Taxotere Hair Loss Attorneys
Hair loss is one of the side effects most commonly associated with chemotherapy, but hair usually resumes growing once chemotherapy is complete. However, a number of women treated with the chemotherapy drug Taxotere (docetaxel) have been rendered permanently bald with a condition called alopecia. In Taxotere lawsuits, women now claim that the makers of this drug, Sanofi-Aventis, knew for years that their medication may cause permanent baldness and failed to provide adequate warning of this and other serious side effects.
Taxotere was approved by the FDA in 1996. It is a chemotherapy drug which is used for women who have locally advanced breast cancer or metastasized breast cancer for whom previous chemotherapy treatments have not been effective. Taxotere an adjuvant chemotherapy drug, and is given in combination with other chemotherapy drugs.
Until updates in 2015, Taxotere warning labels stated that some women may experience hair loss after treatment with Taxotere but that the “hair generally grows back.” However, a growing number of women claim that their hair never grew back after using Taxotere and that the drug maker knew or should have known of this side effect and failed to warn of it.
Did Drug Makers know of Taxotere Baldness Risks?
Sanofi-Aventis has known since at least 2005 that Taxotere may cause alopecia, or permanent baldness. In this year, the results of a decade-long study sponsored by Sanofi-Aventis, the GEICAM 9805 study, were published by the New England Journal of Medicine and showed that more than 9% of patients given Taxotere had not resumed hair growth more than ten years after treatment was complete.
Less than one year after the GEICAM 9805 study was completed, an oncologist from the Denver area reported to Sanofi-Aventis that 6.3% of his patients who were treated with Taxotere were rendered bald for years after treatment ended. This doctor warned that, though combination treatment with Taxotere may be very effective for breast cancer patients, it was important to inform patients of the risk of baldness associated with the drug. “Such an emotionally devastating long-term toxicity from this combination must be taken into account when deciding on adjuvant chemotherapy programs in women who likely will be cured of their breast cancer,” he advised.
In 2010, a study was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology which alerted doctors to “an increasing number of reports of permanent chemotherapy-induced alopecia” linked to Taxotere and other drugs.
In light of this body of evidence suggesting that women treated with Taxotere may be rendered permanently bald, some plaintiffs in Taxotere lawsuits claim that the company was negligent in their obligation to warn doctors and patients of this known side effect. In fact, it was not until 2015 that Taxotere warning labels were updated to reflect a risk of alopecia.
Additional Taxotere Side Effects
In addition to baldness (alopecia), Taxotere may also cause the following side effects:
- Loss of appetite
- Chronic tearing from the eyes
Women who have fought or are currently fighting breast cancer are already at risk for emotional suffering caused by their altered appearances, and now some women treated with Taxotere have reason to believe that they will be permanently bald. This permanent disfigurement can cause severe emotional trauma, affect women’s earning capacity, and otherwise damage their quality of life.
In Taxotere lawsuits, plaintiffs have claimed that Sanofi-Aventis neglected to warn of permanent hair loss or other serious Taxotere side effect risks. Plaintiffs also claim that they would have chosen to use one of many comparable alternative drugs not associated with these side effects had they known of this risk.
If you have suffered possibly permanent hair loss after treatment with Taxotere, you could be entitled to compensation for your physical, emotional, and financial damages. To learn more about Taxotere lawsuits, please contact our experienced dangerous products lawyers for a free consultation.