Taxotere Hair Loss Claims
By Sandra Dalton, Staff Writer
Breast cancer survivors who are now living with unnecessary, permanent hair loss are suing Taxotere (docetaxel) maker, Sanofi-Aventis, for failure to warn doctors and patients about the permanently disfiguring side effect of the drug, hiding the fact that the drug is more toxic than similar drugs, and engaging in illegal marketing practices to boost sales. If you have suffered permanent hair loss after using Taxotere, you may be able to recover substantial compensation.
Women Were Denied Informed Choice
The women who used Taxotere and lost their hair were not informed of the risk or their options. This was not a question of give up your hair or die. There is an alternative chemotherapy medication, called Taxol (paclitaxel), that poses a lower risk of permanent hair loss and is more effective than Taxotere for many patients. Women should have been warned about the risk of permanent hair loss and informed about their options and the pros and cons of choosing a different drug so they could make an informed choice.
But they were not told that they could choose a less toxic medication, nor were they warned about permanent hair loss. Instead, they were told that they could look forward to their hair eventually growing back after completing chemo, and when it didn’t they had a hard time getting answers from their doctors as to why.
Hair Loss Matters
A study, published in 2008, reviewed the existing literature to understand and describe the effect of hair loss (alopecia) on the quality of life of breast cancer patients. The study authors looked at several quality of life issues including:
- Body image
- Social functioning
- Ability to return to work
What they found was that hair loss was a very serious concern for breast cancer patients and ranked among the most distressing side effects. “Indeed, it was described as harder than losing a breast,” according to the study.
This mirrors what other women have said about their experience with Taxotere. On the blog A Head of Our Time, Christine said “It was so much worse than losing a breast to cancer, because that could be fixed – I had undergone a reconstruction.” A Head of Our Time was created by and for women who have gone permanently bald as a result of chemotherapy.
If you or someone you love is living with permanent hair loss after chemotherapy with Taxotere, you can learn more about your rights and how you can recover damages for your losses by searching our directory to find a pharmaceutical injury lawyer near you.