Taxotere is a chemotherapy drug produced by French company, Sanofi-Aventis, and is used to help prevent cancer cells from growing and dividing. Taxotere has been used to treat a number of different cancers, but it is most widely associated with the treatment of breast cancer.
Doctors were well aware of the common side effects associated with this drug, as they are similar to other chemotherapy drugs given to patients. These include fatigue, nausea, constipation and even numbness in the hands and feet. One symptom they weren’t aware of was the permanent hair loss that many patients experienced after using Taxotere.
Almost all chemotherapy treatments are associated with hair loss, but that loss is temporary and hair will usually begin to grow back shortly after chemotherapy treatment comes to an end. Unfortunately for those using Taxotere, many of which were women suffering from breast cancer, their hair never began to grow back and many developed alopecia, a technical term for permanent hair loss. And while hair loss is not technically a medical issue, women often suffer emotionally after losing their hair—and those emotions are only enhanced when they learn their hair will never grow back.
The most unfortunate part for Taxotere users is that many women were not warned of this potential side effect. With such big numbers of women experiencing permanent hair loss—about 20% of users—it is necessary and just for all patients to be warned of this possible side effect, particularly when there are other drug options that offer the same results without the risk. But it is not the doctors who are to blame. In fact, studies have shown that most doctors were also unaware of this risk, a fact that seems alarming knowing that the manufacturer of the drug knew about the hair loss side effect since the 1990’s. It has now been shown that the company worked hard to downplay the side effects of the drug and even offered incentives to doctors and medical professionals to use the drug over other, less expensive options that do not result in permanent hair loss.
The biggest surprise to many patients and their doctors was that Europe became aware of the hair loss risk associated with Taxotere in 2005, when Sanofi-Aventis put out a warning for the drug. But, it wasn’t until 10 years later that any patients or medical staff in the United States were made aware of this warning when the FDA finally required the company to inform patients of the risk.
While this is hopeful news for new patients undergoing chemotherapy, the amount of women already suffering from permanent hair loss is insurmountable. After fighting to win the battle with cancer, no woman should continue to fight emotionally for a semblance of their old selves. If you or a loved one used the Taxotere drug during your chemotherapy treatments and experienced permanent hair loss, you may be entitled to compensation.
Fore more information on the Taxotere lawsuit, or to find out how you can enter a claim against the manufacturer, contact the attorneys at Stewart & Stewart today at 1-800-33-33-LAW or visit our website today.