Taxotere is a chemotherapy drug used in the treatment of breast, lung, prostate and stomach cancers. Taxotere works by interfering with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body. Sanofi-Aventis, a French company, manufacturers Taxotere. The product’s generic name is Docetaxel.
Taxotere is usually administered intravenously every three weeks for eighteen weeks in conjunction with other chemotherapy treatments. An estimated 75% of all women who underwent chemotherapy for breast cancer in recent years received Taxotere.
Temporary hair loss is a well-known side effect of many chemotherapy drugs, but most women were not told that with Taxotere, the loss could be permanent. Additionally, most women report they were not told of safer alternatives such as Taxol. Studies show Taxol to be as effective as Taxotere but without the risk of permanent alopecia (hair loss).
Types of Alopecia Induced by Taxotere
According to recent litigation, Sanofi-Aventis only began to warn U.S. patients of the risk of permanent alopecia after being mandated to do so by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December 2015, even though patients outside of the U.S. were warned about permanent hair loss as early as 2005. This means that because U.S. doctors and patients were unaware of Taxotere’s risk of permanent alopecia, the option of using an alternative chemotherapy drug that is as effective as Taxotere, but without its permanent side effects, was rarely used. During chemotherapy, hair loss is a well-known symptom, but is expected to grow back within 3-6 months of stopping treatment. Approximately 10-15% of women who used Taxotere during the course of treatment reported no hair growth for as long as ten years after stopping treatment. Alopecia can come in many different forms, including:
- Non-existent hair growth under arms or around genitals
- Lack of eyelashes
- Lack of eyebrows
- Total hair loss on both the scalp and body
Absolute hair loss on the scalp and body is a special form of alopecia called alopecia universalis, and is the most frequent hair loss condition reported with Taxotere use.
After a hard-fought battle with cancer, suffering permanent hair loss from taking a drug you expected to heal you can feel like a series of compounding devastations. If you are now experiencing permanent hair loss after being urged to take Taxotere as a part of your breast cancer treatment, our Taxotere lawyers understand your frustration and anguish at being deceived by a multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical company. Permanent baldness in women can lead to a loss of enjoyment of life, additional medical expenses, psychological damage, and lost wages for cancer survivors who only wish to return to a normal life. The legal team at Hissey, Mulderig & Friend is fully prepared to fight against deceptive pharmaceutical companies on behalf of breast cancer survivors suffering permanent Taxotere-related hair loss.