Taxotere is a common chemotherapy drug approved for certain kinds of cancer, including breast cancer. The drug prevents cancer cells from dividing and growing. Like any cancer drug, Taxotere comes with a long list of side effects – bone pain, muscle and joint pain, fatigue and weakness, taste changes, and nausea, to name just a few.
Temporary hair loss is another side effect of the drug. Most patients will lose all of their hair, including eyebrows, eyelashes and body hair with loss beginning within the first two weeks of treatment. Up until December 2015, the Taxotere label explained, “hair generally grows back.”
Weighing the risks of a cancer drug’s side effects versus the risks of cancer itself is complicated and requires both the prescribing doctor and patient to be fully educated and aware of all side effects before starting a treatment.
Taxotere Can Cause Permanent Hair Loss
Unfortunately, one long-term side effect of Taxotere was not clearly communicated to doctors or patients, many of whom have experienced permanent hair loss, called alopecia, after taking the drug. Studies have shown that in ten to fifteen percent of patients taking Taxotere, hair never grows back. The manufacturer of the drug, Sanofi-Aventis, is accused of not properly warning of this side effect.
Lawsuits Filed Against Sanofi-Aventis
The Food and Drug Administration required Sanofi-Aventis to update the warning label for Taxotere in December 2015 to warn of the risk of alopecia. A number of lawsuits have recently been filed, each claiming that Sanofi-Aventis failed to warn of permanent alopecia, and if patients had known of the risk, they may have been prescribed an alternative drug that does not result in permanent hair loss. These lawsuits have now been consolidated before one federal court in Louisiana.
Roberts & Roberts represents women who have suffered permanent hair loss after taking Taxotere or its generic equivalent, Docetaxel. If you have experienced permanent baldness after taking Taxotere or Docetaxel and were unaware of this side effect, contact us to determine if you are eligible to bring a claim against Sanofi-Aventis.