Taxotere (docetaxel), manufactured by Sanofi-Aventis is an extremely popular chemotherapy drug used to treat cancer. It’s a popular treatment option for those suffering from breast cancer.  In fact, an estimated 75 percent of breast cancer patients in the U.S. use the medication. While it has shown to be an effective medication, many women taking it have experienced permanent hair loss, a condition known as alopecia.


Traditional chemo treatments typically result in a substantial loss of hair. However, many women who took Taxotere are filing lawsuits claiming Sanofi-Aventis, which manufactures the medication, stated that hair loss would be temporary when the opposite is true. In December 2015, FDA acknowledged there have been reports of permanent hair loss and baldness in chemotherapy patients treated with Taxotere. The agency’s announcement preceded a label change for the product, noting the possibility of permanent hair loss.


According to a study funded by the drug maker (known as GEICAM 9805) that appeared in The New England Journal of Medicine, nearly 10 percent of patients taking Taxotere suffered alopecia that lasted a decade or more. Another study, published in the Annals of Oncology in 2012, showed that 19 of 20 women who took Taxotere not only suffered permanent hair loss, but also the loss of eyelashes and eyebrows. One woman who participated in the study reported that her hair returned after using other methods of chemotherapy, but when she used Taxotere her hair loss was permanent.


When a woman is struggling with fighting breast cancer, an incredible amount of stress is added to an already grueling experience when she also has to suffer from permanent hair loss. However, the addition of other side effects can prove overwhelming. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology in 2012, there have been other side effects linked to Taxotere and other “new generation” chemotherapy drugs. These include:


  • Diarrhea

  • Fatigue

  • Heart problems

  • High blood pressure

  • Infections

  • Mouth sores

  • Nausea

  • Nerve damage

  • Retention of fluid


Researchers in the study found that patients who were given one of the newer drugs were at a 52 percent higher risk of suffering severe side effects than others who were using traditional chemotherapy medications. They also faced a 40 percent higher risk of death.





If you received Taxotere while you were being treated for breast cancer and you are still waiting for your hair to grow back, you could be stricken with alopecia. The symptoms to be aware of are as follows:


  • Absence of hair anywhere on the body (including underarms and genital region)

  • Baldness

  • Lack of eyebrows

  • Lack of eyelashes


It is important to consult with a physician in order to determine what exactly is causing hair loss, and it is in fact alopecia, and not another illness.


While hair loss is a small price to pay in order to stay alive, permanent alopecia from Taxotere is avoidable. Living with the condition can feel as though you’re still battling cancer, even if you’ve conquered the disease. This is unfair and unjust, and our firm is here to help. If you or a loved one were administered Taxotere and have experienced serious side effects such as permanent hair loss, you may want to consider filing a lawsuit. For more information, or to speak with someone about your potential case, please call us toll-free at 1.888.213.0761 or fill out our free case review form. FrancoLaw is experienced in handling defective drug cases and we welcome any questions you may have.