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The Devastation of Permanent Hair Loss
Although physical pain is rarely associated with alopecia, or permanent hair loss linked to Taxotere use, women suffering from this condition experience a psychological pain that could have potentially been avoided had the makers of Taxotere fully disclosed the long-term side effects of Taxotere use.
A study that appeared in the Oct. 22, 2005 issue of the BMJ (formerly known as The British Medical Journal) shows just how horrible these effects can be.
Harmless? Not Exactly
Alopecia is a dermatological disorder that often results in total hair loss that can last for years. It isn’t painful and doesn’t produce anything but minor physical effects. Some women might suffer slight skin irritation and that is about it.
But the psychological effects, according to the study, are a completely different matter. Research into these effects is relatively rare, but the evidence that has been uncovered is disturbing to say the least. Alopecia can lead to severe social problems among women, who commonly consider their hair a major part of their identity. According to the study, 40 percent of women who suffer from alopecia have experienced marital problems, and an astounding 63 percent have reported career issues.
Alopecia has also been linked to psychiatric disorders such as social phobias, paranoia, depression and anxiety. Some alopecia sufferers have even exhibited a sense of bereavement similar to grieving over the loss of a loved one.
Alopecia and Taxotere
Thousands of women have had to live the nightmare of alopecia after taking Taxotere. They are suing Sanofi-Aventis, the maker of Taxotere, claiming that they would have chosen a different chemotherapy option had they known the risks.