Patients who receive eye injections of Avastin can develop silicone “floaters” that look a lot like air bubbles. Patients are also at risk of serious infections that can cause blindness.
Need a Texas Avastin Lawyer? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one was injured by Avastin, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit.
Avastin Silicone Floaters or “Air Bubbles”
Avastin is a medication that is put into syringes before it is injected into a patient’s eyes. The syringes are lubricated by silicone oil when the pharmacists create each injection. Unfortunately, silicone oil is sometimes left behind in the patient’s eyes, leaving silicone “floaters” of that look like air bubbles to the patient.
FDA Recalls Avastin After 5 Eye Infections
- March 20, 2013 — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Clinical Specialties recalled Avastin after five individuals reported intra-ocular eye infections. All of the patients were treated with Avastin off-label for macular degeneration. Click here for the official FDA Avastin recall notice.
- August 30, 2011 — New York Timesreports 16 people developed eye infections from injections of Avastin. The incidents occurred in in Tennessee and Florida.
- September 1, 2011 — New York Times reports that 5 more patients who were treated with Avastin for eye disease were blinded. The individuals were veterans treated at the Veterans Affairs medical center in Los Angeles.
Avastin Eye Injections
Avastin (bevacizumab), sold by Genentech, is a drug that was approved by the FDA in 2004 for the treatment of lung cancer and colorectal cancer — not eye diseases. However, many eye doctors use Avastin “off-label” to treat eye diseases because it costs about $50 per injection, compared to $2,000 for Lucentis, a somewhat similar drug that is FDA-approved as an eye treatment.
Bacterial Contamination in Avastin
The off-label use of Avastin can save patients a lot of money. Unfortunately, before a doctor can use Avastin for eye disease, a dose meant for a cancer patient must be divided into numerous smaller doses and placed in a syringe for injection into the eye. The increased handling introduces a risk of bacterial contamination.
Symptoms of an Eye Infection
Individuals who are injected with Avastin should seek medical attention immediately for the following symptoms of an intra-ocular eye infection:
- Blurred vision
- Increased eye “floaters” or seeing spots
- Sensitivity to light
- Eyelid swelling
FDA Safety Warnings for Avastin Blindness, Eye Infections
The FDA has published the following warnings for eye infections associated with Avastin:
The FDA has warned:
“Health care professionals should be aware that repackaging sterile drugs without proper aseptic technique can compromise product sterility, potentially putting the patient at risk for microbial infections. Health care professionals should ensure that drug products are obtained from appropriate, reliable sources and properly administered.”
Avastin and Compounding Pharmacies
Doses of Avastin are typically prepared at compounding pharmacies. Unlike pharmaceutical companies, which mass-produce drugs, compounding pharmacies prepare customized drugs for specific patients. The FDA has limited oversight of these pharmacies, which are also regulated by each state’s pharmacy board.
In 2012, a massive outbreak of fungal meningitis was traced to moldy spinal injections sold by New England Compounding Center. Several thousand people were exposed, 722 people developed spinal or joint infections, and at least 50 people died.
An Avastin lawsuit has been filed by the family of a man from Tennessee who suffered brain damage and permanent blindness after being treated with Avastin for macular degeneration. The 77 year-old plaintiff, Lloyd Mason Sylvis, is now in a vegetative state. His family has filed a $4 million medical malpractice lawsuit against the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Another Avastin eye infection lawsuit was filed by Antonio Salgado, 79, of Miami. After Salgado was given an Avastin eye injection, he suffered extreme pain and a white film developed over his eye. Salgado and four other plaintiffs with similar injuries have filed lawsuits against Infupharma, the compounding pharmacy that divided Avastin into smaller doses for eye treatment.
Side Effects of Avastin
Possible complications and side effects of Avastin for eye treatments include:
- Silicone floaters or “air bubbles”
- Eye infection (endophthalmitis)
- Misty vision
- Retinal tears
- Retinal detachment
- Cataract formation (clouding of the eye)
- Glaucoma (increased pressure in the eye)
- Hypotony (reduced pressure in the eye)
- Corneal damage
Need an Avastin Lawyer in Texas?
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