The unapproved use of Avastin for eye diseases has caused blindness in some patients. The syringes can also leave behind silicone oil that looks like “air bubbles” or floaters in the eyes of the patient.
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.
What is Avastin?
Avastin (bevacizumab) was created by Genentech, Inc. and received FDA approval for the treatment of malignant colorectal cancer in 2005. Avastin has shown effectiveness against a wide range of cancers, and has subsequently gained approval for lung cancer (2006), breast cancer (2008), brain cancer (2009), and kidney cancer (2009).
How Does Avastin Work?
Avastin inhibits the growth of cancerous tumors by inhibiting an enzyme necessary for the formation of blood vessels, in a process known as angiogenesis. Avastin is the first FDA-approved drug in this class of cancer drugs, and since its approval in 2005, has become one of the most popular and successful cancer drugs in history. Early trials of the drug were exceptionally promising. Colorectal cancer patients who took Avastin while on chemotherapy lived about five months longer than cancer patients only on chemotherapy.
Avastin and Eye Infections
In March 2013, the FDA and a compounding pharmacy have issued a recall after contaminated lots of Avastin were linked to 5 cases of eye infections.
Avastin and Blindness
On August 30, 2011, the FDA issued a safety warning after confirming 12 more reports of blindness caused by doctors using the cancer drug Avastin to treat eye diseases. Avastin is not approved for the treatment of eye diseases.
Why Doctors Use Avastin for Eye Diseases
Doctors commonly prescribe Avastin to treat age-related macular degeneration and other eye diseases because each dose costs roughly $50/injection, compared with using Lucentis, which has been approved for the treatment of eye diseases but costs $2000/injection. It is thought that the cause of blindness is bacterial contamination, because the vials of Avastin must be repackaged into smaller doses for injection into the eye.
Avastin Side Effects
- Silicone floaters or “air bubbles”
- Eye Infections
- Severe high blood pressure
- Jaw deterioration
- Bleeding and hemorrhaging
- Heart attack or heart failure
- Perforations of the nose, stomach, and intestines.
FDA Safety Warnings for Avastin
On September 30, 2011, the FDA updated Avastin’s safety label to include new evidence of serious side effects:
- Ovarian Failure. 34% of women receiving Avastin experienced ovarian failure, as compared to 2% of women receiving only chemotherapy.
- Venous Thrombolic Events (VTE). 27.5% of patients with metastatic colorectal cancer expeirenced serious bleeding, as opposed to 20.9% in the patients receiving only chemotherapy.
- Osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ). This is a severe disease that occurs when facial bones do not receive enough blood and they begin to die. Physicians believe that this effect is caused by the anti-angiogenic properties of Avastin.
More FDA Safety Warnings:
- September 27, 2006 – The FDA and Genentech, Inc. issued a safety warning after finding evidence of an increased risk of reversible posterior leukoencephalopathy syndrome (RPLS), a rare brain-capillary leak syndrome associated with hypertension, fluid retention, and cytoxic effects of immunosuppressive drugs on the vascular endothelium.
- August 12, 2004 — The FDA and Genentech issued a safety warning after finding an increased risk of serious arterial thrombolic events, including cerebrovascular accident, myocardial infarctions, transient ischemic attacks, angina, and fatal arterial thrombotic events. The risks of a serious arterial thrombotic event was approximately two-fold higher in patients taking Avastin, with an estimated overall rate of up to 5 percent.
Need an Avastin Lawyer in Texas?
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