For most cancer survivors, the regrowth of hair following grueling chemotherapy treatment is a symbol of victory over cancer. However, for some cancer survivors, the regrowth of hair does not happen, leaving them devastated.
Many people who have been diagnosed with cancer undergo chemotherapy and understand and anticipate possible temporary hair loss during treatment. However, survivors are finding out temporary hair loss may not be temporary at all if treated with the drug TAXOTERE®.
WHAT IS TAXOTERE®?
Taxotere® (docetaxel) has been approved for use in the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer, advanced stomach cancer, head and neck cancer, metastatic prostate cancer, and breast cancer.
In fact, Taxotere® is the most widely used breast cancer drug in its class, prescribed to almost 75 percent of cancer patients.
It is an anti-cancer chemotherapy drug classified as a “plant alkaloid,” a “taxane,” and an “antimicrotubule agent.” The two types of taxanes are Paclitaxel and Taxotere. Taxotere® (docetaxel) is a type of human-made taxane chemotherapy medicine that works by damaging the structure or the “skeleton” that supports cancer cells, and stopping the cancer from growing and dividing.
HISTORY OF TAXOTERE®
- Taxotere® is manufactured by Sanofi-Aventis and has been sold in the United States since 1999
- In April of 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned Sanofi-Aventis of using misleading promotional materials
- In 2010, Sanofi-Aventis reported Taxotere® had been used to treat more than 1.5 million patients
- Five years later, in December, 2015, the FDA required Sanofi-Aventis to change the warning label to include a new warning of permanent hair loss
WHAT DAMAGE CAN BE CAUSED BY TAXOTERE®?
Taxotere® has been linked to permanent hair loss, known as Alopecia. There are three types of alopecia: Alopecia areata (loss of hair usually from the scalp in round patches), Alopecia totalis (loss of all head hair), and Alopecia universalis (loss of hair on scalp and body). Alopecia is caused as a result of an autoimmune disorder which causes the body’s white blood cells to attack hair follicles. Once contracted, Alopecia is permanent.
HAS TAXOTERE® BEEN RECALLED? HAVE ANY LAWSUITS BEEN FILED?
At this time there are no recalls of Taxotere® related to alopecia. However, from a legal standpoint, the investigation into this drug is in its early stages and lawsuits have been filed nationwide against the manufacturer, Sanofi-Aventis. These lawsuits claim intentional misleading on the part of Sanofi-Aventis and failure to warn of permanent Alopecia (hair loss).
If you or a loved one has suffered harm from use of Taxotere®, we urge you to consult with one of our attorneys for a free case evaluation. Reeves & Mestayer, PLLC are experienced attorneys who will work for you. There is no fee unless we accept your case and a recovery is made for you. You can contact us here on our website, by phone at 1-855-558-2977, or in our office at 160 Main Street, Biloxi, MS.