Did You Have Hearing Problems After Tepezza® Injections?
A study shows 16% of patients taking Horizon Therapeutics’ thyroid eye disease drug Tepezza may experience long-term otologic symptoms like hearing loss and/or tinnitus, which can persist even after the drug treatment is discontinued.
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TEPEZZA Hearing Loss Lawsuits
Between 60% and 80% of patients taking Horizon Therapeutics’ thyroid eye disease drug Tepezza may experience long-term otologic symptoms like hearing loss and/or tinnitus, which can persist even after the drug treatment is discontinued.
Emerging research indicates that a significant percentage of patients taking Tepezza for thyroid eye disease or Graves’ disease may experience hearing loss, tinnitus, or other hearing problems that may be irreversible. Dozens of lawsuits have already been filed against Tepezza manufacturer Horizon Therapeutics in federal court, each raising similar claims that the manufacturer knew or should have known that Tepezza can cause permanent hearing damage in users and failed to warn consumers and the medical community. If you or someone you love has experienced hearing problems that may have been caused by Tepezza treatment, fill out the form or call us at Leading Justice today. You may qualify for compensation from Horizon, which you can pursue by filing a Tepezza injury claim.
Tepezza Injection Alternatives for TED, Graves’ Disease
Thyroid eye disease is a serious condition that can worsen over time and threaten your vision, if left untreated. If you have thyroid eye disease or Graves’ disease and you are looking for a treatment option that poses fewer potential health risks, the following are some possible alternatives to Tepezza:
- Eye drops
- Lubricating gel
- Steroid treatment
- Orbital radiotherapy
What is Tepezza?
A medication prescribed for thyroid eye disease that has been linked to an increased risk of hearing impairment, hearing loss, and other long-term otologic symptoms.
Tepezza (teprotumumab-trbw) is an insulin-like growth factor I receptor (IGF-IR) inhibitor used to treat thyroid eye disease (TED), a rare autoimmune disease that causes progressive inflammation of the eye muscles and fatty tissue behind the eye, leading to eye pain, facial disfigurement, and vision loss. Most cases of TED occur in patients who have an overactive thyroid gland due to Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to attack healthy tissue in the thyroid gland.
Tepezza is an infusion treatment approved by the FDA in January 2020 and marketed by Horizon Therapeutics as a safe and effective way to reduce eye-bulging and double vision and improve the signs and symptoms of TED, which can include eye pain, swelling, and redness. Patients undergoing treatment with Tepezza receive one infusion every three weeks, for a total of eight infusions. And while clinical studies have shown that Tepezza can be helpful in improving eye bulging, double vision, soft tissue inflammation, and quality of life in patients with TED, there is evidence that the medication may also cause permanent hearing damage and/or tinnitus in some patients.
Tepezza Hearing Damage Side Effects
Tepezza does not cure thyroid eye disease, it merely relieves certain symptoms of the condition. Patients taking Tepezza for TED deserve to know about the potential side effects of Tepezza so they can weigh those risks against the possible treatment benefits. The following are some of the otologic symptoms Tepezza users have reported experiencing during or after treatment:
- Sensorineural hearing loss
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Hearing function changes
- Muffled hearing
- Ear-plugging sensation
- Autophony (an unusually loud hearing of a person’s own voice)
- Hyperacusis (increased sensitivity to sound)
- Eustachian tube dysfunction
- Decreased word comprehension
Link Between Tepezza and Hearing Loss, Tinnitus
The most common side effect linked to Tepezza treatment is hearing impairment, although some patients taking Tepezza for thyroid eye disease may suffer permanent hearing loss. In one study published in March 2021, researchers found that 65% of patients who took Tepezza experienced some degree of hearing damage or tinnitus, an incidence rate more than six times the rate Horizon reported during Tepezza’s approval process. In another study from February 2022, more than 80% of study participants developed new hearing symptoms after receiving Tepezza infusions. And while most experienced a resolution of their tinnitus, autophony, or ear plugging symptoms after receiving their last Tepezza infusion, less than half of the patients who reported hearing loss/decreased word comprehension reported improvement in their symptoms at 39 weeks post-treatment.
A growing body of research linking Tepezza to hearing function changes and permanent hearing damage has led affected patients to pursue legal claims against Horizon. Plaintiffs in the Tepezza litigation claim, among other things, that Horizon conducted insufficient testing before seeking approval from the FDA for its TED drug, which was based on a clinical trial of only 100 patients. During the FDA review and approval process, Horizon identified hearing damage as a potential side effect of Tepezza but claimed that hearing loss occurred in less than 10% of Tepezza patients and stated that, when it did occur, it was “temporary and generally of limited duration.” However, a growing number of scientific studies and adverse event reports suggest that hearing-related side effects of Tepezza occur more often than previously reported and, in many cases, are permanent.
Tepezza Lawsuits for Hearing Damage
August 2022 – An Arizona man files one of the first lawsuits against Tepezza, alleging that his treatment caused him to develop permanent hearing loss.
January 2023 – A group of Tepezza plaintiffs file a motion to consolidate ten Tepezza hearing loss lawsuits pending in Illinois federal court.
February 2023 – A Tepezza lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois alleges that receiving a series of Tepezza infusions for TED and Graves’ disease caused a California woman to suffer permanent hearing loss and tinnitus.
March 2023 – Plaintiffs’ lawyers file a motion seeking to establish a Tepezza class action against Horizon on behalf of patients who have suffered hearing loss and tinnitus.
Studies Linking Tepezza to Hearing Problems
A study presented virtually at ENDO 2021, the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting, reports that 65% of patients undergoing Tepezza treatment experience otologic symptoms like hearing loss and tinnitus.March 2021
Research published in Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery concludes that doctors who prescribe Tepezza “should strongly consider monitoring patients' hearing with an audiologist and otolaryngologist.”March 2021
The Journal of the Endocrine Society publishes research evaluating the potential for Tepezza to cause hearing loss in users. According to the study results, 46% of patients complained of hearing symptoms (autophony or an ear plugging sensation and hearing loss or muffled hearing).May 2021
The American Journal of Ophthalmology Case Reports publishes a report regarding hearing function changes linked to teprotumumab (Tepezza) treatment for TED. The report notes that “a risk of long-term irreversible hearing loss may exist” with Tepezza therapy.September 2021
Researchers conclude that Tepezza “may cause a spectrum of potentially irreversible hearing loss ranging from mild to severe, likely resulting from the inhibition of the insulin-like growth factor-1 and the insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor pathway.”January/February 2022
A case report published in the medical journal Otology & Neurotology describes a 77-year-old patient who experienced moderate to moderate-severe hearing loss in both ears after taking Tepezza.February 2022
In a study of 27 patients, 22 (81.5%) developed new hearing symptoms after a mean of 3.8 Tepezza infusions. And while most patients complaining of tinnitus, autophony, or ear plugging symptoms experienced a resolution of those symptoms by 39 weeks post-treatment on average, only 45% of patients with hearing loss/decreased word comprehension saw their symptoms improve. The researchers concluded that, “Hearing loss is a concerning adverse event of teprotumumab, and its mechanism and reversibility should be further studied.”February 2022
BMJ Case Reports publishes a report involving a woman in her 50s who developed tinnitus after a third infusion of Tepezza and hearing loss after a fifth infusion. According to the report, the patient had experienced no improvement in her symptoms six weeks after stopping Tepezza treatment.April 2022
Why We Think the Manufacturer of Tepezza Should be Held Liable For Hearing Loss Side Effects
Thyroid eye disease is a rare autoimmune disease affecting approximately 16 per 100,000 women and 2.9 per 100,000 men in the U.S., and Tepezza is the first and only medication approved by the FDA specifically to treat TED. For that reason, patients with TED are often prescribed Tepezza to manage symptoms like eye bulging, inflammation, and double vision. However, many Tepezza users now claim that the infusion treatment caused them to suffer irreversible hearing damage, which they say they could have avoided had Horizon Therapeutics provided adequate warnings about the risk of permanent hearing damage from Tepezza or the need to monitor Tepezza patients for hearing loss. A growing number of Tepezza hearing loss lawsuits allege that Horizon:
- Designed and marketed a defective and dangerous medication;
- Failed to adequately test Tepezza prior to bringing it to market;
- Knew or should have known that Tepezza was causing hearing loss in patients;
- Failed to properly warn patients and healthcare professionals about the potential for Tepezza to permanently damage users’ hearing;
- Understated the potential risk of hearing issues with Tepezza treatment; and
- Failed to warn patients or healthcare providers about the importance of conducting audiologic testing before and during Tepezza treatment.
Non Tepezza Lawsuit Drug Topics
What should you do? If you have suffered hearing loss or another hearing problem allegedly caused by Tepezza, you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible to discuss filing a Tepezza lawsuit.
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Tepezza users who have suffered otologic side effects allegedly associated with the thyroid eye disease drug may be eligible for financial compensation for their injuries and losses. Product liability lawyers nationwide are investigating claims on behalf of former Tepezza users who have experienced chronic hearing problems, and dozens of Tepezza injury lawsuits have already been filed in courts across the country. If you received Tepezza infusions for TED or Graves’ disease and you have since suffered hearing loss, tinnitus, or another persistent hearing issue, don’t hesitate to call us. You may have grounds to file a Tepezza claim against Horizon Therapeutics, which may help you recover fair and timely compensation for the harm you have suffered.