Taxotere is the brand name for a chemotherapy medication known as Docetaxel (DTX), which is used to counteract cancer, including prostate, head and neck, breast, lung, stomach, and ovarian cancer. Taxotere is sometimes used in combination with other chemotherapy medications. Like most chemotherapy drugs, Taxotere is administered via a slow process of injection into a vein.
Multiple studies have found significant increases in mortality—from three months to over five years—following a substantial regimen of at least one week of Taxotere treatment that can be repeated every three weeks. Taxotere treatment for a variety of cancers may eventually lead to remission and recovery from the disease.Side Effects
While Taxotere provides a promising treatment for cancer, its use necessitates a host of common side effects for some people, including hair loss, numbness in the extremities (hands/feet), vomiting, fatigue, diarrhea, shortness of breath, and muscle pains. In some cases the side effect of hair loss developed while using Taxotere remains permanent following treatment.
More serious side effects include allergic reactions, such as a rash, persistent itching and swelling (usually of the face, throat, and/or tongue), difficulty breathing, and severe dizziness. These allergic reactions are are more prevalent in people with liver conditions.
Serious side effects of Taxotere also include chest pain and vision problems, such as blurred or diminished vision and seeing light flashes. Significant swelling of the hands, feet or legs can also be highly problematic, as can an irregular heartbeat, severe headache and/or stomach pain, and dark stools or stools with blood.
If you experience any distressing side effect symptoms as a result of Taxotere treatment you should contact your doctor immediately.
Because Taxotere disrupts the normal function of cell division, it can result in low blood cell counts, which hampers the body’s innate ability to fight infection. Symptoms such as chills, fever and a persistent sore throat are all signs that you may be developing an infection. If this happens while you are taking Taxotere, contact your doctor immediately.
Common Taxotere Side Effects:
- hair loss
- shortness of breath
- muscle pains.
Serious Taxotere Side Effects:
- persistent itching and swelling (usually of the face, throat, and/or tongue)
- difficulty breathing
- severe dizziness
- chest pain
- vision problems, including blurred or diminished vision and seeing light flashes
- irregular heartbeat
- severe headache and/or stomach pain
- dark stools or stools with blood.
Although Taxotere, as Docetaxel, has been approved for medical use since 1995 and is considered one of the most safe and effective chemotherapy medications, complications, problems, and adverse reaction do occur.
When they happen, patients suffer. One of the most common long-term injuries suffered from Taxotere use is permanent alopecia, which is permanent hair loss. An expanding group of women living in the United States, Canada and throughout Europe have claimed that they were prescribed Taxotere, usually in combination with other chemotherapy or cancer treatment medications, which cured the cancer but left them bald.
The plaintiffs state that: 1) they were not informed by doctors or the manufacturers of the medication of the potential side effect of permanent hair loss; and 2) if they had been informed, they would have chosen another and as equally effective chemotherapy medication, such as Taxol, which does not cause permanent hair loss.
Living cancer-free is a wonderful accomplishment after having this deadly disease; however, a person shouldn’t have to do so at the expense of a life-long affliction such as permanent hair loss.
The above described scenario entails medical treatment which could be proven to involve negligence, because the doctors and/or manufacturers did not inform the patients of potential hazards associated with using Taxotere.
In legal and medical parlance, negligence is defined as the failure to act with reasonable care, which includes informing patients of potential hazards or detriments caused by any kind of treatment.History of Taxotere Negligence
When Taxotere was first approved, Sanofi—the pharmaceutical company who manufactures Taxotere—stated that hair loss was usually temporary and grows back after treatment. However, a study published in 2010 found that 9.2 percent of female patients suffered from permanent hair loss up to 10 years after treatment.
Another study conducted in 2014 claimed that from 10 to 15 percent of Taxotere patients suffered from permanent baldness following treatment.
It is generally known that Sanofi was reluctant to acknowledge these findings, no doubt due to the fact that this information would make their drug less popular. The FDA didn’t update the Taxotere warning label until 2015, which now states "in some cases (frequency not known) permanent hair loss has been observed."Filing a Taxotere Personal Injury Claim
The failure of Taxotere’s manufacturer to warn the public of known potential side effects represents egregious behavior and a clear case of negligence. If you were administered Taxotere treatment for cancer before the warning label was provided, and suffer from permanent hair loss, you likely have a good personal injury case.
If the manufacturer is found to have been negligent, they will likely be found to be liable for the damages you have suffered as a result of the painful and lasting side effects.
Damages from a side effect such as permanent hair loss mainly constitute undue personal suffering that has decreased the quality of your life and your capacity to enjoy the full functioning health of your body. Having to endure permanent hair loss is a tragedy that no one deserves.
If you suffer from permanent hair loss as a result of Taxotere treatment, please contact the Chris Jackman Law Firm for a free consultation.