A Michigan Taxotere hair loss lawsuit may be an option for chemotherapy patients who took Taxotere and suffered permanent hair loss. Taxotere, a chemotherapy drug used to treat breast, prostate, non-small cell lung cancer, stomach, and head and neck cancers, has been linked to permanent, disfiguring hair loss. Affected patients and their families may be eligible to file a Michigan Taxotere lawsuit and seek compensation for damages.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for Michigan today. Our consultations are free, confidential and without any obligation on your part. We can help answer your questions, and if you choose to pursue a claim we can connect you with an affiliated attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
What Is Taxotere?
According to Breastcancer.org, Taxotere is a chemotherapy drug most commonly used in patients suffering from breast cancer, though it may also be used to treat stomach cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, metastatic prostate cancer and head and neck cancer. Typically, Taxotere, chemically named docetaxel, is used with other drugs during chemotherapy following surgery, such as a mastectomy. It is given to patients intravenously, as there is currently no pill form of the drug available.
Taxotere is a member of the class of drugs used in chemotherapy called plant alkaloids, meaning that they are derived from plants, according to Chemocare. Taxanes like Taxotere are made using the Pacific Yew tree’s bark. Other taxanes that may be used instead of Taxotere include Taxol and Abraxane.
How Does the Drug Work?
Like most chemotherapy drugs, Taxotere works by stopping the division of cancerous cells. Healthy cells can stop themselves from dividing, but cancerous cells cannot and continue to go divide and spread uncontrollably. As an antimicrotubule agent, Taxotere prevents cells ability to divide themselves by blocking the microtubule structures from working, resulting in the death of the cells, whether they are cancerous or not.
Possible Side Effects
Most chemotherapy drugs have side effects that can be unpleasant and Taxotere is no exception. Patients who are prescribed the drug may experience low red or white blood cell counts, nausea, fluid retention, fatigue, numbness in the toes or fingers, mouth sores or finger and toenail color changes. As with many other drugs used for chemotherapy, Taxotere may also cause hair loss. However, some in the medical community are concerned that the hair loss resulting from Taxotere use may be irreversible.
In 2012, a study was published that looked at 20 women given Taxotere during chemotherapy for breast cancer. The researchers found that permanent hair loss was common among the subjects, and treatment to stimulate regrowth were ineffective. Researchers also ruled that the hair loss was not due to other factors such as a thyroid disorder, deficiencies of zinc or iron, or menopause.
Following the release of this study and others, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning of the potential for permanent hair loss when taking Taxotere and required that the manufacturer of the drug, Sanofi-Aventis, add a warning label to packaging materials.
Concerns have been raised over the marketing strategy used by Sanofi-Aventis to promote Taxotere. In 2009, the FDA sent the manufacturer a warning letter over the claims made that Taxotere was a more effective treatment than other taxanes, including Taxol. The letter cited a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in which researchers found that Taxotere was not any more effective than other similar drugs. The FDA warned Sanofi-Aventis that its promotional materials were misleading, as there were no substantiated claims that Taxotere was superior.
New Michigan Taxotere Hair Loss Lawsuit Filings
Lawsuits filed against Sanofi-Aventis allege that the company withheld information from doctors and patients regarding the risk for permanent hair loss. Many plaintiffs claim that had they or their medical team known that permanent alopecia was a potential side effect, they would not have chosen to use Taxotere and would have used another option for the treatment of their cancer rather than have to deal with the emotional and physical side effects of long-term baldness.
How a Michigan Taxotere Hair Loss Lawsuit Can Help
Drug manufacturers have a duty to ensure their products are accompanied by full and accurate instructions and warnings to guide prescribing doctors and other health care providers in making treatment decisions. If a drug maker fails to fulfill this duty, it could be held liable in lawsuits for injuries that may result.
Patients who are injured by Taxotere may be entitled to compensation for damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- The permanency of the injury
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish
- Loss of income or ability to work
If a patient dies from complications after taking Taxotere, family members may be entitled to compensation for the wrongful death of their loved one, including:
- Conscious pain and suffering of a loved one prior to death
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish from the loss of a loved one
- Funeral expenses
Patients who have suffered severe side effects, including permanent hair loss, after taking Taxotere, as well as the families of those who have died as a result of complications with the drug, are encouraged to seek the advice of a Michigan Taxotere hair loss lawsuit attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.
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