Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law Blog

Leading Breast Cancer Drug May Cause Permanent Alopecia

Posted by Briggs Bedigian | Mar 24, 2017 | 0 Comments

Taxotere, also known as docetaxel, is a cancer medication that helps to prevent the growth and spread of cancer cells in the human body. The medication is given intravenously by way of an IV and the dosage varies depending on a patient's height, weight, general health, and the type of cancer that is being treated. Treatment usually takes 1 hour and is administered every 3 weeks. The drug dexamethasone is usually used in tandem with Taxotere to reduce side effects.

Taxotere works by attacking cancer cells in the body. Different cancer medications attack cancer cells in different ways – which is why it is not uncommon for different medications to be prescribed during the cancer-fighting process. Taxotere targets the supporting structure of each cancer cell to stop the growth and reproduction of that cell.

The drug is manufactured and marketed by Sanofi-Aventis and is mostly used by patients with breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, and prostate cancer. Taxotere first received approval from the Food and Drug Administration in 1996 and within eight years it was earning over $1.4 billion per year.

In the United States, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women with 183,000 new cases being diagnosed each year. With those numbers, it is not hard to understand why Taxotere is the most widely used breast cancer drug in its category.

However, many women who were prescribed Taxotere as a cancer remedy are filing lawsuits due to side effects that include permanent hair loss. While many cancer-fighting medications cause initial hair loss, the hair that was lost usually grows back in a reasonable amount of time. Plaintiffs claim that Sanofi-Aventis failed to properly warn of the permanency of its side effects and that, had they done so, the medication would not have been prescribed and an alternative medication would have been sought. Further, there are claims that Sanofi-Aventis hid study results which indicated that the drug produced an increased risk of hair not growing back after use. Sanofi-Aventis allegedly warned a few countries about the risks but did not warn women in the United States, instead of writing that hair “generally” grows back.

Medical malpractice can have devastating effects that last a lifetime. If you have been injured by a physician's neglect, attorneys Charles Gilman and Briggs Bedigian will work to get you the full compensation to which you are entitled. Call 800-529-6162 today or contact them online for a free case evaluation. They handle cases in Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.

About the Author

Briggs Bedigian

H. Briggs Bedigian (“Briggs”) is a founding partner of Gilman & Bedigian, LLC.  Prior to forming Gilman & Bedigian, LLC, Briggs was a partner at Wais, Vogelstein and Bedigian, LLC, where he was the head of the firm's litigation practice.  Briggs' legal practice is focused on representing clients involved in medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. 

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