Permanent Hair Loss from Taxotere Chemotherapy
Taxotere (docetaxel) is a cancer drug manufactured and distributed by French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi-Aventis. It was approved for use in various forms of cancer by the FDA in 1996, and has been one of the leading prescribed treatments for chemotherapy since it was introduced. Taxotere is frequently used by physicians to treat breast cancer in women.
Widespread use of Taxotere was sparked by clinical trials that the medicine showed better results extending survival rates in patients than other drugs in its class. However, the drug may also be responsible for a troubling and serious side effect: permanent hair loss.
What are the Criteria for Filing a Taxotere Lawsuit?
Taxotere (docetaxel) is a chemotherapy drug approved in the treatment of breast cancer along with other forms of cancer. It is administered intravenously through a vein, and is a member of a family of drugs called taxanes.
In 2007, manufacturer Sanofi-Aventis issued a press release touting the efficacy of Taxotere based on a clinical study. However, Sanofi-Aventis failed to inform the FDA, health care providers, and the public that permanent hair loss was observed in a number of the patients taking Taxotere.
In December 2015, the FDA announced it had ordered Sanofi-Aventis to change Taxotere’s label to warn patients of the risk of permanent hair loss. While hair loss during chemotherapy is expected, patients undergoing chemotherapy with Taxotere were not warned they could potentially experience permanent hair loss.
Permanent hair loss is an extremely debilitating condition, especially for women. We are currently investigating claims for women who suffered permanent hair loss following chemotherapy with Taxotere for breast cancer.
The following criteria must be met to file a Taxotere hair loss claim:
- Diagnosed with stage 1 or 2 breast cancer
- Underwent chemotherapy as part of treatment
- Taxotere was used in chemo
- Hair loss occurred where hair has not returned and chemo treatment was completed at least six months prior
- Must have photos of hair loss before and after
- Hair loss includes eyebrows and eyelashes
Does Chemotherapy Cause Permanent Hair Loss?
No. Although it is no secret that many chemotherapy drugs can cause a patient to lose their hair during treatment, the permanent loss of hair is not a side effect. Patients who undergo chemotherapy usually will begin to grow back hair after treatment has concluded. Although this can be a troubling and unfavorable occurrence, most patients have no problem sacrificing temporary loss of hair in exchange for the removal of cancer from their body. Hair loss that persists once treatment is over and the cancer has been destroyed, however, can be a distressing side effect.
The condition alleged to be caused by Taxotere is known as alopecia. Alopecia is the loss of hair resulting from the body mistakenly attacking hair follicles. Because chemotherapy drugs are injectable medications, there is a risk that the drug can affect other areas in the body. Taxotere is believed to be permanently damaging hair follicles and preventing them from ever regrowing.
What Are The Signs of Alopecia?
Alopecia begins when specific clumps of hair begin to fall out, resulting in completely smooth, hairless surfaces. This occurs seemingly at random, in random locations on the head and throughout the body. In some cases, hair may become thinner, but not completely fall out. Alopecia is unique, as hair may fall out in one area and regrow a few months later, only to have another area fall out at a later time. In some cases, hair will regrow much coarser and a different color, however this is usually not permanent.
Research shows that about 10% of patients who suffer from Alopecia may never regrow hair. However, patients who have underwent chemotherapy with Taxotere seem to have a higher rate of permanent hair loss. It is believed that permanent hair loss is more likely if you have any of the following risk factors:
|Family history of the condition|
|Condition occurs at a young age (before puberty)|
|Have another autoimmune disease|
|Have extensive hair loss|
|Abnormal color, shape, texture or thickness of fingernails/toenails|
Although alopecia does not pose serious pain or life-threatening conditions, it is often not looked at as being a debilitating disease. However, permanent hair loss for women, especially at a young age, can cause psychological complications. Taxotere does not come with a warning of permanent hair loss, and women who are suffering are from this unknown side effect are seeking answers.
How Is Alopecia Treated?
Alopecia, because it is not usually permanent, is often not treated. Many patients who do not seek treatment will wear hair pieces or wigs temporarily, until the hair grows back. For patients who suffer from permanent alopecia, treatment options are limited and range in effectiveness. Alopecia treatment options include:
Lawsuits for Taxotere Chemotherapy Permanent Hair Loss
Women across the country who have received taxotere chemotherapy and have yet to grow back hair are filing lawsuits against the manufacturers of the drug, Sanofi-Aventis. Many of these women claim they would have been able to use a different medication had they known of this potential complication. Also alleged in some lawsuits is that Sanofi knew of the hair loss risks associated with Taxotere and withheld that information. More lawsuits are expected to be filed by women in the coming months.
If you or a loved one have received chemotherapy for breast cancer and have yet to regrow your hair months, even years after treatment has ended, you may be able to file a lawsuit. Our legal team has been investigating chemotherapy permanent hair loss lawsuits and believe that compensation may be available to victims of this medication. Our lawyers will speak with you, discover more about your unique situation, and determine what your best course of action will be. There is nothing to lose, because unless you win a settlement, you will not pay anything.
Start Your Taxotere Hair Loss Claim
Our chemotherapy hair loss lawyers will help you file your lawsuit. To get started, you can:
- Submit the Free Case Review Box on this page, or
- Call (866) 280-3417 any time of day to tell us about your case.
We will listen to your story and answer your questions. If you have claim, we will start immediately.
WARNING: There are strict time deadlines for filing Taxotere hair loss lawsuit claims.