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W&L Pursuing Cases of Tepezza Causing Hearing Damage

July 24, 2023
Home Firm News W&L Pursuing Cases of Tepezza Causing Hearing Damage

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Weitz & Luxenberg is taking cases of severe hearing damage in adults who took Tepezza to treat thyroid eye disease (TED). People across the country have filed lawsuits against Horizon Pharmaceuticals, Inc., for their pain and suffering.

The suits state the patients were not sufficiently warned that Tepezza could cause severe, permanent, hearing damage including deafness and tinnitus. They claim Horizon withheld data and analyses indicating this risk when it sought market approval for the drug.

Dozens of lawsuits have been filed. In June, they were consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL) by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. The case is In Re Tepezza Marketing, Sales Practices, and Products Liability Litigation, MDL number 3079. The venue is the Northern District of Illinois.

Tepezza and Permanent Hearing Damage

“Pharmaceutical companies have a responsibility to ensure their medications are safe and effective. Any and all warnings about Tepezza should be noted on the information that comes with the medication. Doctors should also be fully advised about potential severe complications,” states Ellen Relkin, a W&L partner and the practice group chair of our team of defective drugs and medical devices attorneys.

“Sadly, far too often in their eagerness to make money, pharmaceutical companies rush medications to the market and downplay potentially serious complications. Patients in the laboratory of the marketplace may be the first ones to find out how dangerous a medication actually is. And sometimes that damage is irreversible,” says Ms. Relkin.

“Someone has to stand up to these negligent companies. The attorneys at Weitz & Luxenberg are that someone,” declares Ms. Relkin.

Tepezza and Deafness

“Certain medications can damage the ear, resulting in hearing loss, ringing in the ear, or balance disorders. These drugs are considered ototoxic.” (1) Recent reports have shown Tepezza is ototoxic.

Already, there are concerns about Tepezza and deafness. Researchers of one study examined 27 patients who were treated with teprotumumab. “Twenty-two patients (81.5%) developed new subjective otologic symptoms, after a mean of 3.8 infusions (SD 1.8).” They found hearing loss is, indeed, “a concerning adverse event of teprotumumab.” (2)

Researchers of another study examined an “aggregate of four cases of teprotumumab-associated hearing loss.” They concluded it would be “prudent to adopt a surveillance protocol to include an audiogram and tympanometry before, during and after infusion, and when prompted by new symptoms of hearing dysfunction.” (3)

Tinnitus and Tepezza

Medications, such as Tepezza, can lead to tinnitus. Tinnitus “is the perception of sound that does not have an external source, so other people cannot hear it.” (4)

When tinnitus lasts more than a few months, it is considered chronic. Most people who have this condition also suffer from some degree of hearing loss. There is no cure. (5)

The exact symptoms vary from person to person. Tinnitus can affect one ear or both. Sometimes you may hear sounds in your head. Possible sounds include: (6)

  • Ringing.
  • Buzzing.
  • Roaring.
  • Whistling.
  • Humming.
  • Clicking.
  • Hissing.
  • Squealing.

Thyroid Eye Disease Involves Inflammation

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Tepezza (teprotumumab-trbw) for the treatment of adults diagnosed with TED in 2020. (7)

“Thyroid eye disease (TED) is the most common orbital disorder in adults. … TED is characterized by an orbital inflammatory cascade leading to muscle and fat expansion, ultimately ending, in some cases, with progressive fibrosis.” (8)

Inflammation of the tissues and cells behind the eyeball can lead to bulging and protrusion. “Clinical findings include periorbital edema, conjunctival redness and swelling, eyelid retraction, strabismus, exophthalmos, and in rare cases, compressive optic neuropathy.” (9)

TED is also known as Graves’ ophthalmopathy or thyroid associated orbitopathy.

W&L Is Pursuing the Dangers of Tepezza

Since the FDA approved Tepezza, people using it are experiencing severe forms of hearing damage. Because the drug has only been available for a few years, it is likely these reports of hearing damage will increase. However, do not stop taking this drug without consulting with your doctor.

The litigation is in its early stages, and we are encouraging anyone who took Tepezza and is suffering from hearing damage, including hearing loss or ringing in your ears, to contact us immediately.

Weitz & Luxenberg attorneys have won more than $12 billion on behalf of clients harmed by defective drugs and medical devices. To see how we can help you, reach out to us today.

Attorneys on our firm’s winning defective drugs and medical device team are available to answer any questions you may have about filing a lawsuit.

Contact us by phone at (833) 977-3437 or complete our online form. We offer a free initial consultation.

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