Taxotere Hair Loss Lawsuit Lawyer
Taxotere, a cancer drug used in chemotherapy, can cause permanent hair loss or alopecia. The maker of Taxotere (docetaxel) – Sanofi-Aventis – faces Taxotere lawsuits for failing to warn doctors and patients of this irreversible “side effect.” Anyone given Taxotere during chemotherapy poisoning who now suffers from permanent hair loss (alopecia) can contact an experienced drug injury attorney for a free legal consultation regarding a potential Taxotere hair loss lawsuit.
Taxotere Lawsuit – Permanent Hair Loss
Lawsuits over Taxotere state that its maker – Sanofi-Aventis – failed to warn patients and doctors that Taxotere increases the risk of alopecia, permanent hair loss.
Alopecia caused by Taxotere
Sanofi-Aventis began to warn U.S. patients of the risk of permanent alopecia only after being ordered to do so by the FDA in December 2015. Patients in Europe and Canada, meanwhile, were warned about permanent hair loss from Taxotere back in 2005. U.S. doctors and patients were unaware of Taxotere’s risk of permanent alopecia. They were also unaware of an alternative chemotherapy drug that is just as effective, and it comes without Taxotere’s permanent side effects.
Chemotherapy Hair Loss vs. Taxotere Alopecia
Hair loss in chemotherapy is a well-known side effect, but the hair is expected to grow back within 3-6 months of halting chemo. Roughly 10-15% of women who used Taxotere during chemo reported zero hair growth for as long as ten years after stopping “treatment.”
Forms of Alopecia / Permanent Hair Loss
Alopecia can come in many different forms, including:
- Total hair loss on scalp and body
- Lack of eyelashes
- Lack of eyebrows
- Non-existent hair growth under arms or around genitals
Taxotere Failure to Warn
Women who have suffered permanent hair loss as a result of being prescribed Taxotere are filing claims against Sanofi-Aventis. Lawsuit petitions for Taxotere charge that if the manufacturer had properly warned of the risks, patients would have been prescribed a different chemotherapy drug.
Taxotere Alternative Drug Taxol
One alternative to Taxotere, Taxol, is more effective than Taxotere, and it does not cause permanent hair loss. Sanofi-Aventis did not begin to warn women of permanent hair loss until and FDA directed label change approval came in December 2015.
What is Taxotere?
Taxotere (docetaxel) is a chemotherapy drug approved in the treatment of:
• breast cancer (2004)
• non-small cell lung cancer (2002)
• gastric cancer (2006)
• head and neck cancer (2006)
• metastatic prostate cancer (2004)
Taxotere is usually administered intravenously during one hour-long infusion cycles repeated every 3-4 weeks. It is a member of a family of drugs called taxanes.
Taxotere is usually used in combination with other dubious cancer drugs: capecitabine, cisplatin, fluorouracil, doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide. These drugs are advertised to fight off cancer and provide cancer victims better survival rates. Taxotere acts as an anti-mitotic agent, which means it attempts to disrupt cellular division.
Taxotere Used with Other Chemo Drugs
Taxotere is normally used in combination with other drugs such as capecitabine, cisplatin, fluorouracil, doxorubicin and cyclophosphamide, all designed to fight cancer and provide longer survival rates. Taxotere acts as an anti-mitotic agent, disrupting cellular division.
Taxotere Injuries & Side Effects
One of the most serious and devastating potential side effects, problems and risks associated with Taxotere is permanent hair loss, or alopecia. Other “Side Effects” (a euphemism for actual effects) include:
• Bone, muscle, joint pain
• Fatigue and weakness
• Fluid retention, weight gain, swelling of ankles, abdomen
• Low red blood cell count (anemia)
• Low white blood cell count
• Mouth or throat sores
• Nail changes (color changes to fingernails or toenails)
• Peripheral neuropathy (numbness in fingers and toes)
• Taste changes
FDA Taxotere Warning, Safety Labeling Changes
In 2015, the FDA required Sanofi-Aventis to change Taxotere’s safety label to include a warning of alopecia and permanent hair loss as adverse reactions to the drug. This warning followed several other FDA warnings that included respiratory adverse reactions and eye disorders.
Taxotere Adverse Respiratory Reactions
• Acute pulmonary edema
• Acute pulmonary distress
• Interstitial lung disease/pneumonia
• Respiratory failure
• Pulmonary Fibrosis
Taxotere Eye Disorders
• Cystoid macular edema
• Decreased vision
Taxotere Whistleblower Lawsuit
A former Sanofi-Aventis employee filed a whistleblower lawsuit in 2015. The petition claims Taxotere’s maker engaged in fraudulent marketing. The claim alleges Sanofi-Aventis misrepresented the safety and efficacy of Taxotere for off-label uses. It also alleges the drug maker gave doctors kickbacks to incentivize use of the drug. Sales of Taxotere increased from some $424 million to $1.4 billion in the four years for which the lawsuit petition alleges the fraud and kickbacks occurred. As a result, potentially thousands or even millions of patients were exposed to Taxotere’s unnecessary toxicity and side effects as compared with less toxic chemotherapy medications.
2016 Taxotere Lawsuit
In 2016, a woman who survived breast cancer survivor filed a lawsuit that alleges Sanofi-Aventis engaged in fraudulent marketing tactics to increase sales. She also accused the drug maker of increasing revenues at the expense of her and other cancer victims, who were unaware of Taxotere’s serious side effects that include increased toxicity and permanent hair loss or alopecia. The woman’s petition also charges that she would not have used Taxotere had she known of its side effects
Taxotere Hair Loss Lawsuit Lawyer
If you took Taxotere and now suffer from permanent hair loss (alopecia), we believe you deserve compensation for your pain and suffering. Contact an experienced pharmaceutical drug injury lawyer at Matthews & Associates for a no-obligation free legal consultation.