Baron & Budd Attorneys Can Help You File a Lawsuit Seeking Compensation
Hair loss is expected when undergoing chemo treatment, but many women are filing Taxotere lawsuits against the manufacturer for permanent hair loss. Sanofi-Aventis stated temporary hair loss as a side effect of the popular chemo for breast cancer, not permanent baldness (alopecia). The attorneys at Baron & Budd are here to help victims living with alopecia after chemotherapy with Taxotere. You’ve suffered enough, let us help you hold this drug manufacturer responsible.
Taxotere (docetaxel) is a common chemotherapy drug used widely to treat cancer. Specifically, Taxotere is a popular treatment option for those suffering from breast cancer. In fact, an estimated 75% of breast cancer patients in the U.S. use the medication. While it has shown to be an effective medication, many women taking it have experienced permanent hair loss, a condition known as alopecia that was not disclosed by the manufacturer.
Proof of Permanent Baldness
Traditional chemotherapy typically results in hair loss, but once treatment is finished the patient’s hair will grow back in anywhere from three to six months. While this is obviously a distressing side effect, it is at least temporary. Permanent hair loss, on the other hand, can be devastating – and that is what studies show can occur with Taxotere use.
According to a study funded by the drug maker (known as GEICAM 9805) that appeared in The New England Journal of Medicine, nearly 10 percent of patients taking Taxotere suffered alopecia that lasted a decade or more. Another study, published in the Annals of Oncology in 2012, showed that 19 of 20 women who took Taxotere not only suffered permanent hair loss, but also the loss of eyelashes and eyebrows. One woman who participated in the study reported that her hair returned after using other methods of chemotherapy, but when she used Taxotere her hair loss was permanent.
More Taxotere Side Effects
When a woman is already battling breast cancer, she should not also have to suffer from permanent hair loss. However, the addition of other side effects can prove overwhelming. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in 2012, there have been other side effects linked to Taxotere and other “new generation” chemotherapy drugs. These include:
- Heart problems
- High blood pressure
- Mouth sores
- Nerve damage
- Retention of fluid
Researchers in the study found that patients who were given one of the newer drugs were at a 52 percent higher risk of suffering severe side effects than others who were using traditional chemotherapy medications. They also faced a 40 percent higher risk of death.
How Taxotere Works
While normal cells stop dividing, cancer cells cannot. As a result, cancer can spread throughout the body. Taxotere is similar to other chemotherapy medications in that it is designed to stop cancerous cells from being able to divide and ultimately multiply. When these cells can no longer multiply, they die.
Taxotere is not yet available in pill form, meaning it is only administered intravenously. The drug is chiefly prescribed for breast cancer, but it is also used to treat the following:
- Advanced stomach cancer
- Head and neck cancer
- Non-small cell lung cancer
- Prostate cancer
How a Lawyer from Baron & Budd Can Help
Plaintiffs are alleging that Sanofi-Aventis failed to warn patients or doctors of the potential for permanent hair loss as well as the fact that the medication has a higher level of toxicity compared to similar drugs. In addition, plaintiffs are claiming the drug maker failed to provide information on how to lower the risk of suffering alopecia.
- The New England Journal of Medicine. Adjuvant Docetaxel for High-Risk, Node-Negative Breast Cancer. December 2, 2010. Miguel Martín, M.D., Ph.D., Miguel A. Seguí, M.D., Antonio Antón, M.D., Ph.D., Amparo Ruiz, M.D., Manuel Ramos, M.D., Encarna Adrover, M.D., Ignacio Aranda, M.D., Alvaro Rodríguez-Lescure, M.D., Ph.D., Regina Große, M.D., Lourdes Calvo, M.D., Agustí Barnadas, M.D., Ph.D., Dolores Isla, M.D., Ph.D., Purificación Martinez del Prado, M.D., Manuel Ruiz Borrego, M.D., Jerzy Zaluski, M.D., Angels Arcusa, M.D., Montserrat Muñoz, M.D., José M. López Vega, M.D., Ph.D., José R. Mel, M.D., Ph.D., Blanca Munarriz, M.D., Ph.D., Cristina Llorca, M.D., Ph.D., Carlos Jara, M.D., Ph.D., Emilio Alba, M.D., Ph.D., Jesús Florián, M.D., Junfang Li, Ph.D., José A. López García-Asenjo, M.D., Amparo Sáez, M.D., María José Rios, M.D., Sergio Almenar, M.D., Gloria Peiró, M.D., and Ana Lluch, M.D., Ph.D., for the GEICAM 9805 Investigators*N Engl J Med 2010; 363:2200-2210. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa0910320 http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa0910320?viewType=Print&
- Annals of Oncology. Official Journal for the European Journal of Medical Oncology. Permanent scalp alopecia related to breast cancer chemotherapy by sequential fluorouracil/epirubicin/cyclophosphamide (FEC) and docetaxel: a prospective study of 20 patients. 2012 Nov;23(11):2879-84. doi: 10.1093/annonc/mds095. Epub 2012 May 9. Kluger N1, Jacot W, Frouin E, Rigau V, Poujol S, Dereure O, Guillot B, Romieu G, Bessis D. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22571858
The Price We Pay for Progress: A Meta-Analysis of Harms of Newly Approved Anticancer Drugs
Journal of Clinical Oncology 2012 30:24, 3012-3019. http://ascopubs.org/doi/abs/10.1200/JCO.2011.40.3824