The Taxotere lawsuits claim that Sanofi-Aventis, the manufacturer, didn’t warn health care providers and their patients about the increased risk of permanent hair loss (alopecia.) All of the cases filed in federal court are consolidated before one New Orleans federal judge through a process called multi-district litigation.
The Georgia attorneys at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers have been watching the developments of the Taxotere lawsuits carefully so they can better serve you and their clients who have suffered the effects of Taxotere.
What is Taxotere?
Taxotere, also known as docetaxel, is used for chemotherapy to treat many forms of breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, neck and head cancer, advanced stomach cancer, and metastatic prostate cancer.
The drug Taxotere is given intravenously through your veins. It’s part of a larger group of medications called taxanes.
The purpose of using Taxotere is to prevent your cancer cells from growing and dividing and is used in conjunction with other drugs such as capecitabine, cisplatin, fluorouracil, doxorubicin, and cyclophosphamide to help your body fight off cancer.
Taxotere is usually given during a one-hour long cycle that’s repeated every 3-4 weeks.
What Are the Known Side Effects and Injuries Caused by Taxotere?
Among the most severe side effects of using Taxotere is neutropenic enterocolitis. This is an inflammation of the small pouch located at the head of your large intestine. This is an infrequent side effect, but it can be fatal.
Another known side effects of Taxotere are:
- Anemia – low red blood cell count
- Changes in your nails – this could be color changes to fingernails and toenails
- Changes in how your food tastes
- Joint, muscle, and/or bone pain
- Low white blood cell counts
- Numbness in your fingers and toes
- Permanent hair loss
- Throat and mouth sores
- Weakness and fatigue
What Do We Know About the Taxotere Lawsuits?
Many women have filed claims against Sanofi-Aventis because they have suffered through permanent hair loss due to Taxotere. Many of the attorneys representing these women allege that if Sanofi-Aventis had duly warned these women and their doctors about the risks involved with Taxotere, they probably would have been prescribed a different, safer drug such as Taxol.
Taxol is also used for chemotherapy and has not only been found to be safer than Taxotere but doesn’t cause permanent hair loss.
As of May 2018 over 8500 lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturer of Taxotere, Sanofi-Aventis. The Louisiana Taxotere multi-district lawsuits commenced in the Eastern District of Louisiana with just a few dozen lawsuits having been recorded in 2016.
What Are the Claims in the Taxotere Lawsuits?
Along with the permanent hair loss, the Taxotere lawsuits claim that:
- Sanofi-Aventis, the manufacturer of Taxotere, used deception in overstating the benefits of using Taxotere when comparing it to other drugs and medications. Additionally, they failed to warn health care providers and their patients about the risk of permanent hair loss.
- As a result of the deception on the part of Sanofi-Aventis, none of the patients were given the means to make an informed decision as to whether the risks of Taxotere outweighed the benefits.
Many of the lawsuits also said that if the patients had been made aware of the risks involved with Taxotere, the doctors would have prescribed another medication such as Taxol.
What brought on many of these lawsuits is the fact that many of the cancer patients lived longer, and by doing that, the risks and other effects of Taxotere became evident.
Also, the warnings about Taxotere were provided to doctors and patients in Europe in 2005, and the doctors and patients in Canada in 2012.
However, it wasn’t until December of 2015 that the Food and Drug Administration issued their safety warning on Taxotere, which included the risk of permanent hair loss.
Recently, at an NRI Cancer Conference, a report was presented that highlighted the long term effects such as significant hair loss (scalp alopecia). This hair loss could last up to 3.5 years following the patient completing chemotherapy in which Taxotere was used.
This report also said that long term hair loss caused a significant impact on the quality of life for these cancer patients. The report recommended that further studies be conducted to identify and come up with an effective prevention and management strategy.
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The report recommended that the risks be discussed with the patients before they begin taking Taxotere as part of their chemotherapy.
It’s important to note that the manufacturer of Taxotere, Sanofi-Aventis, claims that Taxotere may only cause 3 percent of patients using Taxotere to suffer from permanent hair loss.
However, if Taxotere is used with other drugs such as Adriamycin, Cyclophosphamide, that number may rise to 6.3 percent, according to a study conducted by Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers in Colorado.
If you were given Taxotere and suffered permanent hair loss, the Georgia attorneys at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers can evaluate your case and advise you of your rights. They can also help you determine if you qualify to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of Taxotere.