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Drug maker failed to warn Cancer patients of permanent hair loss

On Behalf of O’Malley Tunstall PLLC | May 7, 2016 | Products Liability

Drug maker failed to warn Cancer patients of permanent hair loss.

Several lawsuits states the manufacturer of Taxotere (Sanofi-Aventis) failed to warn patients and physicians of the increased risks of permanent alopecia (loss of hair) through the use of Taxotere during chemotherapy. If the manufacturer had properly warned of the risks, patients would have been prescribed a different chemotherapy drug called Taxol, which is more effective than Taxotere, and does not result in permanent hair loss.

Taxotere (docetaxel) is a chemotherapy drug approved in the treatment of breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer, advanced stomach cancer, head and neck cancer and metastatic prostate cancer. It is administered intravenously through a vein, and is member of a family of drugs called taxanes. It is used to try to prevent cancer cells from growing and dividing.

One of the most serious and devastating potential side effects, problems and risks caused through the use Taxotere is permanent alopecia (loss of hair).

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration in December 2015 did acknowledge that Taxotere can result in permanent hair loss, and this warning will now be placed on the Taxotere label.

It can be very difficult for a patient and doctor to determine how to treat a cancer. Most cancer treatments are toxic in some way, and the risks of treatment must be weighed against the risks of cancer itself. It can be very complicated to determine the risk-benefit profile of a cancer treatment. Whether a new drug is worth its side effects depends on the individual patient.

It is not that the drug has side effects, but the failure to warn despite knowing studies that showed that the drug was more likely than other similar drugs to result in serious side effects that results in the lawsuits.

Joe Tunstall in our products liability section is currently reviewing cases involving taxotere and permanent alopecia and other serious side effects for our North Carolina clients specifically because the Drug maker failed to warn Cancer patients of permanent hair loss.