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Why Does Taxotere Cause Permanent Hair Loss?

Chemotherapy-induced hair loss (alopecia) is a side effect many breast cancer patients understand is a distinct possibility. However, they believe the alopecia only occurs during treatment. After chemotherapy and remission, survivors look forward to hair regrowth, a visible sign of recovery.
Tragically, for many, they will never grow hair again after using chemotherapy drug, Taxotere.


What is Taxotere?taxotere

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.


Did the Manufacturer Know?

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.

Even more alarming was patients didn’t even need a complete dose of Taxotere to have permanent hair loss. Two patients stopped taking the drug after a single infusion and still ended up with alopecia, which lasted seven years.

None of the patients in the control groups who did not receive Taxotere suffered from permanent hair loss.

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.


Why Does Taxotere Cause Permanent Hair Loss?

Researchers are currently working on why Taxotere has a higher risk of permanent alopecia. Some scientists believe it could be related to potency levels. Taxotere is almost twice as potent as other drugs on the market such as Taxol. The increased potency of the drug enables it to work in longer intervals, requiring less frequent infusions and a smaller number of total treatment cycles.
However, scientists consider this higher potency level may trigger more toxicity. High toxic levels could be the cause of increased risks for permanent hair loss.


What Can I Do?

Many women who suffered permanent or extended hair loss after taking Taxotere are seeking justice. With our help, they are filing suits against Sanofi. Additionally, it is your right for manufacturers to inform you about the long-term risks associated with a medication, 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?

These women turned to us for help, since we want to send a message that this is not acceptable. We are advocates for consumers who have been harmed by dangerous products. We also have over 20 years of experience litigating these cases.

Contact us today for a free consultation to find out what compensation may be available for you.

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