While Tepezza’s warning label briefly mentions hearing loss as a possible side effect, the lawsuits allege the drugmaker downplays the problems as temporary and that many users could have avoided permanent hearing loss had the instructions been provided on the importance of monitoring the hearing on Tepezza.
In a study published earlier this year in the American Journal of OphthalmologyStanford researchers looked at 27 patients who had received at least four injections of Tepezza and followed them up to 40 weeks later, finding that more than 80% of patients receiving Tepezza had some form of hearing problems.
A review of this study, published in August 2022, found that around a third of all patients who experienced hearing loss from Tepezza still had problems months after receiving the injections.
Dr. Richard C. Allen of Baylor College of Medicine and the Cullen Eye Institute says 22 of the 27 patients experienced new or worsening hearing problems during the study, including hearing loss and tinnitus. Of these, only 68% of patients had resolved their symptoms at the last follow-up visit, which occurred on average 39.2 weeks after their last infusion.
Five of the six patients who did not recover their hearing met Tepezza’s criteria for ototoxicity (ear toxicity), including two requiring the use of hearing aids.
The review indicates that the link between hearing loss and Tepezza may be the result of the drug inhibiting insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), which plays an important role in ear function by protecting the hair cells of the inner ear of the noise. – induced hearing damage, ischemia and drug toxicity.
“This study confirms the findings of previous case reports regarding potentially irreversible otologic problems in patients treated with teprotumumab,” Allen concluded. “This risk should be explicitly discussed with patients prior to treatment with teprotumumab, especially in patients with initial hearing loss.”
As more and more people discover that there may be a link between their previous injections of Tepezza and hearing loss suffered over the past two years, the number of lawsuits filed in the the entire US court system is growing, and several hundred people could soon be suing Tepezza’s hearing loss settlements from the manufacturer.