If you or a loved one were administered Taxotere to treat cancer and have experienced serious side effects such as permanent hair loss or eye damage, contact FrancoLaw today. You might be entitled to compensation.
The manufacturers of Taxotere (docetaxel) may have hidden certain risks associated with their popular chemotherapy drug. Women who were administered Taxotere during their chemotherapy treatment have reported permanent/persistent hair loss and permanent eye damage. Pharmaceutical companies are required to perform clinical safety tests and provide adequate warnings of potential risks before placing their products on the market. If a patient or doctor does not know the possible adverse effects associated with a drug, they don’t have the ability to make an informed decision regarding treatment options or choosing a different form of treatment to protect oneself from injury or illness. Drug companies should be held liable for failing to adequately warn patients about the harmful effects of using their drugs.
At FrancoLaw, we have the experience and resources to stand up against large drug manufacturers and hold them accountable for the harm they have caused. We will be your advocate and fight by your side for the justice and compensation you deserve.
For a free consultation to discuss the circumstances of your injury and determine the available legal options, call FrancoLaw today at (888) 213-0761.
What Is Taxotere?
Taxotere (docetaxel), manufactured by Sanofi-Aventis is an extremely popular chemotherapy drug used to treat breast cancer. It was approved by the FDA in 1996 and is also used to treat other types of cancer, such as stomach, prostate, lung and head and neck cancer. It is estimated that 75% of breast cancer patients in the United States use this medication. The drug is administered intravenously and is effective at attacking cancer cells to prevent them from spreading to other parts of the body.
The side effects of Taxotere are similar to other drugs used during chemotherapy. They include:
- Muscle and joint pain
- Loss of appetite
- Temporary hair loss
- Watery eyes
- Nerve damage
- Mouth sores
While it has shown to be an effective medication, many women taking Taxotere have experienced permanent hair loss, a condition known as permanent chemotherapy-induced alopecia (PCIA). Although Sanofi-Aventis mentions the risk of hair loss on its drug’s label, they did not warn about the possibility of persistent or permanent hair loss despite internal studies showing an increased risk. They also failed to adequately warn about the risk of permanent damage to the eye’s tear ducts due to Canalicular Stenosis.
What Is Canalicular Stenosis?
Canalicular Stenosis forms when the canaliculus becomes inflamed. The canaliculus is a small channel in each eyelid that facilitates the flow of tears from the tear duct to the nasal cavity. Researchers have found that secretions from Taxotere interact with a person’s tear ducts as the drug travels through the body. This can lead to inflammation and chronic eye infections.
Without proper treatment of this inflammation, the canaliculus becomes blocked, preventing tears from traveling to the nasal cavity as usual. Eventually, this channel-like structure can start to close. Once that happens, there’s nothing that can reverse the problem.
Common symptoms of Canalicular Stenosis include:
- Cloudy eye lens
- Swollen eyelids
- Excessive eye-watering
- Light sensitivity
- Central vision loss
- Eye infections
- Dry eyes
- Blurry vision
It might be possible to manage the symptoms of Canalicular Stenosis. However, there is no known cure. The damage is permanent, and you could face long-term consequences of this medical condition.
What Is Chemotherapy-Induced Alopecia?
Traditional chemotherapy treatments typically result in a substantial loss of hair; however, hair loss (alopecia) is usually reversible after discontinuation of chemotherapy. Permanent chemotherapy-induced alopecia (PCIA) is defined as hair loss that persists beyond 6 months after treatment with chemotherapy and is characterized by absent or sparse hair regrowth. This is generally an irreversible condition that can affect the hair on all body parts, including head, face, eyebrows, and pubic area.
Thousands of women who took Taxotere have filed lawsuits claiming Sanofi-Aventis 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.
If you received Taxotere while 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 include:
- Absence of hair anywhere on the body
- Baldness or bald patches that can become larger over time
- Lack of eyebrows and 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/persistent 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. More importantly, Sanofi-Aventis decision to hide the risks and dangers associated with their chemotherapy drug placed patients at risk of serious harm. This is unfair and unjust, and our firm is here to help.
Contact Us Today
If you or a loved one were administered Taxotere to treat cancer and were diagnosed with persistent/permanent hair loss or Canalicular Stenosis, you may be eligible to file a Taxotere lawsuit. You can discuss your case with us during a free consultation and receive the legal advice you need to make an informed decision about what to do next. Let us fight for you to hold the drug manufacturer accountable for your injuries and recover the compensation you deserve. Our firm is experienced in handling defective drug cases and we welcome any questions you may have. Call us now at (888) 213-0761 for a free consultation.