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Were you diagnosed with permanent hair loss after taking the drug Taxotere during chemotherapy for breast cancer?
This common chemotherapy drug is currently being investigated for causing Alopecia in its users.
Despite claims that the use of Taxotere may result in only temporary hair loss, some users reported permanent alopecia after being treated with the chemotherapy drug. Evidence suggests that the makers of Taxotere knew about the studies linking Taxotere with permanent hair loss but failed to warn its patients.
Our law firm is pursuing the makers of Taxotere on behalf of victims who suffered irreversible hair loss following the use of Taxotere. Contact us today through the case evaluation form to receive a free consultation from one of our Taxotere attorneys. Time is running out to file your Taxotere claim. Let our lawyers review your case today.
Common Taxotere Side Effects
Because the drugs must be strong enough to kill cancerous cells, chemotherapy is notorious for its side effects. Taxotere is no different. Some of the most common side effects of Taxotere include fluid retention, nausea, mouth sores, fatigue, hair loss, diarrhea, and numbness in the fingers.
Some of the less regular side effects are vomiting, low platelet count, and muscle pain. The nature of the drug makes it easy to predict when side effects will arise and how long they will continue.
While side effect of Taxotere can range in severity, it was believed that each side effect subsided once treatment was complete. A large number of complainants suggest that hair loss, a common side effect of chemotherapy, could be permanent.
What Does Taxotere Do?
Taxotere, also known by its generic name docetaxel, is one of the most common chemotherapy drugs in its class. It is mainly used to treat breast cancer. Taxotere is also used to treat other types of cancers like lung cancer, prostate cancer, and stomach cancer.
Taxotere is known as an anti-cancer chemotherapy drug. Since there is no pill form of Taxotere, it is given intravenously. The drug attacks cells during various stages of cell division and interferes with the division process. When Taxotere inhibits replication, it ultimately leads to the cancerous cell’s death.
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Taxotere Manufacturer Failed to Warn Patients
Until December 2015, the manufacturer of Taxotere assured its patients that hair would grow back after treatment had ended. This assurance came even when Sanofi-Aventis knew that a small percentage of women may never get their hair back.
Plaintiffs in Dodson v. Sanofi assert the claim that Sanofi willingly neglected to tell patients of the very real risk. Here is an excerpt from the court documents (Case 4:16-cv-01251-PJH):
“As a direct result of Defendants’ wrongful and deceptive acts, thousands of women were exposed to the risk of disfiguring permanent alopecia without any warning and without any additional benefit.
As a direct result of Defendants’ failure to warn patients of the risk of disfiguring permanent alopecia in the United States, thousands of women, including Plaintiff, as well as their health care providers, were deprived of the opportunity to make an informed decision as to whether the benefits of using TAXOTERE® over other comparable products was justified.”
Studies Linking Taxotere to Permanent Hair Loss
Chemotherapy drugs, including Taxotere, are known to cause hair loss in patients. For the majority of patients, this hair loss is temporary. However, more and more patients are being diagnosed with irreversible alopecia after taking Taxotere.
Evidence linking Taxotere with permanent hair loss is nothing new. In fact, small studies suggest as many as 6.3% of patients permanently lost their hair after taking Taxotere.
In 2012, a study published in the Annals of Oncology followed 20 women who suffered permanent baldness after taking the chemotherapy drug. Not only was treatment ineffective but the hair loss was experienced all over the body, including eyebrows, eyelashes, and hair on the axillary and lower limb areas.
Why Permanent Hair Loss is So Distressing
Although the occurrence of 6.3% may not sound widespread, permanent alopecia has a profound effect on the lives of women. One of the most hated side effects of women undergoing chemotherapy is hair loss.
For many women, hair is a vital part of their image and directly affects their self-esteem. Here is an excerpt from the study of 20 women suffering from Taxotere-induced alopecia:
“Chemotherapy-induced alopecia is one of the most distressing/troublesome side-effects of chemotherapy, along with nausea, vomiting and fatigue. It may significantly impact an individual’s self-image with poorer body image, and recent studies indicate that patients with both clinically apparent and clinically imperceptible hair loss may have significantly decreased QoL [Quality of Life].”
Permanent baldness can affect a woman’s self-image for the rest of her life, causing incalculable emotional distress.
Updates to Taxotere’s Warnings
In December 2015, the Food and Drug Administration updated its warning of Taxotere to acknowledge the fact that some people have suffered from permanent baldness after taking the drug. Not long after, Sanofi updated its label warning for Taxotere to read, “Cases of permanent alopecia have been reported.”
Despite these updates to the literature, plaintiffs are arguing that Sanofi-Aventis knew about the dangers but did not warn users before the changes. Canada and Europe reported cases of permanent alopecia in 2005 but the pharmaceutical giant did not notify the FDA until 2015.
File a Taxotere Lawsuit Today
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with permanent alopecia as a result of taking Taxotere during chemotherapy, you may be entitled to compensation. Let our Taxotere attorneys defend your rights against the manufacturer Sanofi-Aventis. Complete the web form for your free case evaluation and have our lawyers review your claim today.
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