Taxotere (docetaxel) is a cytotoxic chemotherapy drug manufactured by Sanofi-Aventis. Since its Food and Drug Administration approval in 1996, Taxotere chemotherapy has become one of the most frequently prescribed drugs in its class. It’s also among the most popular breast cancer treatments. However, docetaxel also treats other, lesser-known cancers — including some which the FDA considers to be off-label use.
Which Cancers Does Taxotere Chemotherapy Treat?
Currently, Taxotere chemotherapy treats:
- Breast cancer
- Non-small cell lung cancer
- Advanced stomach cancer
- Head and neck cancer
- Metastatic prostate cancer
Additionally, Taxotere is being investigated to treat:
- Small cell lung cancer
- Ovarian cancer
- Bladder cancer
- Pancreatic cancers
- Soft tissue sarcoma
Taxotere is administered intravenously, often in conjunction with one or more additional chemo drugs. In addition to cancer type, your doctor considers height, weight, general health and other co-morbid conditions to determine your dosage.
Is Taxotere Chemotherapy an Effective Cancer Treatment?
While testing is still underway on several types of cancer (see list above), Taxotere chemotherapy is quite effective in most cases. A member of the taxane family, Taxotere works by slowing cell growth. But since taxanes don’t discriminate between cancerous and normal cells, Taxotere destroys both while battling your cancer. As a result, healthy cells are often destroyed, including blood cells, stomach and bowel cells and hair follicles.
Side Effects of Taxotere Chemotherapy
Doctors warn patients about potential Taxotere side effects — some of which can be serious. Common adverse reactions include feeling weak or exhausted, nausea, constipation, vomiting, muscle pain, missed menstrual periods and temporary hair loss. More extreme Taxotere side effects may include:
- severe vomiting or diarrhea
- fever and chills
- rapid heart rate
- easy bruising
- unusual bleeding
- swollen ankles or feet
- frequent urination
- skin redness or peeling
- weight gain
After completing chemotherapy, most side effects eventually subside as well. Fluid retention, peripheral neuropathy, nausea, diarrhea, and other short-term symptoms gradually diminish. However, for some cancer patients, Taxotere hair loss is permanent.
Permanent alopecia (hair loss) affects all body hair, including eyebrows, eyelashes, and covering the pubic region. Notably, Taxotere is the only taxane drug shown to cause irreversible alopecia. As a result, lawsuits filed by men and women who insist they weren’t about permanent hair loss risks are underway. These plaintiffs say they weren’t given a choice between Taxotere and other taxane drugs that don’t cause alopecia, such as Taxol.
What You Can Do About Permanent Hair Loss
If either you or a loved one went permanently bald after using Taxotere chemotherapy for any form of cancer, you may be eligible for compensation. Plaintiffs accuse drug manufacturer Sanofi of negligence for failing to warn patients about this irreversible and permanently disfiguring side effect. To get started, fill out your free Taxotere case review