Chemotherapy Drug Taxotere Causes Permanent Hair Loss According to Lawsuit
For breast cancer patients who are already suffering, the news that common chemotherapy drug Taxotere is causing permanent hair loss is almost too much to digest.
While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration updated warnings on the Taxotere label in December 2015 to reflect the very real side effect of permanent hair loss, also known as alopecia, it seems this cautionary tale is too little too late. In fact, research is showing that European doctors may have known of the drug’s long-term dangers for up to a decade and Canadians had been warned about permanent alopecia tied to Taxotere since 2012. Unfortunately, it appears U.S. cancer patients were left in the dark.
This spring an Ohio breast cancer patient filed a lawsuit alleging that Sanofi-Aventis, the maker of Taxotere, had alerted doctors and patients in both Europe and Canada about the risk of permanent hair loss long before telling Americans, waiting a full month after the FDA’s adverse-reaction update to warn patients of the drug’s serious side effects. The lawsuit asserts that not only did the manufacturer fail to disclose the risk of permanent hair loss in breast cancer patients using Taxotere, but also that Sanofi-Aventis conspired to hide the problem to increase potentially lucrative sales of the drug.
If there’s a chance that you or a loved one may have taken Taxotere during chemotherapy, here’s what you need to know:
What is Taxotere? Sold in the U.S. since 1999, Taxotere (docetaxel) is an intravenous chemotherapy drug designed to help prevent cancer cells from growing and dividing in patients with advanced or metastasized breast cancer, as well as non-small cell lung cancer, advanced stomach cancer, head and neck cancer, and metastatic prostate cancer.
Why is it dangerous? While most chemotherapy drugs are known to cause temporary hair loss, ending when treatment is finished, Taxotere has been linked to a condition known as alopecia universalis, or the permanent loss of all body hair. The 2015 FDA Taxotere labeling update regarding this specific adverse risk is linked directly to reported cases of permanent alopecia in the U.S.
What are the warning signs? Your hair is not growing back after completing chemotherapy. Signs many include absence of hair anywhere on the body (including underarms and genital region); baldness; and lack of eyebrows or eyelashes. While these are the most obvious signs of permanent hair loss, other related side effects can include muscle or joint pain; constipation; diarrhea; fatigue and weakness; fluid retention with weight gain; infection; anemia; low white blood cell count; mouth or throat sores; changes to fingernails or toenails; nausea; numbness in fingers and toes; and taste changes.
What should I do next? If you are concerned that Taxotere may have affected you, secure legal representation now. Call a lawyer who is experienced in handling large defective drug lawsuits. Whitley Law Firm is currently talking to chemo patients throughout North Carolina and the U.S. Our dangerous drug attorneys are always available at 888.760.9359 for a complimentary case evaluation.