Women who have suffered permanent hair loss after breast cancer chemotherapy treatments using the drug Taxotere may be qualified for a legal settlement gained via a Taxotere hair loss lawsuit. Contact our Houston injury law firm today for more information and a free case review with a Taxotere hair loss lawyer.
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Taxotere Failure to Disclose Hair Loss
The problem isn’t just that Taxotere, made by French company Sanofi (whose U.S. component is Sanofi-Aventis), can cause permanent baldness or hair loss. It’s also that the company failed to disclose Taxotere side effects such as permanent hair loss to potential users.
As a result, women were not able to make an informed decision about which cancer treatments to employ or shun, and many opted for Taxotere, which is said to have twice the strength — and added toxicity — of successful cancer treatment Taxol. As many as 9 per cents of such women, studies show, have suffered permanent hair loss as a result.
Yet while trying to compete with Bristol Myers Squibb’s Taxol and wrest away some of its markets, Sanofi-Aventis did not create a superior product. Taxol is known to have just as much effectiveness in chemotherapy as Taxotere, if not more so, and Taxol, by contrast, does not cause permanent baldness.
In fact, Taxol isn’t the only alternative cancer treatment to Taxotere which doesn’t cause permanent hair loss. While many cancer treatments can cause temporary hair loss, only Taxotere is known to cause hair loss which can be permanent.
Women would have had many other choices if they’d known in advance that Taxotere, when administered intravenously during chemotherapy, could cause lasting hair loss. Instead, the drug’s prescribing information reassured potential users that “hair generally grows back.”
FDA Warning of Taxotere Hair Loss
Finally, a U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warning of Taxotere hair loss was issued in late 2015. Then there was no avoiding this disclosure by the manufacturer, which was compelled to include an FDA warning about permanent hair loss on Taxotere’s label.
Still, that FDA warning did not come in time to help thousands of women who’d received Taxotere breast cancer treatments and who then suffered permanent balding, also called permanent alopecia.
Such women have a legal right to claim payments from the French company for their injury losses, including payments for their pain, suffering and mental anguish. A Taxotere hair loss lawyer can help victims to claim such payments by means of a hair loss lawsuit for Taxotere users.
Taxotere Hair Loss Lawsuits to Date
Among hair loss lawsuits to date have been the following:
- An Ohio breast cancer survivor filed a Taxotere hair loss Lawsuit in January of 2016, asserting that Sanofi-Aventis failed to warn her about the risk of permanent hair loss via the drug.
- A California woman, Ami Dodson, who was diagnosed with permanent alopecia following Taxotere cancer treatments, filed a federal lawsuit against Sanofi-Aventis in March of 2016 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
- An early hair loss lawsuit came in Illinois federal court when a woman who had Taxotere treatments in 2013 claimed the drug’s maker knew or should have known about the danger of permanent baldness prior to Taxotere’s labels receiving a warning.
- In March of 2016, a Colorado breast cancer patient’s hair loss lawsuit also accused Sanofi-Aventis of failure to warn about permanent hair loss risks of Taxotere. Melissa F. Leith had had Taxotere treatments in 2013 and later was diagnosed with permanent baldness.
Why Does Chemotherapy Cause Hair Loss?
As for why chemotherapy causes hair loss — even if only temporary — that involves the nature of the treatment itself.
Chemotherapy drugs destroy rapidly-growing cells, which include cancer cells as well as healthy cells. Among the latter, hair follicles are among the body’s fastest-growing cells, dividing each one to three days. Thus, chemotherapy that kills cancer cells also can cause hair loss.
Yet most cancer treatments cause only temporary hair loss in patients, who later can grow back all of most of their hair. An exception is Taxotere, with active ingredient docetaxel.
Hair loss customarily begins within two weeks of initiating chemotherapy treatment. It continues during the treatment program, and after treatment ends, hair ordinarily begins to grow back within six weeks.
Suffering cancer is bad enough, but hair loss due to chemotherapy is physically disfiguring and adds emotional distress, affecting a woman’s self-esteem. Victims may be due compensation for their suffering, pain and medical expenses via a hair loss Taxotere lawsuit.
Though Taxotere was FDA approved in 1996 since then many cases of permanent hair loss have been documented. It’s believed that up to one in every 10 women who have Taxotere chemotherapy treatment suffers permanent — not temporary — hair loss.
Taxotere treatments also are used for patients suffering neck cancer, head cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, metastatic prostate cancer, and advanced stomach cancer.
Other Taxotere Side Effects
Among other possible Taxotere side effects are:
- Weakness or fatigue
- Joint, muscle or bone pain
- Heart ailments
- Nerve damage
- Weight gain from fluid retention
- Swelling of the abdomen or ankles
- Anemia (low red blood cell counts)
Taxotere Studies Confirm Risks
Many Taxotere studies have confirmed the risks of permanent hair loss and other Taxotere side effects.
An independent 2006 study by Dr. Scott Sedlacek of the Rocky Mountain Cancer Center found that more than 6% of breast cancer patients receiving Taxotere chemotherapy combined with Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide) and Adriamycin (doxorubicin) grew back less than half of their hair after chemotherapy. (Taxotere can be administered in conjunction with other drugs.)
A 2012 study reported in the Annals of Oncology found that “severe and permanent female hair loss, especially scalp alopecia,” is one side effect of using docetaxel, the active ingredient in Taxotere, for breast cancer treatment.
Another 2012 study determined that new cancer treatments including Taxotere are connected to a significantly greater risk of side effects than older, standard cancer treatments.
Get a Taxotere Hair Loss Lawyer
The evidence is clear: Victims need to get a Taxotere hair loss lawyer to protect their legal rights and file a lawsuit to gain payments for their injury losses. Notify the Willis Law Firm today for a free case evaluation, so that you can decide the best course of action for you. Let our dangerous drug attorneys help you seek the payments — and the justice — that you legally deserve.