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Taxotere (Docetaxel) is an FDA approved drug that is used during chemotherapy to help treat breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, head and neck cancer, stomach cancer and metastatic prostate cancer. Taxotere is administered intravenously and is member of the family of drugs called Taxanes. The main purpose of Taxotere is to prevent cancer cells from growing and spreading.
Taxotere is a chemotherapy drug, which has been prescribed in the US to breast cancer patients since 1996 as part of their treatment. The brand name for Taxotere is Docefrez and the generic name is Docetaxel. Taxotere works to treat cancer by interfering with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body. While largely prescribed for breast cancer, this drug is sometimes also prescribed for treatment of head and neck cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, stomach cancer and metastatic prostate cancer. Taxotere is administered intravenously, and is an attractive treatment option as studies have shown it to be as effective as paclitaxel (another chemotherapy drug in the same class called “taxanes”), but unlike paclitaxel which must be given once a week, Taxotere only needs to be given once a month. Due to this, some doctors prescribe the drug due to its convenience factor. However, studies have linked Taxotere to a disfiguring side effect: permanent hair loss, also known as alopecia. Lawsuits are currently being filed against Sanofi-Aventis.
It is expected that during chemotherapy cancer patients will experience temporary hair loss. However, what the patients taking Taxotere did not expect was that they would be left with permanent hair loss, alopecia. A side effect that lawsuits say the maker of Taxotere, Sanofi-Aventis, was aware of but did not warn the public about and who misrepresented the drug as being safe. Allegedly Sanofi-Aventis failed to notify the FDA of these side effects until late 2015. In 2013 a study published by the National Cancer Research Institute found that permanent hair loss came as a side effect in 10-15 percent of patients who took Taxotere. Many women who were prescribed Taxotere now say they suffer from alopecia, and have little to no hair, causing them to continue to wear wigs and scarves on their heads as they did when they underwent treatment. Hair loss has been ranked as one of the most distressing side effects of cancer treatment and can greatly impact the patient’s quality of life. While there are treatments for alopecia, most women are left with incomplete, sparse and clumpy hair regrowth.
If you or a love one have taken Taxotere and suffered hair loss, you need to speak up! You might be eligible for financial compensation for your pain and suffering. In December 2015, the FDA did acknowledge that Taxotere can result in permanent hair loss, but has yet to recall Taxotere and is instead requiring new labeling warning of permanent hair loss. Claims are currently being filed against Sanofi-Aventis by patients who took Taxotere and suffered permanent hair loss. If you or a loved one took Taxotere and are suffering from alopecia, fill out a no-cost claim review to see if you are eligible to receive compensation.
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