Aggressive Memphis Attorneys Fighting on Behalf of Women Who Suffered Irreversible Alopecia from Taxotere Use
Helping breast cancer victims with permanent hair loss after undergoing treatments with Taxotere
There are several terrible side effects of chemotherapy, some of which seem almost universal. The first is that it makes many people violently ill. The second is that it is time consuming and can often lead to fatigue. The third is that most people will lose their hair as a result. The upside, of course, is that when chemotherapy is successful, it can eradicate cancer, and the side effects of the treatment will eventually go away.
However, for breast cancer victims who underwent treatments with Taxotere, the hair loss can be permanent. Moreover, the drug makers failed to warn patients about that risk before they prescribed the drugs. At Bailey & Greer, PLLC, we believe that pharmaceutical companies should be held accountable when they fail to disclose information or potential side effects. That is why our Memphis defective products lawyers are proud to offer aggressive, comprehensive representation on behalf of chemotherapy patients throughout West Tennessee. If you were not warned about the potential side effects of Taxotere chemotherapy treatments, we want to hear your story.
What is Taxotere?
Taxotere (docetaxel) was created by Sanofi-Aventis and is a chemotherapy drug originally designated for breast cancer, though its use has expanded to other forms of cancer treatment over the years. It was approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in 1996. It is one of the most popular and widely used chemotherapy drugs on the market, not only because of its effectiveness, but also because Taxotere can be administered once every three weeks, as opposed to the weekly treatments that other drugs require.
What are the most serious side effects of Taxotere?
In 2012, the FDA issued a safety announcement because “docetaxel contains ethanol, also known as alcohol, which may cause patients to experience intoxication or feel drunk during and after treatment.” The FDA also required a black box warning for the following side effects:
- Toxic death
- Hepatotoxicity (drug-driven liver damage)
- Neutropenia (abnormally low white blood count)
- Fluid retention
What is alopecia?
Alopecia is the medical term for hair loss. The most common form of alopecia affecting cancer patients is anagen effluvium, which affects hair follicles all over the body. Therefore, many cancer patients undergoing radiation or chemotherapy lose not only the hair on their heads, but also their eyebrows, their eyelashes, or their body hair. The condition can come on abruptly and is generally temporary. Most patients begin to see their hair grow back within a few months of the completion of their treatment.
Taxotere and permanent hair loss in women
Another common side effect of Taxotere is hair loss – a common side effect in any chemotherapy treatment. Taxotere, however, has been discovered to lead to permanent hair loss, or permanent alopecia, in up to 10% of all patients who take the drug. Despite the fact that multiple studies proved the link between Taxotere use and permanent alopecia, drug labels were not updated to reflect this side effect until December of 2015.
Taxotere lawsuits are being consolidated into multidistrict litigation
Because the labels were not updated, patients were unable to make fully informed decisions about their treatment options. As of now, more than 1600 lawsuits are currently pending against Sanofi-Aventis. Most of these lawsuits have been consolidated in federal multidistrict litigation (MDL) in Louisiana.
U.S. District Court Judge Kurt D. Engelhardt is presiding over the Taxotere MDL cases. Judge Engelhardt has chosen a few bellwether cases, which will begin in September 2018 and continue into 2019. A Taxotere settlement conference has been scheduled for the summer of 2018 to discuss how the cases might be resolved.
MDLs are common when it comes to defective drugs and devices. By consolidating the lawsuits, the courts will be able to reach a conclusion more quickly and effectively – though it still could take years to reach a decision – than if each lawsuit was filed and tried in individual courts throughout the country.
How a Memphis products liability lawyer can help your defective drug case
At Bailey & Greer, PLLC, our Memphis defective drug attorneys have the skills, resources, and experience to handle complex litigation. We also have the drive and the passion to help people who have been made false promises about their medications, only to find themselves saddled with disfiguring side effects. If you or your loved one was prescribed Taxotere chemotherapy treatments and suffered from permanent alopecia or other undisclosed side effects, we will fight for you and for your future.
Did you develop permanent hair loss after taking Taxotere? Let us help
The Memphis defective drug lawyers at Bailey & Greer, PLLC, have helped injury victims throughout the country. If you developed permanent hair loss after undergoing Taxotere chemotherapy treatments, you may be entitled to compensation. Please call 901-680-9777 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We proudly serve clients in Memphis, Jackson, and throughout West Tennessee.