What Is Taxotere?
Taxotere is a drug that was developed to treat various forms of cancer, including breast cancer. Taxotere is part of a family of drugs referred to as Taxanes.
Taxanes are diterpenes produced by the plants of the genus Taxus (yews) featuring a taxadiene core. Taxanes are widely used as chemotherapy agents and include paclitaxel (Taxol) and Taxotere. Taxane agents also exist as cabazitaxel and in generic forms as well. Paclitaxel (Taxol), which was developed, and distributed by Bristol-Myers Squibb and is the main competitor drug to Taxotere, was first approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in December 1992.
Taxotere was approved by the FDA in 1996 and is alleged to have been marketed by drug maker Sanofi Aventis and its related companies and predecessors as a superior treatment to Taxol.
There are many side effects associated with the drug including the following:
- Extreme weakness
- Severe vomiting or diarrhea
- Fever, chills, body aches
- Easy bruising
- Rapid heart rate
- Trouble concentrating
However, we are currently interested in speaking with those who suffered permanent hair loss or other serious side effects as a result of taking Taxotere.
Permanent Hair Loss
While temporary hair loss can be a possible side effect of chemotherapy or radiation therapy, complete and permanent hair loss (alopecia) has been linked to Taxotere. In late 2015, the FDA updated the warning label for the drug to include the risk of permanent hair loss after a study carried out on 20 women whom had breast cancer chemotherapy and had taken Taxotere, found that no regrowth of the scalp occurred. This research, which was conducted between 2007 and 2011, even involved hair regrowth treatments in those patients, but unfortunately no hair regrowth was observed.
Another study, published in the 2011 American Journal of Dermatopathology found that “there is increased evidence that certain chemotherapy regimens can cause dose-dependent permanent alopecia”, including Taxotere for breast cancer.