What Are the Side Effects of Taxotere?
Taxotere is a chemotherapy drug that many cancer patients have received as a part of their treatment. Nearly all chemo drugs can potentially cause multiple side effects, and Taxotere is no exception. While some of these side effects are minor, others can be debilitating.
If you have suffered a serious condition because of Taxotere treatment, you may be eligible to claim financial compensation for your losses. Contact the experienced Texas-based Taxotere lawsuit attorneys at Hotze Runkle PLLC. Call us at (800) 763-6155 to learn more about how we can help you. You can also take our online quiz to see whether you might be eligible to file a claim.
Why Does Taxotere Have Multiple Side Effects?
Taxotere functions by targeting cells that grow and divide quickly. While many chemotherapy drugs can reduce cancer cells in this way, they are indiscriminate in their attacks. As such, they can also affect healthy cells that divide quickly, such as:
- Blood cells
- Hair follicle cells
- Cells in the digestive tract
Many of the side effects of Taxotere emerge because of the lowered cell counts in these areas of the body. During and after treatment, the cells are slower to regenerate, thus leading to issues with how these systems function.
Side Effects During Injection
Many patients experience immediate side effects from Taxotere within minutes of receiving the drug intravenously. These effects often resemble symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as:
- Respiratory issues (wheezing, coughing, trouble breathing)
- Swelling (particularly of the face and lips)
- Itchiness and rashes
- Pain in the abdomen, chest, or back
- Pain at the injection site
While doctors often attempt to reduce the likelihood of these side effects by administering a dose of steroids before treatment, these reactions can nevertheless become life-threatening for some patients. As such, close monitoring is necessary every time a patient receives a round of Taxotere treatment.
Progressive Side Effects of Taxotere
Many of Taxotere’s side effects happen over time rather than immediately during the injection. Dividing these side effects by which systems they affect can make them easier to understand.
Blood Count Disorders from Taxotere
Taxotere often affects the bone marrow, which is where all types of blood cells originate. Because of this, chemotherapy can harm the body’s ability to keep the blood cell count at a healthy level, leading to disorders such as:
- Low neutrophil cell count (febrile neutropenia) – Neutrophils are the body’s most common white blood cells. When the neutrophil count is low, the body is less able to protect itself against infections. This is the most common side effect of Taxotere.
- Low red blood cell count (anemia) – Red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the system. When the body’s red blood cell count is too low, the patient will experience fatigue, shortness of breath, and a rapid heart rate, among other symptoms.
- Low platelet count (thrombocytopenia) – Platelets enable the blood to clot, which is one of the first steps toward healing a wound. Low platelet count can lead to nosebleeds, bleeding gums, bruising, headaches, and heavy menstrual flow.
Gastrointestinal Disorders from Taxotere
The lining of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is made of epithelial cells, which form a mucus membrane that protects the organs from digestive enzymes and acids. This membrane also acts as a lubricant during the digestive process. Taxotere can deplete this lining over time, leading to:
- Ulcers of the mouth, throat, stomach, and bowel
- Oral pain, causing difficulty eating, chewing, or talking
- Dryness of the mouth and tongue
- Weight loss
Skin and Nail Problems from Taxotere
Taxotere treatments can sometimes cause redness and peeling on the hands and feet. This condition can lead to difficulty walking as well as gripping objects.
Patients may also experience issues with fingernails and toenails, including:
- Brittle nails
- Separation of the nail from the nailbed (onycholysis)
Fluid Retention from Taxotere
Many cancer patients who take Taxotere experience swelling of the extremities (edema). This condition usually starts in the feet and ankles but can often spread to other areas of the body. In some cases, the eyes can experience cystoid macular edema (CME), in which a fluid buildup causes vision impairment.
Hair Loss from Taxotere
Hair follicles are among the fastest-growing cells in the body, making them prime targets for chemotherapy drugs. For this reason, many patients who receive Taxotere treatments will lose hair. With most chemotherapy drugs, hair loss (alopecia) is generally a temporary condition. However, Taxotere can sometimes cause permanent hair loss, with significant psychological consequences.
Nervous System Disorders from Taxotere
One of the most disturbing and consequential side effects of Taxotere is its capacity to damage sensory and/or motor nerves in a condition known as peripheral neuropathy. Patients who suffer from this side effect can experience the following symptoms in their hands and feet:
- Loss of balance
- Inability to perform tasks requiring fine motor skills
This disorder can also affect the bladder and the bowel, leading to incontinence or constipation.
Less Common Side Effects of Taxotere
Some of the side effects that patients experience from Taxotere are less common, but this does not make them less consequential. These may include:
- Bodily aches
- Skin irritation at the injection site
- Runny nose
- Swollen glands in the neck
- Eye irritation
- Wrinkled skin
- Blood in the urine or stools
- Difficulty passing urine
- Fever or chills
Contact a Taxotere Attorney Today
Receiving a cancer diagnosis is a terrifying and sobering experience. When planning how you will fight against this disease, most people are willing to put up with temporary side effects. However, if those side effects have the potential to become debilitating or permanent, the pharmaceutical company must inform patients of the potential risks. Because the makers of Taxotere have failed to do so, you might be eligible to claim compensation for your losses.
The dedicated team of attorneys at (800) 763-6155 has extensive experience representing cancer patients who have suffered because big pharmaceutical companies failed to warn the consumer. We have successfully secured more than $100 million on behalf of our clients, and we are ready to help you too.
Call us today at (800) 763-6155 for a free consultation to learn more about your legal options.