Chemotherapy Drugs and Their Side Effects
Taxotere is a chemotherapy drug used for the treatment of breast cancer, advanced stomach cancer, head/neck cancer, prostate cancer, and lung cancer. The drug is traditionally given in liquid form through an IV. There are several factors that affect dosage including weight and height, general health, other diseases and health issues, as well as the type of cancer that is being treated.
Like any other chemotherapy drug, there are a number of serious side effects that can prove to be truly disastrous to a patient’s health and wellbeing. Our product liability lawyers at Hotze Runkle want to inform you about these potential issues and how they can affect your life.
Chemotherapy Drug Side Effects
Most chemotherapy drug side effects are limited to the duration of the chemotherapy process and are eventually filtered through the body. They are also predictable in terms of how long they last.
Some of the most common side effects, experienced by more than 30% of chemotherapy drug users, include:
|Nausea||Diarrhea||Vomiting||Temporary hair loss|
|Tiredness||Increased susceptibility to infections||Changes to nail color/nail falling off||Missed menstrual cycles|
|Numb fingers and toes||Fluid retention||Constipation||Anemia or low white blood cell count|
Some side effects will end abruptly following the conclusion of treatment while others are prolonged. The duration a patient may suffer from these after-effects can be affected by their overall health.
Keep in mind that these side effects do not affect everyone and may vary from patient to patient.
While taking Taxotere, individuals may experience allergic reactions such as hives, tightness in their throat, an inability to breath, face, lip, tongue, or throat swelling. If you suffer from any of these side effects you should consult your doctor immediately.
You may also experience inflammation, redness, and dryness of the skin around the entry site. These reactions are more likely to occur during the actual treatment.
Major Side Effects
Some of the more serious side effects of chemotherapy drugs are:
- Swelling of the hands/feet/legs
- Unexplained weight gain
- Numbness or tingling of the hands or feet
- Muscle or joint pain
- Persistent weakness or fatigue
- Eye pain
- Irregular heartbeat
- Severe stomach pain
- Black or bloody stools
- Severe headaches
- Vision changes
- Chest pain
Another major side effect of chemotherapy drugs is epiphora – also known as excessive tearing.
Excessive tearing is caused by the obstruction of the nasolacrimal duct that connects the eye socket to the nasal cavity. The source of this excessive tearing stems from the tear duct becoming infected and inflamed, leading to tears welling up in the eye and falling excessively.
Excessive tearing can lead to difficulty reading, driving, issues with eyesight, and can negatively affect a patient’s quality of life.
Treatment of this side effect depends on how severe the problem is. In mild cases, the doctor may just monitor the patient’s health to ensure that no major damage is caused. In severe cases, surgery may be encouraged.
The surgical procedure to create a new channel from the tear sac to the inside of the nose is known as dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR). This surgery is intended to allow the tears to bypass the blocked duct and work correctly.
However, there are a number of risks associated with the DCR procedure including:
- Excessive bleeding
- Prominent facial scars
- Displaced stent that can lead to other eye-related issues
- Abnormally fused tissue in the nose
- Non-effective procedure
- Blindness may occur with damage to the infraorbital vessels or optic nerve
These risks differ according to things such as age, health conditions, and the reasons for the procedure.
Before Using Taxotere
Your doctor should be made aware of any other prescriptions or over the counter medications that you are taking including vitamins and dietary supplements. During chemotherapy, there will be physical changes and imbalances throughout your body.
All physical symptoms should be reported to your doctor immediately. Even though some side effects are temporary they could potentially lead to much more serious problems.
If you were, or are, undergoing chemotherapy and have suffered from excessive tearing, contact the product liability attorneys at Hotze Runkle today at (512) 476-7771 or (877) 919-0830 to schedule your consultation.