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Oxaliplatin Nerve, Lungs, Liver Side Effects

Research shows the anticancer drug oxaliplatin—first sold under the brand name Eloxatin—causes nerve damage side effects. The Rottenstein Law Group, an oxaliplatin law firm, compassionately advocates for those who have suffered oxaliplatin side effects. If you believe an oxaliplatin injection harmed you, contact RLG for a free, confidential legal consultation immediately. We will evaluate your case and remain on the lookout for oxaliplatin recalls and oxaliplatin class action lawsuits.

What Is Oxaliplatin and What Is It Prescribed For?

Oxaliplatin is the generic name for a platinum-based compound used as a colon cancer or colorectal cancer therapy. The medicine was first patented in the U.S. in 1979, but French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis S.A. received tentative U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in 2002 to sell oxaliplatin under the brand name, Eloxatin. Since 2009 the drug has become available as a generic. The FDA allows Sanofi-Aventis to sell Eloxatin as a treatment for stage III colon cancer in patients who have undergone tumor removal surgery and as a treatment for advanced colorectal cancer. Oxaliplatin is meant to work in combination with 5-fluorouracil and leucovorin. Sanofi-Aventis sells the drug in the form of an intravenous injection ranging from 50 mg/10 mL to 200 mg/30 mL doses every two weeks.

Oxaliplatin works by the platinum present in the drug binding to cancer cells and inhibiting DNA replication and transcription. When combined with 5-fluorouracil and leucovorin, oxaliplatin works better at preventing cancer tumor growth than either drug can separately.

Oxaliplatin Might Cause Nerve Damage Side Effects

Nerve Damage Side Effects

An article published in the medical journal Neurology investigated the possibility of a relationship between oxaliplatin and irreversible sensory and motor axon loss. The researchers studied eight people who used oxaliplatin prior to chemotherapy and then 30, 90, 180 and 360 days after treatment. In all eight patients, symptoms of neuropathy worsened over time, even after they ceased receiving oxaliplatin injections.

The Eloxatin drug label includes an entry for “Neuropathy,” in its “Warnings and Precautions” section. There, it describes two types of nerve damage: one temporary and reversible, and the other as “persistent.” The reversible neuropathy manifested itself as peripheral, sensory neuropathy that occurs within hours or days of receiving an Eloxatin injection but ceasing after 14 days.

“Persistent” Eloxatin neuropathy lasts longer than 14 days and includes the following symptoms:

  • Paresthesia (pins and needles or burning sensations);
  • Dysesthesia (an unpleasant, abnormal sensation related to touch);
  • Hypoesthesia (reduced sense of touch or loss of sensitivity); and
  • Deficits in proprioception (sense of where one’s body parts are relative to the whole) that interferes with daily activities such as buttoning a shirt or swallowing food.

About 48 percent of patients who took Eloxatin with 5-fluorouracil and leucovorin in clinical trials reported experiencing one of these symptoms for this time period. After 18 months, more than 20 percent of Eloxatin users still suffered from some form of sensory neuropathy.

If you received an oxaliplatin injection and you suffered symptoms of persistent nerve damage, contact one of the Rottenstein Law Group’s oxaliplatin lawyers.

Allergic Reactions

Eloxatin’s label also includes a “black box” warning, the FDA’s most serious kind, informing patients and physicians that two to three percent of colon cancer patients using the drug suffer anaphylactic/anaphylactoid reactions that can be fatal. Onset of symptoms occurred within minutes of the injection, and they include:

  • Rash;
  • Red skin rash with hives;
  • Redness of the skin caused by increased blood flow to capillaries;
  • Itchiness;
  • Rarely bronchospasm (constriction of bronchioles in the lungs); and
  • Hypotension (abnormally low blood pressure).

Patients who had not received Eloxatin treatments also exhibited:

  • Flushing of the face;
  • Shortness of breath;
  • Chest pains;
  • Disorientation; and
  • Diarrhea.

Pulmonary Toxicity

Researchers have also found a correlation between Eloxatin and pulmonary fibrosis, which can be fatal. Symptoms can include:

  • Dyspnea (shortness of breath);
  • Dry coughs;
  • Weakness;
  • Fatigue and weakness;
  • Chest discomfort; and
  • Loss of appetite.

Hepatotoxicity

In a study referenced in the Eloxatin drug label, Eloxatin injections are associated with an increase in two chemicals: transaminases and alkaline phosphatase. Liver biopsies produced the following evidence of a toxic liver reaction to Eloxatin:

  • Peliosis (blood-filled cavities throughout the liver);
  • Nodular regenerative hyperplasia (increase in cell growth, organ growth);
  • Perisinusoidal fibrosis (excessive connective tissue in an organ); and
  • Veno-occlusive lesions (blockage of some of the small veins of the liver).

RLG’s Oxaliplatin Lawyers Will Make Things Easier

The process of demanding compensation for the harm you’ve suffered can be complicated, even if it doesn’t seem fair that you should have to go through even more trouble to be made whole again. The oxaliplatin lawyers at the Rottenstein Law Group believe that obtaining legal satisfaction from those who harmed you shouldn’t require more hardship. That’s why we do everything we can to streamline the process, and we will file an oxaliplatin lawsuit on your behalf if necessary. RLG will also keep you up to date on any oxaliplatin class action lawsuits, FDA oxaliplatin warnings, and oxaliplatin FDA recall announcements. If you have taken oxaliplatin and believe it harmed you, contact RLG today.

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