Taxotere Lawsuit

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Taxotere Lawsuit Representation

Chemotherapy Drug Linked to Permanent Hair Loss in Breast Cancer Patients

According to U.S. Breast Cancer statistics, approximately 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their life. The site estimates that more than 300,000 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed this year alone. Of the 3 million women in America currently living with breast cancer, an estimated 75 percent of them were prescribed Taxotere. For more than 20 years patients have relied on this drug and its generic counterpart Docetaxel. However, the Taxotere side effects include permanent hair loss.  If you or a loved one has suffered permanent hair loss, contact The Carlson Law Firm to join the Taxotere lawsuit.

The lawsuit against Taxotere maker, Sanofi-Aventis, is the result of the company’s failure to properly warn patients of the risks. Breast cancer patients could have opted to take an alternative chemotherapy drug called Taxol. Taxol is more effective and does not result in permanent hair loss.

What is Taxotere?

Taxotere is the brand name Sanofi-Aventis’ chemotherapy drug consisting of docetaxel. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug in 1996. Taxotere has been widely used since its approval. It’s been prescribed to treat breast cancer and other forms of cancer, including:

  • Breast;
  • Lung;
  • Prostate;
  • Stomach; and
  • Head and neck cancer

Taxotere is a part of a family of drugs commonly referred to as taxanes, chemical compounds produced by the plants of the genus Taxus (yew trees). Taxotere, like other types of cancer treatments, fights cancer by preventing cancer cells from growing. The treatment was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1996 and is developed, manufactured and distributed by Sanofi-Aventis and its related companies.

How does Taxotere work?

Taxotere is a chemotherapy drug. Patients typically receive the drug by an intravenous drip.  It works by targeting and slowing down or stopping the spread of fast-growing cancer cells. Typically, cancer patients receive chemotherapy treatment every week. However, an attractive quality of Taxotere is that it allows patients receive treatment every three weeks.

Taxotere Side Effects and Permanent Hair Loss

Alopecia, or permanent hair loss, occurs when hair cannot grow often resulting in baldness or bald spots.If you or a loved one used Taxotere and your hair has not grown back after six months, contact The Carlson Law Firm about the Taxotere lawsuit. Many cancer patients expect hair loss when they undergo chemotherapy. However, they do not expect permanent hair loss. While Sanofi lists hair loss as one of the Taxotere side effects, it goes on to say that after treatment, “hair generally grows back.” In fact, a large number of women have stated they were unable to grow hair back after taking the chemotherapy drug.

The Problem

The FDA issued a warning letter to Sanofi-Aventis in 2009 where it described the company’s marketing as false and misleading. The company’s marketing billed itself as superior to Taxol, a chemotherapy drug that did not cause permanent hair loss. In reality, Taxol has since been shown to carry more benefits for cancer patients.

In most cases, all chemotherapy causes hair loss. Although temporary hair loss may be a possible side effect of chemo or radiation therapy, complete and permanent hair loss is not. Unfortunately, for many survivors of the many Taxotere side effects, permanent hair loss is one of the more distressing ones. A 2010 article from CBS News reports Sanofi-Aventis’ refusal to disclose how many women suffered permanent hair loss. Reporting negative side effects is a requirement for drug companies. Despite these findings, it wasn’t until December 2015 that the FDA updated the warning label for Taxotere to include the risk of permanent hair loss. European and Canadian Taxotere label warned of the side effects years before the FDA’s letter.

It is safe to assume that Sanofi-Aventis knew or should have known that their drug caused permanent hair loss. Currently, the official label of Taxotere side effects, it lists permanent hair loss as an aside. Also, according to the label, the frequency of permanent hair loss is unknown. Despite the claims on the label, studies conducted prior to the FDA’s letter reported that 10 to 15 percent of women using Taxotere suffered long-term hair loss. Victims report baldness as far as our as 3.5 years after the completion of chemotherapy. Contact The Carlson Law Firm to discuss your experience in relation to the Taxotere lawsuit. 

Alopecia Symptoms

While alopecia is generally referred to as any kind of hair loss there are, in fact, several forms of the condition. Alopecia totalis and universalis are most often associated with Taxotere side effects.

  • Totalis:  Results in hair loss across the entire scalp.
  • Universalis: Is more advanced than totalis. Results in hair loss on the entire body.

In some cases, Alopecia Universalis rarely report other symptoms. However, in some cases, patients report burning or itching sensations. The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences reports that 80-99 percent with Alopecia Universalis have a loss of:

  • Body hair
  • Eyebrows
  • Scalp hair
  • Eyelashes
  • Pubic hair
  • Armpit hair
  • Nostril hair

If you have tried various treatments to get your hair to grow back after taking Taxotere during chemotherapy, you should contact The Carlson Law Firm. We can answer any questions or concerns you may have about the Taxotere lawsuit.  

The Psychological Impact of Permanent Hair loss

No matter who you are, hair is tied closely to identity. Women associate their hair with femininity and attractiveness. Hair can be a way to express yourself. In some cases, hair links to a woman’s personality. Hair is so much a part of who we are that when researchers interview cancer patients, those with alopecia were less likely to have a positive body image. These women often suffer from four common reactions to hair loss:

  • Unprepared
  • Shocked
  • Embarrassed
  • Loss of sense of self

There are several studies that show people with alopecia are a higher risk for developing depression, anxiety, and other social disorders. Many women find solace in speaking to women who are in similar situations. If you are dealing with some form of permanent hair loss from Taxotere side effects, click here to find an alopecia support group near you.

Where were the U.S. Warnings?

Claims filed against Sanofi-Aventis by women suffering permanent hair loss say their condition is a result of Taxotere chemotherapy. Attorneys state that if the manufacturer properly warned of the risks, patients may have opted a chemotherapy drug called Taxol. Furthermore, Taxol has been found more effective than Taxotere. But, more importantly, Taxol does not result in permanent hair loss. 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 mental anguish and economic damages.


The first Taxotere lawsuit came in January 2016 after California woman filed a claim asserting that the company pushed patients away from a cheaper and safer alternative. In addition to failing to disclose warning about permanent hair loss, the company went the extra mile to hide the problem in order to increase drug sales. Sadly, this push to increase sales created a public health nightmare. For starters, the company failed to warn physicians and patients about the risk of permanent hair loss. One study showed that 89 percent of women given Taxol had higher survival rates over those that were treated with Taxotere.

Lawsuits filed against Sanofi-Aventis seek the following damages:

  • Permanent disfigurement including permanent alopecia
  • Past and future loss of earnings
  • Counseling and therapy expenses
  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Past and future loss and impairment of earning capacity
  • Mental anguish
  • Severe depression
  • Increased risk of future harm
  • Past, present, and future physical and mental pain, suffering, and discomfort
  • Past, present, and future loss of the quality and enjoyment of life

Beating cancer is part of your story. Permanent hair loss should not be. You survived the negative side effects that chemotherapy had to throw your way. You will always be a survivor. Your hair growing back should be a symbol of your courage.

Sanofi-Aventis failed to disclose the permanent effects of its product. We are here to help you hold them accountable. Their misleading marketing about the effectiveness of their product has left you with a visible reminder of a company taking advantage of you at your most vulnerable. Contact The Carlson Law Firm to speak about the Taxotere lawsuit today. We can help you get the compensation you deserve.

The Carlson Difference

Most personal injury firms consist of individual lawyers.They may get help from others, such as field experts or investigators, but it’s not often that they keep those resources in-house. The Carlson Law Firm maintains a team of professionals that includes more than 35 experienced lawyers, over 100 qualified and passionate staff, as well as full-time registered nurses and three investigators. We are the team to guide you through a Taxotere lawsuit.

Our firm has over 40 years of experience and runs like a machine – efficiently and effectively.

If you or someone you love suffered from Taxotere side effects as part of chemotherapy treatment you may be eligible for compensation. Contact an attorney at The Carlson Law Firm today to discuss your options. We have a team of caring and compassionate Taxotere Lawsuit Attorneys ready to help.

Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

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