Hair loss is a familiar side effect of cancer treatments and chemotherapy. In most cases, the hair loss from chemotherapy is not permanent, and patients can typically regrow their hair once their treatments are complete.
But some patients have suffered lifelong hair loss while using certain chemotherapy drugs. For instance, Taxotere has resulted in permanent hair loss for some cancer patients.
If you have experienced permanent Taxotere hair loss, you may have cause to pursue financial compensation.
Below, we will discuss important issues related to Taxotere, including unexpected side effects. We will also examine how to find the best legal representative for your needs.
At Morgan & Morgan, we know what it takes to successfully fight for those experiencing Taxotere hair loss. Do not hesitate. Complete our easy-to-use contact form online to schedule a free case evaluation today.
What Is Taxotere and How Does It Work?
Taxotere is a chemotherapy drug that is also called “docetaxel.” This drug is produced by Sanofi-Aventis, a French pharmaceutical company. It is a part of the class of pharmaceuticals known as taxanes.
Taxanes include many other types of drugs, including Taxol (paclitaxel). As a class of medication, taxanes are mitotic inhibitors. This means that they interfere with cell division and replication, a process known as “mitosis.” Stopping certain types of mitosis is important in fighting the growth of cancer.
Taxotere has been used to fight many different types of cancers. Some examples include:
- Lung cancer
- Advanced stomach cancer
- Metastatic prostate cancer
- Neck and head cancer
Taxotere is most often used to treat patients with breast cancer.
The drug is given to patients intravenously over the course of an hour. Most patients receive treatment once every four weeks for as long as is necessary.
Why Does Taxotere Hair Loss Occur?
Taxotere is designed to fight the reproduction of malignant cancer cells. But, like other taxanes, this drug affects the reproduction of many different types of cells.
Most people who are on Taxotere experience side effects. Many of these are expected with most chemotherapy drugs. Typical side effects include:
- Muscle and joint pain
- Low white or red blood cell counts
Hair loss is also a common side effect of many chemotherapy drugs. Patients reasonably assume that the side effects of chemotherapy, such as baldness, will be temporary.
Patients that are undergoing treatments with taxanes lose their hair because of the way that these drugs affect cell growth. Hair follicles are unable to grow new hair.
Many patients who are prescribed Taxol begin to regrow their hair after they stop using the drug.
But the same is not true for cancer patients who have taken Taxotere. Many of these patients suffer from permanent hair loss.
Long-term Taxotere hair loss is experienced by between 10-15% of patients. These patients may suffer from hair loss for decades after their treatment is complete.
This is unusual. Cancer patients typically begin to regrow their hair a few months after finishing their course of medication.
If you have been prescribed Taxotere and have experienced long-term hair loss, you deserve justice.
Patients Were Not Warned About Taxotere Hair Loss
Some estimates suggest that up to 75% of women treated with Taxotere were not informed about the risks of long-term hair loss. In many cases, cancer patients’ physicians were not aware of the possibility of permanent baldness, either.
Many lawsuits suggest that Sanofi-Aventis, the manufacturer, was aware of the possibility of long-term Taxotere hair loss. Some have alleged that the company knew about these potential side effects by the early 1990s.
Even more damaging accusations have claimed that some doctors received financial incentives to prescribe Taxotere. Allegedly, these “kickbacks” helped Sanofi-Aventis compete with lower-cost alternatives to Taxotere that were just as effective.
These accusations suggest that the pharmaceutical company was aware of the damage that their product could cause. Rather than informing doctors and patients, they allegedly chose to protect their own profit margins.
Although long-term hair loss is not physically painful, it has very real effects on the lives of cancer patients. Women who suffer from permanent Taxotere hair loss may experience:
Some patients have reported that the permanent hair loss has negatively impacted their romantic relationships. Hair loss can affect a patient’s social interactions and professional relationships, as well.
Those who are bald from using Taxotere may be treated differently, stared at, or shunned. While hair loss does not cause pain, patients deserve compensation for the very real negative consequences of using Taxotere.
Getting Justice for Patients
After going through the process of chemotherapy, patients who experience long-term hair loss often feel as though they have suffered an unexpected second blow. Patients should be able to trust that the medications they use will heal them, rather than causing more problems.
It is especially difficult to know that your emotional pain and suffering may have been caused by a multi-billion dollar drug company’s negligence.
If you have suffered long-term hair loss after using Taxotere, do not wait. Contact a skilled negligence attorney to seek the financial compensation that you are due.
Strategies for Finding the Best Attorney
Finding the right attorney to handle your Taxotere case can be difficult. Below, we will discuss several useful tips for finding the best injury lawyer to represent you.
Hire a Specialist
Hiring someone with general legal experience to represent you in a Taxotere-related case is not enough. Make sure to find an attorney with expertise in representing victims of corporate negligence.
While hair loss is not a painful condition, victims may experience severe frustration and anguish. Victims of the side effects of Taxotere deserve financial recovery for the unreasonable harms that they sustain.
When you are planning to hire an attorney, choose a firm with a long track record of handling negligence cases. A skilled lawyer will know how to ensure that the responsible party in your case is held accountable.
This type of claim often involves:
- Gathering relevant documents and evidence
- Consulting with various specialists
- Speaking with medical experts
- Calculating the value of damages
- And more
A trustworthy legal specialist will handle all these aspects of your Taxotere-related case.
Find an Attorney with Results
Make sure to hire a law firm with a history of winning cases like yours. You should not trust your claim to just anyone.
Choose a negligence lawyer with a high success rate. While there are no guarantees in personal injury law cases, your attorney’s legal skills will likely influence the outcome of your claim.
Schedule a Case Evaluation
Most trustworthy injury law firms will provide you with a free case evaluation. You should be able to request a consultation with no obligation to hire the firm.
This initial meeting is an invaluable tool for finding the right lawyer to represent you. Before the date of the consultation, write down any questions that you have regarding your case or the legal claims process.
This will help you to anticipate what it will be like to work with that lawyer or firm. Clients often ask questions like:
- How long have you been practicing law?
- What is your success rate?
- Have you handled corporate negligence cases before?
- How will my legal fees be handled?
- Do you believe that I can win my Taxotere-related case?
- Do you think this case will require a trial?
- Can you estimate the value of my claim?
These are only a few examples of the types of questions that negligence victims ask. If you feel unsure or skeptical of the attorney for any reason, keep looking.
After hiring a lawyer, they will represent your best legal interests. It is crucial to hire someone that you trust and feel confident about.
Hire a Firm that Operates on Contingency Fees
The medical costs from cancer treatments can be enormous. Patients face enough financial pressure without worrying about legal fees.
That is why it is vital to hire a firm that is paid using contingency fees. With this payment structure, clients pay no costs upfront.
Instead, the attorney and client agree to a percentage of recovery from the case that will be allocated to cover the cost of legal services. In other words, the client pays nothing unless they receive financial compensation.
You should never hire a negligence lawyer that expects payment before they take your case.