Studies show that popular chemotherapy drug causes permanent hair loss
Taxotere, manufactured by Sanofi-Aventis, is the most prescribed chemotherapy drug. Doctors inject the drug intravenously to prevent cancer cells from growing and dividing. Doctors only need to administer Taxotere once every three weeks. Paclitaxel, a drug in the same class, is a weekly treatment. Fewer trips for treatments makes Taxotere more appealing even though other drugs like paclitaxel are just as effective.
Manufactured by Sanofi-Aventis, Taxotere (docetaxel) is a chemotherapy drug. The FDA approved the drug in 1996 to treat a variety of cancers; however, it is mainly used for the treatment of breast cancer. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. This equates to almost 300,000 U.S. women every year. Almost 75% of these women will use Taxotere to battle their cancer.
Taxotere Hair Loss Studies
After beating breast cancer, many women are devastated to learn that Taxotere has robbed them of looking like a breast cancer survivor. Studies are linking Taxotere to a disfiguring side effect: permanent hair loss (Alopecia).
In 2011, an American Journal of Dermatopathology study determined that chemotherapy drugs containing taxanes could contribute to the development of permanent hair loss and baldness.
Then, in 2012 the Annals of Oncology (PDF) found that Taxotere is associated with an increased risk of permanent alopecia. The study followed 20 female breast cancer patients using docetaxel and developed permanent hair loss. Researchers ruled out mineral deficiencies and thyroid disorders as contributing factors. Before taking the drug, the women had no history of alopecia.
In 2014, researchers uncovered 10-15% of patients taking Taxotere could experience the hair loss for well over 10 years. In some cases, it could be permanent.
Manufacturer, Sanofi Hid Hair Loss Side Effects
In the late 1990s, Sanofi sponsored a 5-year study called GEICAM 9805. The study followed over 1,000 women with breast cancer who used Taxotere. The study aimed to test long-term survival on the drug, but it also uncovered a terrible side effect. Almost 10% of women in the study suffered permanent alopecia.
Sanofi did not come forward with the results. The company withheld the results of the study from healthcare providers and patients in the United States. Instead, they issued a generic, vague and insufficient alopecia warning and promised hair would grow back.
Patients expect hair loss during chemotherapy. It is a very common side effect in the fight against cancer. However, what is wrong is that the manufacturer never warned these women that the loss of hair could be permanent when using Taxotere. If the manufacturer informed these patients that their hair loss could be permanent, they may have chosen a different drug like paclitaxel instead.
These women never had the chance of making an informed choice. They are thrilled to be cancer-free but find themselves still looking like a cancer patient.
When manufacturers produce unsafe products that create pain and suffering, you deserve compensation. Although no amount of money will change the fact that you have suffered a serious injury because of manufacturer irresponsibility, compensation will help offset your current and future medical costs, as well as provide for the pain and suffering you have experienced. By filing, you may also help protect other women and their families from needless distress.
We Want to Help Victims
Furthermore, it is your right for manufacturers to inform you about the long-term risks associated with the medical devices, and it is the responsibility of manufacturers to provide this information. If you or a loved one has suffered any side effects from Taxotere, you should demand accountability from Sanofi. Why did no one tell you?
Of course, we want to help send a message that this is not acceptable. We are advocates for consumers who have been harmed by dangerous products, and likewise, we have the experience necessary to successfully litigate these cases.
Contact the Michael Brady Lynch Firm today for a free consultation to learn more about seeking justice. Compensation may be available for any medical expenses associated with this ordeal, as well as for your physical and emotional suffering. There is no obligation.
How We Can Help
When you experience side effects from a dangerous drug, it can have devastating effects on your entire life. You also may be entitled to compensation for their injuries and damages. The types of losses we can help you recover include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Loss of an ability to work; and Pain and suffering
If a person dies from complications from a drug, family members may be able to recover damages for the wrongful death of their loved one, including:
- Funeral expenses
- Medical expenses prior to death
- Loss of economic support; and
- Loss of companionship
Therefore, if the conduct of a company is found to be highly reckless, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the company and deter similar conduct in the future. If you suffered after taking Taxotere, please speak to us to learn more about your rights.
The Michael Brady Lynch Firm is currently accepting cases in all 50 state. Please use the form on this page or call toll-free 24 hours a day at 877-513-9517.