Women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer are often forced to suffer the side effects of the disease while also coping with the side effects of medication. Some women who have received the chemotherapy drug Taxotere® will suffer from a medication’s effects for a few months, but many will carry the marks of their treatment for the rest of their lives.
Side Effects of Taxotere Intravenous Chemotherapy Treatment
Taxotere, commonly known as docetaxel, is one of the most-prescribed chemotherapy drugs in the nation, and often used as an intravenous treatment for breast cancer. In the years since its approval, Taxotere has been known to cause potentially serious side effects, such as:
- Hair loss. In recent years, women have come forward claiming that Taxotere caused permanent baldness that lasted long after their course of chemotherapy. The condition has been called chemotherapy-induced alopecia (CIA), and can affect up to 10 percent of women exposed to the drug.
- Nail and skin changes. Patients will often experience flaking and peeling of the skin on their hands and feet, as well as redness, burning, or irritation at the site of the injection. A patient may develop thin, brittle, ingrown, or frayed nails, or suffer nails that become discolored (turning black, brown, or green) and appear bruised. Some patients’ nails may lift completely off, opening the nail bed up to infection as it is exposed to bacteria.
- Allergic reactions. Some patients report allergies to Taxotere and other chemotherapy treatments, suffering hives, itching, difficulty breathing, watery eyes, and swelling of the lips, tongue, throat, or face.
- Flu-like symptoms. The most common symptoms mirror those of viral infections, including fever, chills, body aches, nausea, stomachaches, vomiting and diarrhea, lack of appetite, dizziness, weakness and fatigue, shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, and difficulty concentrating.
- Bleeding and bruising. Patients may bruise more easily, suffer from sudden nosebleeds, notice purple or red spots under their skin, bleed sporadically from their mouths, vaginas, or rectums, and even suffer low white blood cell count (increasing the chances of a deadly infection).
- Pain and swelling. Patients can suffer bone and joint pain, loss of feeling in the fingers and toes (neuropathy), swelling of the feet and ankles, and burning sensations throughout the body.
- Bladder and bowel problems. Chemotherapy can cause a number of ill effects in the bladder and bowels, including less frequent urination (leading to urinary tract infections), constipation, dark or bloody urine, and clay-colored stools.
- Taste changes. Chemotherapy medications can affect the way foods taste, and also change your perception of smells in the air around you. Taste and smell changes may last for weeks after treatment, and can cause foods to taste bland, bitter, spoiled, or metallic.
- Mouth and throat sores. Sores in the mouth and esophagus can make it extremely painful for patients to eat, drink, or even talk. Patients with compromised immune systems are also at risk of fungal infection in these sores, commonly called oral yeast infections.
- Menstrual changes. Women undergoing chemotherapy may suffer irregular periods or complete cessation of menstruation as a result of treatment, and periods may not resume afterward.
We Help Women Who Have Suffered Permanent Hair Loss Win Compensation
While many of these side effects are temporary, some patients have suffered permanent hair loss as a result of being treated with Taxotere. Permanent baldness is not a harmless side effect—it causes daily emotional, financial, and personal losses for women and their families. Women have left their employment, suffered a loss of self-worth and self-esteem, and endured constant stress as a result of the side effects of Taxotere, and the McGartland Law Firm can help them recover for their suffering. Our firm has recovered millions of dollars in damages for victims of dangerous drugs, and we do not collect any legal fees unless we win your case. Call the number on this page today to discuss your claim with our legal team.