The Timeline of the Taxotere® Lawsuit

Taxotere® is a chemotherapy drug that is used to treat cancers of the breast, stomach, head, neck, lung, and prostate. Unfortunately, the medication has also been linked to serious side effects, including many cases of permanent hair loss, which has prompted an influx of lawsuits against the manufacturer.

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Taxotere® is a chemotherapy drug that has been linked to permanent alopecia.

Beginning with the first reports of adverse events, the timeline of the Taxotere® lawsuit extends through the present stage of litigation and includes several clinical studies that have analyzed the risk of complications. If you experienced an adverse complication after being prescribed Taxotere® as part of your chemotherapy regimen, an experienced pharmaceutical attorney can help you understand your legal rights. Please contact a member of our legal team to schedule a free case evaluation.

Early Research and Marketing of Taxotere®

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Taxotere® in 1996 for use in chemotherapy. The medication quickly became one of the most widely prescribed treatments for breast cancer. In early studies, Taxotere® was thought to be more effective than other chemotherapy drugs in extending patient survival rates.

A study found that roughly 10 percent of patients had suffered from permanent hair loss.

Early marketing of the drug did not include any warnings of permanent hair loss. Packaging for the medication stated that hair generally grows back following the completion of treatment, which is common for chemotherapy medications.

Adverse Events from Taxotere®

Sanofi S. A., the manufacturer of Taxotere®, sponsored a study that found by 2005, roughly 10 percent of patients had suffered from permanent hair loss that lasted 10 years or more.

Other serious side effects associated with Taxotere® may include:

  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Fluid retention
  • Bloating or swelling of the abdomen or ankles
  • Infections
  • Mouth sores
  • Peripheral neuropathy, or numbness of the fingers and toes
  • Pain in the muscles, joints, or bones

FDA Warnings and Requirements for Taxotere®

In June 2006, the FDA began requiring a black box warning on all Taxotere® packaging that addresses the risk of toxic death, kidney damage, allergic reactions, and fluid retention. The black box warning is the strongest precaution that the FDA can require on drug labels.

If you have been injured by a defective drug, Speak with an Attorney

In June 2014, the FDA issued an announcement regarding the drug’s alcohol content. Taxotere® can cause feelings of intoxication, so patients have been advised to avoid driving or operating machinery for up to two hours following treatment. Alcohol, pain relievers, and sleep aids can amplify these effects.

Journal Articles about Taxotere®

In an article published in the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology in 2009, it was reported that there was a significant increase in permanent alopecia in patients who were given high doses of Taxotere® as part of their chemotherapy regimen.

In 2010, the results of that Sanofi-funded trial were published in the New England Journal of Medicine. While the study found that Taxotere® had greater survival rates, it also found that nearly 10 percent of women suffered from permanent alopecia.

An article originally published in the Annals of Oncology journal in May 2012 and updated in October 2012, found that patients who had received Taxotere® treatment and suffered alopecia were unresponsive to hair regrowth treatment methods.

An article published in Journal of Clinical Oncology in July 2012, found that newer chemotherapy drugs, such as Taxotere®, had an increased risk for more serious complications. Fifty-two percent of study participants were more likely to suffer severe side effects, while 40 percent were more likely to suffer a fatal complication.

Taxotere® lawsuits may recover damages for pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, certain medical expenses, and more.

During the 2014 NCRI Cancer Conference, the results of a study were presented showing that between 10 and 15 percent of patients who were prescribed Taxotere® suffered from pervasive or permanent hair loss. The study recommended that all health care providers take this disfiguring side effect into account before including Taxotere® in a patient’s chemotherapy regimen.

Taxotere® Lawsuits

Ami Dodson was one of the first women to file a lawsuit against Sanofi for her permanent alopecia. After having a partial mastectomy, Dodson and her doctor chose Taxotere® as part of her chemotherapy regimen.

Several other lawsuits have been filed against Sanofi, and these cases are still pending. In addition to permanent hair loss, lawsuits against Sanofi also claim that the manufacturer:

  • Sold the drug without performing adequate tests
  • Failed to determine the safety of the drug
  • Sold the drug without warning patients and health care providers of the dangers and risks
  • Used misleading advertising and marketing tactics
  • Manufactured a dangerous drug
  • Concealed information from the public, including the results of the study that Sanofi funded
  • Deemphasized the potential dangers and risks associated with the drug

Taxotere® lawsuits may recover damages for pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, certain medical expenses, and more.

Contact an Experienced Member of Our Legal Team

If you or a loved one have suffered permanent hair loss or another severe complication after taking Taxotere®, please schedule a consultation with a local pharmaceutical attorney.

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