Dr Anne Barmettler Discusses Potential Adverse Events Associated With Teprotumumab

Anne Barmettler, MD, an associate professor of ophthalmology, visual sciences, and plastic surgery at Montefiore Medical Center, outlines adverse events patients taking teprotumumab for thyroid eye disease may experience.

Women who are pregnant absolutely should not be on teprotumumab, said Anne Barmettler, MD, an associate professor of ophthalmology, visual sciences, and plastic surgery at Montefiore Medical Center.

Transcript

Has research been conducted on adverse events associated with teprotumumab since it has become available on the market?

Yes. Actually, even in the original studies, there were some additional side effects that patients should be aware of, and physicians. Some patients may experience hearing changes; this is often described as feeling like the patient is underwater. Some patients even feel that they lose hearing. And although some of that is reversible—that is, when the patient stops taking the medication, their hearing comes back—sometimes it is not reversible.

Another big thing to think about is that in patients with preexisting diabetes or other issues with higher blood glucose, this can cause the blood glucose to elevate dramatically. This has to be monitored carefully, because that can cause issues requiring even hospitalization.

One final thing is that teprotumumab is an insulin growth factor receptor antibody. This is really crucial in development. So women who are pregnant absolutely cannot be on this medication, as this would be very damaging. That's certainly something to think about as a lot of women who have thyroid eye disease are of childbearing age.