Taxotere Hair Loss Lawsuit News

Cancer Patients Right to Make an Informed Decision

Sanofi Pharmaceuticals needs to stress the adverse side effect of Alopecia more forcefully

Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - Even the most optimistic of cancer patients secretly expect the worse when it comes to their prognosis for long-term survival. The first thing that comes to a new cancer patient's mind is to ask their doctor, "how long do I have," followed by, "what are my odds?" Given the probability of a cancer death sentence, patients are usually willing to put up with the most heinous of side effects from their cancer chemotherapy drugs because they know that rejecting chemo and doing nothing will likely hasten their death.

A cancer patient in the fight for their life is willing to endure nausea, loss of appetite, weight loss, headaches, lesions that do not heal, lethargy, diarrhea, infections, mouth sores, and liver toxicity problems that are part and parcel of cancer chemotherapy. Allergic reactions like hives, rashes, breathing difficulty, lightheadedness, facial swelling, swollen tongue and difficulty swallowing also occur. These symptoms, as well as "temporary baldness," have come to define what people expect from their battle with cancer.

What a cancer patient does not expect and had not been adequately warned against for years was the fact that Taxotere anti-cancer chemotherapy is so toxic that it causes permanent, irreversible and total baldness and body hair loss including the total loss of one's eyebrows, eyelashes, armpit and pubic hair, in approximately 10% of those that receive it. Lawsuits against Sanofi claim that the company knew as early as 2005 of this side effect and covered it up. Even today, the Black Box warning that the Food and Drug Administration requires the drug makes only a casual mention that one of the many adverse side effects of using the drug is Alopecia, i.e., permanent hair loss, and lists the condition in between vomiting and skin reactions.

Permanent hair loss is such a devastating result of Taxotere that a high percentage of Taxotere Alopecia cancer patients have said that had they been warned of this they would not have taken the treatment. Instead of warning women, cancer physician stressed that the effectiveness of the drug required it to be administered only half as often and this convenience alone should be enough to want the medication. There is no denying that Taxotere (docetaxel) is one of the most effective drugs on the market for fighting various types of cancer such as breast, lung, stomach, head neck and prostate cancer, but no more effective than Taxol, the drug that it was intended to replace. Taxotere was approved in the United States in 1996 and is manufactured and marketed by multinational pharmaceutical giant Sanofi-Aventis.

Women who were not properly advised that Alopecia could result from the enhanced toxicity of Taxotere, and those that are experiencing the psychological trauma of Taxotere baldness, are filing lawsuits against Sanofi to recover medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering as a result of their permanent hair loss trauma and Sanofi's deceptive sales practices. Plaintiffs allege that Sanofi had a duty to be forthcoming and advise women that their hair loss from the chemotherapy treatment could be permanent so that patients could make an informed decision.

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Lawyers for Taxotere Hair Loss Lawsuits

Onder, Shelton, O'Leary & Peterson, LLC is a St. Louis personal injury law firm handling serious injury and death claims across the country. Its mission is the pursuit of justice, no matter how complex the case or strenuous the effort. Onder, Shelton, O'Leary & Peterson has represented clients throughout the United States in pharmaceutical and medical device litigation such as Pradaxa, Lexapro and Yasmin/Yaz, where the firm's attorneys held significant leadership roles in the litigation, as well as Actos, DePuy, Risperdal and others. The Onder Law Firm has won more than $300 million in four talcum powder ovarian cancer lawsuits in St. Louis. Law firms throughout the nation often seek its experience and expertise on complex litigation.