Taxotere (docetaxel) is a chemotherapy drug approved in the treatment of breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, advanced stomach cancer, head and neck cancer and metastatic prostate cancer.
Taxotere Litigation Issues
The lawsuits that have been filed against Sanofi-Aventis (the manufacturer of Taxotere) claim the company failed to warn of the increased risks of permanent alopecia (loss of hair). The lawsuits state that if the manufacturer had properly warned of the risks, patients would have been prescribed a different chemotherapy drug (such as Taxol), which is just as effective but does not result in permanent hair loss.
Taxotere Side Effects
One of the most serious side effects of Taxotere is alopecia (permanent loss of hair).
Other potential side effects include:
- Bone, muscle or joint pain
- Fatigue and weakness
- Fluid retention with weight gain, swelling of the ankles or abdominal area
- Low red blood cell count (anemia)
- Low white blood cell count
- Mouth or throat sores
- Nail changes (color changes to your fingernails or toenails)
- Peripheral neuropathy (numbness in your fingers and toes)
- Taste changes
As of this time, there has not been a recall of Taxotere related to alopecia. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in December 2015 did acknowledge that Taxotere can result in permanent hair loss, and this warning will now be placed on the Taxotere label.
Video — Attorney Mike Papantonio Discusses the Relationship Between Taxotere and Permanent Hair Loss
Taxotere Legal Assistance
Mike Papantonio, the founder of The Ring of Fire, is the lead trial attorney in the law firm of Levin Papantonio. His law firm has been in existence since 1955, and is considered a national leader in drug and medical device litigation. His law firm is the founder of Mass Torts Made Perfect, a national seminar attended by approximately 800 lawyers twice per year where the firm teaches the successful discovery and trial techniques in national litigation against drug companies. To find out more about the Taxotere litigation and Levin Papantonio, click Taxotere Litigation.
FDA and Scientific Studies Regarding Taxotere
Taxotere (docetaxel) injection concentrate: FDA approves following language to Taxotere label: “Cases of permanent alopecia have been reported.” To read more, click FDA Drug Safety Information
Permanent scalp alopecia related to breast cancer chemotherapy by sequential fluorouracil/epirubicin/cyclophosphamide (FEC) and docetaxel: a prospective study of 20 patients.: Twenty white Caucasian females were included. Hair loss presented with a moderate or intense androgenetic-like pattern of scalp alopecia. Biopsy specimen examinations were normal or displayed the androgenetic-like pattern. Laboratory explorations ruled out iron or zinc deficiency and thyroid disorders and confirmed hormonal menopause without hyperandrogenism. The overall mean DLQI score reflected the distressing psychological consequences in the patients’ lives. No spontaneous regrowth of the scalp hair was noted. Treatment including vitamins, minoxidil, psoralen and ultraviolet A therapy and spironolactone proved to be ineffective. Permanent and severe alopecia is a newly reported complication of the FEC 100-docetaxel breast cancer regimen. To read more, click Annals of Oncology
Long Term Hair Loss in Patients with Early Breast Cancer Receiving Docetaxel Chemotherapy: Long term significant scalp alopecia (here lasting for up to 3.5 years following completion of chemotherapy) may affect 10-15% of patients following docetaxel for EBC. This appears to be unrelated to other patient and treatment characteristics. Long term hair loss has a significant impact on quality of survival. Further prospective study is required to confirm incidence and to identify effective preventive and management strategies. This risk should be discussed routinely (as part of the process of informed consent) with all patients embarking upon docetaxel as a component of management of EBC. To read more, click NCRI Cancer Conference
A Head of Our Time: Living with Persistent Chemo-Induced Alopecia:According to Sanofi-Aventis, manufacturer of the chemotherapy drug Taxotere—used to treat breast, lung, gastric, head and neck and prostate cancer—3% of patients administered the drug could experience long-term alopecia. This figure could rise to as high as 6.3% when given in combination with the drugs Adriamycin (doxorubicin) and Cyclophosphamide, according to a study by the Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers in Colorado. To read more, click A Head of Our Time
Taxotere: A Chemo Drug Bringing More Suffering to Women’s Lives: Taxotere is an unnecessary chemo drug that is adding even more suffering to women’s lives. America’s Lawyer, Mike Papantonio, and attorney Ben Gordon discuss this. To read more, click The Ring of Fire
‘I’d rather have lost my breasts than my hair’ – Woman devastated after cancer treatment left her bald: My oncologist prescribed me a cocktail of chemotherapy drugs, one of which, Taxotere, can cause permanent baldness in some women who have the treatment. That wasn’t explained to me fully at the time. If I had known the side effects, would I have refused the drug? Absolutely. There is another drug, Taxol, which is as effective and the risk of permanent hair loss is negligible. Instead, today, I am almost bald. To read more, click The Mirror
I survived cancer – but drugs left me with permanent alopecia: Shirley’s hair loss during chemotherapy turned out to be ‘Alopecia – Persistent Significant’ – and permanent. . . . The cause was a drug called Taxotere (Docetaxel), which, when combined into a “cocktail with other chemotherapy drugs”, causes “male pattern baldness”. To read more, click The Telegraph
Women who took chemo drug say they weren’t warned of permanent hair loss: This lasting side effect of the chemotherapy drug Taxotere, in combination with other drugs, came to light when cancer patients began living longer. These women are now finding that survival comes at a cost. Balding women from Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and France are calling themselves the Taxotears. To read more, click The Globe and Mail
Additional Information and Assistance
To find out more about the Taxotere litigation and/or to seek a free and confidential legal consultation, click Taxotere Litigation.