss. Patients treated for TED using Tepezza have reported experiencing hearing problems, including hearing impairment and hearing loss. Some Tepezza patients even developed eustachian tube dysfunction, a form of hearing disorder that causes the channel between the middle ear and the back of the nose and throat to close up.
While hearing impairment was listed as a potential side effect of Tepezza, some Tepezza patients have suffered from irreversible hearing loss, which was not listed as a potential side effect of Tepezza until recently. Additionally, the manufacturer found that hearing problems only occurred in about 10% of study participants, meanwhile, independent labs found it occurred in more than 50% of patients.
Is Hearing Loss from Tepezza Permanent?
Sometimes, but it depends on the circumstances. If the patient regularly monitors themselves for signs and symptoms of hearing loss, they may be able to stop treatment before the medication causes permanent hearing loss.
Patients with hearing impairment may also experience tinnitus, a condition marked by a constant or on-and-off ringing in the ear or ears. If you are taking Tepezza and begin experiencing tinnitus, you may be suffering from hearing-related problems due to the medication. You should speak to your doctor about discontinuing treatment or finding another treatment option.
Another serious side effect of Tepezza is hyperglycemia. It is a serious condition where someone has an elevated blood sugar that’s far above the normal level. Hyperglycemia, also known as high blood sugar, should be treated as soon as possible to prevent any additional adverse effects.
Just like with Tepezza’s hearing impairment side effects, the manufacturer listed high blood sugar as a potential common side effect, but it reported that it only occurred in 10% of study participants. Outside studies have found that it occurs in more than 50% of patients taking Tepezza.
Infusion reactions are an allergic reaction to a medication after receiving an infusion. Some people can experience infusion reactions within 24 hours of a Tepezza infusion. Symptoms of a severe infusion reaction can include:
- Trouble breathing
- Increases in blood pressure
- Muscular pain
- Feeling hot
If you begin having one or more of these infusion-related reactions, you should seek immediate medical attention.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease Flare-Ups
Another serious side effect of Tepezza is that it can make IBD symptoms worse. If you already have inflammatory bowel disease, you may experience worsening IBD symptoms as a result of taking Tepezza.
Tepezza Risk Factors
Before taking Tepezza, patients need to understand the side effects of the medication, but they also need to be properly assessed by a physician before they can begin treatment. There are a number of risk factors that can make Tepezza more dangerous for certain individuals.
For example, if you are taking any prescription drugs or dietary and herbal supplements during the duration of your treatment with Tepezza, you should disclose the names and dosages to your doctor. They can assess your medications/supplements for potential drug interactions.
Additionally, if you have high blood sugar, tell your doctor before beginning treatment. Tepezza is linked with increased blood sugar, which could cause you to become hyperglycemic.
Tepezza may cause harm to an unborn baby, so it’s important to use an effective form of birth control until at least 6 months after your final dose. Doctors and manufacturers aren’t certain of whether or not Tepezza passes through breast milk. So, you may want to pause or stop Tepezza treatment completely until you are done breastfeeding your child.
When to Call Your Doctor About Tepezza Side Effects
If you begin experiencing any adverse reactions occurring as a result of Tepezza, you should tell your doctor about your symptoms. You may not experience the side effects at first, but as your body adjusts to the medication, you may begin experiencing more severe side effects throughout the duration of your treatment.
If you begin losing your ability to hear, feel as if your ears are plugged when there’s nothing in them, or if you start experiencing a ringing in your ears while taking Tepezza, tell your doctor right away. Additionally, if you experience extremely high blood sugar or blood pressure, seek medical attention as soon as you can.
Reporting your side effects to your healthcare provider can help you receive proper care. It can also be helpful if you ever file suit against the manufacturer.
Why Are People Suing the Tepezza Manufacturer?
Many people who have taken Tepezza have filed suit against Horizon, the manufacturer. They have done so because of their lack of transparency in regards to their medication’s hearing loss and blood sugar-related side effects.
When it comes to drug manufacturing, clinical trials like placebo-controlled clinical studies are designed to help manufacturers discover side effects. This way, they can warn users of these adverse effects before patients consent to taking the medication. Horizon’s clinical trials did not report high instances of hearing impairment or hyperglycemia. However, independent labs have found that taking Tepezza significantly increased a person’s risk of experiencing hearing issues and high blood glucose levels.
When manufacturers fail to complete thorough tests, fail to perform their clinical trials correctly, or purposefully omit a serious side effect from the list of potential side effects, they rob patients of the ability to make an informed decision about their health and well-being.
When product or drug manufacturers mislead consumers, whether by accident or on purpose, they can be found liable for damages in a product liability lawsuit. People are suing Tepezza’s manufacturer to recover compensation for their losses, some of which are lifelong and irreversible.
Contact a Tepezza Lawsuit Attorney at Reich & Binstock
If you or a loved one has suffered from serious adverse reactions to Tepezza, you may be able to file suit against the manufacturer and recover compensation for your losses. Big pharmaceutical companies have the money to hire a strong, skilled team of legal professionals, which is why it’s important that victims find a trusted drug injury law firm to help fight on their behalf.
The Houston, TX, drug injury attorneys at Reich & Binstock are prepared to stand up for you and your rights. We can help determine if you’re eligible to file a Tepezza lawsuit and can help you file a claim against the negligent drug manufacturer that caused your injuries. Call us at (713) 622-7271 or contact us via our website to schedule your free initial case evaluation with a member of our experienced team.