Breast cancer patients are usually familiar with the likely side effect of chemotherapy of hair loss. Most, however, expect that hair grows back once the chemotherapy is over. However, an increasing number of breast cancer patients are finding that this is not always the case after they have taken certain drugs.
Sanofi Aventis, Taxotere’s manufacturer, is facing a lawsuit brought by more than 50 individual plaintiffs who claim the drug has caused permanent chemotherapy hair loss. These plaintiffs chose to file a joint complaint because, even though their circumstances were very different, their experiences linking Taxotere and permanent hair loss were undeniably similar.
One plaintiff alleges that neither she nor her doctors were aware of the association between Taxotere and permanent chemotherapy hair loss. After her chemotherapy treatment ended, the lead plaintiff suffered from permanent chemotherapy hair loss, also known as alopecia. Additional plaintiffs from coast to coast, including Tennessee, Oregon, and Florida, told of similar claims of disfigurement and permanent hair loss after they were treated with Taxotere.
Taxotere was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1996 and is a popular breast cancer treatment drug. Taxotere fights breast cancer by preventing cancer cells from growing, thereby hampering its ability to spread quickly. However, that same function may also prevent a patient’s hair from growing back after chemotherapy.
Lawsuits allege that Sanofi has been aware of reports and studies connecting Taxotere to permanent hair loss after chemotherapy as far back as its approval in 1996. Taxotere lawsuits claim that despite this knowledge, Sanofi chose to conceal this information from patients and the medical community.
Some women who had taken Taxotere during chemotherapy have alleged that they were told their hair would grow back after chemotherapy was finished, yet many either had major difficulties growing their hair back, or suffered from permanent chemotherapy hair loss.