A North Carolina 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 North Carolina Taxotere lawsuit and seek compensation for damages.
For more information, contact Attorney Group for North Carolina 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 and How Does It Work?
Originally approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1996, Taxotere is a prescription medication used to treat various forms of cancer, including breast, lung, prostate, and stomach cancer. Taxotere belongs to a class of chemotherapy medications known as taxanes, a type of plant alkaloid made from the bark of the Pacific yew tree (genus Taxus).
Taxotere works primarily by disrupting microtubule function. Microtubules are an essential part of cell division, and taxanes such as Taxotere block cell growth by inhibiting the process of cell division.
Taxotere and Permanent Hair Loss
Because chemotherapy treatments target all rapidly dividing cells, including healthy and cancerous cells, some treatments may destroy rapidly-growing hair cells and cause patients to loss some or all of their hair. Although temporary hair loss is listed as a known side effect and may be expected, Taxotere has also been linked to complete and permanent hair loss.
In December 2015, the FDA issued updated safety information, noting that cases of permanent alopecia (hair loss) had been reported.
A study published in the medical journal Annals of Oncology indicated that permanent and severe alopecia was a newly reported complication of docetaxel-based (Taxotere) cancer treatment. Twenty women treated for breast cancer with Taxotere were reported as having developed permanent alopecia between 2007 and 2011.
Taxotere Hair Loss Lawsuit Claims
In January 2016, an Ohio Taxotere hair loss lawsuit was filed against Sanofi S.A., the maker of Taxotere. The lawsuit claims that the drug maker (among other claims) failed to:
- Disclose their own investigation and research about the safety of Taxotere;
- Further investigate, research, study, and define fully and adequately the safety profile of Taxotere;
- Provide adequate warnings about true safety risks of Taxotere;
- Advise prescribing physicians to instruct their patients that permanent alopecia (hair loss) was a side effect of the drug; and
- Provide adequate warnings regarding the increased risk of permanent alopecia with the use of Taxotere compared to other products designed to treat the same conditions.
Likewise, the lawsuit alleges that the drug maker fraudulently and intentionally omitted information about the drug maker’s knowledge of the increased risks of adverse events (such as permanent hair loss) associated with Taxotere than those with other forms of treatment.
Lawsuits further allege that permanent baldness, or permanent alopecia, is a disfiguring condition, especially for women. Women, as well as other cancer patients, who experience the effects of permanent hair loss as a result of Taxotere suffer great mental anguish as well as economic damages, including but not limited to loss of work due to significant psychological damage.
Taxotere Side Effects
Common side effects of Taxotere include, but are not limited to:
- Injection site reactions such as pain, redness, or swelling
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, or loss of appetite
- Feeling tired or weak
- Muscle pain
- Missed menstrual periods
- Temporary hair loss
- Fingernail or toenail changes
Other Taxotere Risks
A 2014 safety communication issued by the FDA warned that chemotherapy drug docetaxel (Taxotere) contains alcohol, which may cause patients to experience intoxication or feel drunk during or after treatment. Health care professionals are encouraged to consider this risk prior to administering the medication.
How a North Carolina 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 North Carolina Taxotere hair loss lawsuit attorney to learn more about their rights and remedies.
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