Exploring the Tepezza Hearing Loss Lawsuits: What Patients Need to Know

Tepezza is a medication that has been used to treat thyroid eye disease, a rare condition that causes inflammation and swelling in the eye tissues and muscles. However, in recent years, there have been reports of hearing loss associated with the use of Tepezza. As a result, several Tepezza hearing loss lawsuits have been filed, raising concerns about the safety and efficacy of the drug.

This article will explore the Tepezza hearing loss lawsuits, what patients need to know, and how they can protect themselves.

What is Tepezza, and How Does It Work?

According to the National Library of Medicine, Tepezza (teprotumumab) is a monoclonal antibody that works by targeting and binding to the insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) that is overexpressed in thyroid eye disease. 

By inhibiting this receptor, Tepezza reduces the inflammation and swelling that causes eye bulging, double vision, and other symptoms of thyroid eye disease. Tepezza is administered intravenously over a period of several months, and its effects can last for up to a year.

What are the Reported Cases of Hearing Loss Associated with Tepezza?

In December 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned about the risk of hearing loss associated with Tepezza use. The FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) database had received reports of 20 cases of hearing loss, including 15 cases of bilateral hearing loss, among patients who received Tepezza.

A new study by the Endocrine Society has found that the incidence of hearing symptoms could be as high as 65 percent. To investigate this further, the researchers evaluated 26 patients who had received at least four infusions of the drug. 

A total of 17 patients, or 65 percent, reported experiencing otologic symptoms. There were three most common symptoms: subjective hearing loss (23 percent), tinnitus or ringing in the ears (27 percent), autophony, a loud hearing of one’s own voice (29 percent), and ear plugging sensation (12 percent). It took an average of 3.6 infusions for these symptoms to appear.

These problems were reported to have occurred within days to weeks after the first dose of Tepezza and ranged from mild to severe. 

What are the Tepezza Hearing Loss Lawsuits?

Several Tepezza hearing loss lawsuits have been filed by individuals who claim that the drug caused their hearing loss. The lawsuits allege that the manufacturers of Tepezza, Horizon Therapeutics, and Roche knew or should have known about the risk of hearing loss but failed to warn patients and physicians adequately.

The plaintiffs seek compensation for their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, as well as punitive damages. The Tepezza hearing loss lawsuit is currently pending in various federal and state courts, and it is not yet clear what their outcomes will be.

If You are Taking Tepezza, What Should You Do?

Patients who are taking Tepezza should be aware of the risk of hearing loss and should report any hearing-related symptoms to their healthcare provider as soon as possible. Patients who experience sudden hearing loss, tinnitus, or dizziness while taking Tepezza should seek immediate medical attention.

Patients should also inform their healthcare provider of any preexisting hearing or balance problems, as well as any other medications they are taking, which may increase the risk of hearing loss or other adverse effects.

What are the Alternatives to Tepezza for Treating Thyroid Eye Disease?

Thyroid eye disease (TED) is a complex condition that can have significant effects on the eyes and the surrounding structures, including the eyelids, the orbit (the bony socket that holds the eye), and the optic nerve. Treatment of TED often requires a multidisciplinary approach involving specialists in ophthalmology, endocrinology, and sometimes, radiation oncology and plastic surgery.

In addition to medication, there are several other treatment options for TED, depending on the severity of the disease and the specific symptoms and complications involved.

Radiation therapy is a treatment option that is sometimes used in cases of active thyroid eye disease (TED), particularly in patients with optic nerve compression or a poor response to other treatments. The goal of radiation therapy in TED is to reduce inflammation and swelling around the eyes and improve ocular motility. 

Orbital decompression surgery is a procedure that involves removing some of the bone around the eye socket to relieve pressure on the optic nerve and allow the eye to move more freely. 

Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) is another option, particularly for patients with severe eyelid retraction or proptosis (bulging eyes), which can be both cosmetically and functionally problematic.

Patients who are concerned about the risk of hearing loss associated with Tepezza or who have preexisting hearing or balance problems must discuss these alternative treatment options with their healthcare provider.

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