Breast Cancer Chemotherapy Symptom: Taxotere Linked to Alopecia
Potential Symptom: Permanent Hair Loss
Taxotere (docetaxel) is a chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer, prostate cancer, gastric cancer, and other forms of cancer. While hair loss is a common side effect of chemotherapy treatment, Taxotere has been linked to causing permanent hair loss, or alopecia, in patients.
How Does Taxotere Work?
Docetaxel inhibits the protein tublin, which is essential in cell division. Chemotherapy drugs work to prevent all rapidly-dividing cells, including not only the cancer cells but also healthy cells like hair follicles. This is why it is common for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy to lose hair. While most chemotherapy patients get their hair back within a few months after treatment, patients treated with Taxotere have instead experienced permanent hair loss. This kind of drastic side effect can have extreme physical and emotional impact on an individual.
Are There Warnings?
Taxotere was FDA-approved in 1996. In 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning letter to manufacturer Sanofi-Aventis stating that its promotional materials were false and misleading under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, 21 U.S.C. §§ 352 (a) and 321(n).
The letter warned the company that the promotional materials are misleading and “contain a drug comparison that represents or suggests that a drug is safer or more effective than another drug when this has not been demonstrated by substantial evidence or substantial clinical experience.” In 2015, Sanofi-Aventis finally disclosed the risk of alopecia.
In the United States, thousands of women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. It’s the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the country, affecting three million women. Approximately three-fourths of breast cancer patients will use Taxotere for chemotherapy.
GoldenbergLaw Can Help
GoldenbergLaw is committed to promoting safety through accountability. If you or a loved one experienced alopecia after Taxotere chemotherapy treatment, contact our experienced team for a free consultation.