A Taxotere hair loss lawsuit has been filed by a plaintiff who claims that she suffered permanent hair loss after taking the drug as a part of her chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer. Other affected patients may be eligible to seek compensation with the help of drug injury lawyers Shaw Cowart LLP.
For more information, contact Shaw Cowart LLP today. Our consultations are free, confidential and without any obligation on your part. We can help answer your questions, and if you choose to pursue a claim we can connect you with an affiliated attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
Important: The time you have to pursue a claim is limited. Contact us for more information.
What is Taxotere?
Taxotere is a drug used in the treatment of various forms of cancer, including breast cancer. Taxotere is a part of a family of drugs commonly referred to as Taxanes. Taxanes are diterpenes produced by the plants of the genus Taxus (yews) featuring a taxadiene core. Taxanes are widely used as chemotherapy agents and include paclitaxel (Taxol) and Taxotere. Taxane agents also exist as cabazitaxel and in generic forms as well. Paclitaxel (Taxol), which was developed, manufactured, and distributed by Bristol-Myers Squibb and is the main competitor drug to Taxotere, was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December 1992.
Taxotere was approved by the FDA in 1996 and is alleged to have been marketed by drug maker Sanofi Aventis and its related companies and predecessors as a superior treatment to Taxol.
What are the Risks of Taxotere?
Taxotere Side Effects include:
- Extreme weakness
- Severe vomiting or diarrhea
- Fever, chills, body aches
- Easy bruising
- Rapid heart rate
- Trouble concentrating
Serious side effects associated with Taxotere may include:
- Permanent hair loss (alopecia)
- Heart issues
- Nerve damage
- Alcohol intoxication
- Eye disorders
- Allergic reactions
A Taxotere hair loss lawsuit may be an option for patients who suffered permanent hair loss or other side serious side effects as a result of the drug.
Taxotere and Permanent Hair Loss
Although temporary hair loss may be a possible side effect of chemotherapy or radiation therapy, complete and permanent hair loss (alopecia) has been linked to Taxotere. In December 2015, the FDA updated the warning label for Taxotere to include the risk of permanent hair loss associated with the drug.
Furthermore, a study carried out on 20 women who had breast cancer chemotherapy and had taken Taxotere, found that no regrowth of the scalp was noted. The research, conducted between 2007 and 2011, even involved regrowth treatments including vitamins and ultraviolet A therapy, but still no hair regrowth was observed. Another study, published in the 2011 American Journal of Dermatopathology found that “there is increased evidence that certain chemotherapy regimens can cause dose-dependent permanent alopecia”, including Taxotere for breast cancer.
Taxotere Hair Loss Lawsuit Claims
Lawsuits claim that, despite the assertions of the drug’s maker, it does not have superior efficacy to other Taxanes. Plaintiffs allege that the defendants concealed from the FDA, from doctors, and from patients the existence of a study concluding that Taxol was, in fact, more effective than Taxotere for certain chemotherapy patients. Additionally, lawsuit plaintiffs claim that the drug makers engaged in “a fraudulent marketing scheme, paying kickbacks, and providing other unlawful incentives to entice physicians to use” Taxotere.
Lawsuits further allege that, although hair loss is a common side effect of chemotherapy, permanent hair loss is not. The drug makers are accused of misleading the public and the medical community to believe that, like other chemotherapy drugs, patients who took Taxotere would see their hair grow back.
Significantly, plaintiffs claim that:
Although women might accept the possibility of permanent baldness as a result of the use of Taxotere if no other product were available to treat their cancer, this was not the case. Before Defendants’ wrongful conduct resulted in thousands of women being exposed to the side effects of Taxotere, there were already similar products on the market that were at least as effective as Taxotere and did not subject female users to the same risk of disfiguring permanent alopecia as does Taxotere.
Affected patients claim that the permanent hair loss they suffered as a result of taking Taxotere caused them to experience a “disfiguring condition,” resulting in great mental anguish and economic damages.
Has There Been a Taxotere Recall?
As of March 2016, there has not been a Taxotere recall relating to alopecia or permanent hair loss. It was not until December 2015 that the FDA warned that Taxotere may result in permanent hair loss and updated the warning label for the drug.
Although there has not been a Taxotere recall, potential lawsuits may claim that the drug makers failed to disclose known side effects of the drug and that patients suffered damages as a result. Failure to warn of side effects of a drug can be a basis of drug company liability, regardless of whether the drug has been recalled.
Has There Been Taxotere Settlements?
Some cases settle early in the claims process, but it is not expected that there will be early Taxotere settlements. In most cases that proceed in an MDL or state court consolidated proceedings, after a certain period of time initial trials, also known as bellwether trials, take place. The purpose of these trials is for the parties to get an idea of the types of evidence and arguments that will made, as well as to see how juries will respond to the evidence and arguments. After a certain number of cases have been tried, the parties are in a better position to determine whether a case can be settled.
It is expected that Taxotere settlements will follow this pattern, although the outcome of any case is never guaranteed and past results are not necessarily predictive of future outcomes.
How a Taxotere Hair Loss Lawsuit Can Help
Drug manufacturers have a duty to ensure their products are accompanied by full and accurate instructions and warnings to guide prescribing doctors and other health care providers in making treatment decisions. If a drug maker fails to fulfill this duty, it could be held liable in lawsuits for injuries that may result.
Patients who are injured by Taxotere may be entitled to compensation for damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- The permanency of the injury
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish
- Loss of income or ability to work
If a patient dies from complications after taking Taxotere, family members may be entitled to compensation for the wrongful death of their loved one, including:
- Conscious pain and suffering of a loved one prior to death
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish from the loss of a loved one
- Funeral expenses
Patients who have suffered severe side effects, including permanent hair loss, after taking Taxotere, as well as the families of those who have died as a result of complications with the drug, are encouraged to seek the advice of a Taxotere lawsuit attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.
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