Hair loss is an unfortunate, but expected, occurrence when a patient is undergoing chemotherapy. Given the serious nature of the illnesses for which chemotherapy is a treatment patients, while distressed by this, accept that this is a temporary thing and that eventually their hair will grow back.
However, one of the newer chemotherapy drugs, Taxotere, which is manufactured by Sanofi-Aventis has made found to have a disturbing side effect; alopecia, known more commonly as permanent baldness.
Taxotere, a newer drug, (docetaxel in its generic form) is now widely used to treat cancer patients, but primarily it is used to treat women with breast cancer. In fact, it is estimated that 75% of American women are prescribed the medication as a part of their breast cancer treatment.
The good news is that as a chemotherapy drug, Taxotere is very effective. The bad news is that instead of the temporary hair loss women expect to experience during chemotherapy for some patients taking Taxotere the loss is permanent, in the form of alopecia.
That is not the only problem that has been reported in connection with the drug though. According to a study that was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in 2012 Taxotere and similar ‘new generation’ chemotherapy drugs faced a 52% greater risk of suffering severe side effects than others who were using traditional chemotherapy medications. These included:
- Excessive fatigue
- Heart problems
- Elevated blood pressure
- General infections
- Mouth sores
- Nerve damage
- Fluid retention
It is the side effect of permanent baldness that has, so far, been best proved. A 2012 study published in showed that 19 of 20 women who took Taxotere suffered permanent hair loss, but also the loss of eyelashes and eyebrows. And one woman, who had received chemotherapy before using a different drug reported that although her hair grew back the first time, when she was treated using Taxotere it did not.
Taxotere and Legal Action
The argument that Baron & Budd, along with other attorneys, are making against Sanofi-Aventis and other manufacturers of similar drugs is that they failed to explain the risk of alopecia to either patients or medical practitioners. In their original disclosures temporary hair loss was listed as a possible side effect, permanent hair loss was not, even though the manufacturers were aware of the research and reporting that was suggesting that use of Taxotere led to permanent baldness.
While the use of Taxotere is very common in breast cancer treatment, it is also used to treat other cancers as well, in both men and women, including certain head and neck cancers, non-small cell lung cancer, prostate cancer and some advanced forms of stomach cancer.
Any patient battling cancer has been through enough. If you have suffered as a result of being prescribed Taxotere you should not have to any longer. Call us at (866) 347-7765 or complete our confidential contact form to learn more about the possible legal options open to you.