Taxotere Hair Loss Lawsuit News

The Emotional Side Effects of Alopecia

Women with permanent Taxotere hair loss are experiencing life-altering mental anxiety

Friday, December 8, 2017 - Depression and anxiety are not just spontaneous reactions to stimuli that come and go, they have a physical manifestation that stems from an imbalance within the body.

For women, permanent hair loss can mean a lifetime of disfigurement, depression, a lack of self-esteem and poor body image. Permanent hair loss, called Alopecia, affects nearly 10% of cancer patients that are given Taxotere chemotherapy. Taxotere is highly effective at treating cancer and is potent enough to only need to be administered half as often as other anti-cancer drugs. Such effectiveness, however, comes at the price, of potentially causing permanent hair loss in some women.

Women with Alopecia due to Taxotere report of depression so severe that they are unable to perform normal daily functions such as going out in public for any reason. Some have lost their jobs as a result of their depression and on a bad day cannot even get out of bed. Women experiencing total body hair loss, including losing all head hair, eyebrows and eyelashes report that Taxotere has caused them devastating emotional scars. It would be one thing if cancer patients knew in advance of the Alopecia risk that Taxotere carries, but quite another to be kept in the dark and only find out about the side effect after it was too late.

Taxotere was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1996 for treating breast cancer. Sanofi-Aventis claimed that the drug was superior to other chemotherapy drugs. In 2010, sales of Taxotere surpassed $10 billion. To date, more than 2400 Taxotere patients have filed lawsuits against Taxotere's maker, Sanofi-Aventis claiming that the company had a legal obligation to warn them of the drug's permanent hair loss side effect, and deliberately failed to do so. Plaintiffs claim that as medical patients they had a right to know all of the facts about their treatment in order to make an informed decision.

Most women, had they known about Taxotere's permanent hair loss side effect, may have chosen another type of drug or forgone chemotherapy altogether.

The results of the GEICAM 9805 study, sponsored by Sanofi-Aventis, the makers of Taxotere, indicated that over 9% of Taxotere patients had experienced hair loss lasting over 10 years. It was not until 2015 that Sanofi updated Taxotere's warning label to warn patients of its risk of toxic deaths, hepatotoxicity, neutropenia, hypersensitivity reactions, and fluid retention. Before the warning update, Taxotere patients were advised by the company that "hair would generally grow back." Even now, the Taxotere warning label may be too vague as stating permanent hair loss is a mere footnote in their warning at the bottom of the page. The Taxotere warning label states, "Most common adverse reactions across all TAXOTERE indications are infections, neutropenia, anemia, febrile neutropenia, hypersensitivity, thrombocytopenia, neuropathy, dysgeusia, dyspnea, constipation, anorexia, nail disorders, fluid retention, asthenia, pain, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, mucositis, alopecia, skin reactions, myalgia."

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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.