What Is Taxotere?

Taxotere is a chemotherapy drug that is used primarily for breast cancer, but also for:

  • Lung cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Neck cancer
  • Head cancer

While many chemotherapy drugs cause hair loss, hair regrowth is supposed to begin once chemotherapy has ended. However, one drug on the market can result in permanent hair loss, also known as alopecia. That drug is Taxotere. In fact, between 10 and 15 percent of women who were prescribed the drug reported no hair growth for as many as 10 years after treatment ended. This permanent hair loss can include everything from baldness to lack of hair on the body to lack of eyelashes and eyebrows. This devastating side effect has been correlated with a severe decrease in quality of life, negative body image, depression and distress.

Why Would Someone Take Taxotere Instead Of Another Drug?

Taxotere has been considered to be a convenient treatment option, requiring administration only once every three weeks. However, while convenient, Taxotere is considered no more effective than the drugs Taxol or Paclitaxel.

Types of alopecia (hair loss):

  • Alopecia areata — Circular patches of hair loss

  • Alopecia totalis — Total hair loss on the scalp

  • Alopecia universalis — Total hair loss on the scalp and body

Manufacturer Cover-Up

While the public was not made aware that Taxotere could cause permanent hair loss, lawsuits against the manufacturer allege that the manufacturer knew about this side effect as far back as the 1990s. In fact, this information was disclosed to other countries, but was not disclosed to patients in the United States. The manufacturer did not want to disclose this information to promote the drug's use and increase profits.

A Safer Alternative Does Exist

Taxotere has been heavily promoted despite the fact that it causes such devastating side effects, and a safer alternative exists. Taxol employs the same mechanisms as Taxotere and is an equally effective chemotherapy drug that does not cause permanent hair loss. In some instances, it is even more effective than Taxotere. Had the makers of Taxotere provided a proper warning to patients and their doctors, Taxol would have been the preferred drug of choice. Instead, the manufacturer made misleading statements regarding Taxotere, resulting in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sending a warning letter to the manufacturer in 2009 for overstating the effectiveness of the drug .

Speak With One Of Our Attorneys Today

Firm partner, Dennis Reich, is currently serving on the Taxotere Settlement Negotiating Committee. The lawyers appointed to this committee are charged with engaging in continuous general settlement discussions on a regular basis, with the hope that these discussions will facilitate a faster settlement. Mr. Reich will certainly be an asset to the team with his extensive class action and multidistrict litigation experience serving on many committees and being heavily involved in nationwide pharmaceutical litigation.

If you or a loved one is suffering hair loss from the chemotherapy drug Taxotere, call 713-352-7883 or 877-643-3099 toll free, or write to us to schedule your free initial consultation. We represent pharmaceutical injury clients in Houston and throughout the United States.