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Drugs reference index «Docetaxel»



Generic Name: Docetaxel (DOE-se-TAX-el)Brand Name: Taxotere

Severe and sometimes fatal side effects have occurred with the use of Docetaxel . The risk of these side effects is greater in patients who have abnormal liver function or who receive high doses of Docetaxel . The risk is also greater in certain lung cancer patients who have previously been treated with a platinum-based chemotherapy.

Patients who have certain abnormal liver function tests should usually not use Docetaxel . These patients may be at increased risk of severe side effects, including blood problems (eg, low white blood cell levels, low platelet levels), infection, mouth inflammation, skin toxicity, or death. Patients who have low levels of certain white blood cells (neutrophils) should also not use Docetaxel . Lab tests, including liver function and complete blood cell counts, will be performed while you use Docetaxel .

Severe and sometimes fatal allergic reactions have occurred with the use of Docetaxel . Seek medical care at once if you experience a rash; reddening of the skin; swelling of the mouth, face, or tongue; severe dizziness; or trouble breathing. Patients who have a history of allergic reaction to Docetaxel or to polysorbate 80 should not use Docetaxel .

Severe fluid retention may occur with the use of Docetaxel . Contact your doctor right away if you experience swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet; sudden unusual weight gain; trouble breathing; chest pain or tightness; fast or irregular heartbeat; or stomach swelling.

Docetaxel is used for:

Treating certain types of breast cancer or non-small cell lung cancer. It may be used alone or with other medicines. Docetaxel is also used along with other medicines to treat certain types of prostate, head and neck, or stomach cancer. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Docetaxel is an antineoplastic agent. It works by stopping the growth and reproduction of cancer cells in the body.

Do NOT use Docetaxel if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Docetaxel
  • you are allergic to other medicines that contain polysorbate 80
  • you have severe liver problems, chickenpox, or shingles
  • you have low levels of certain white blood cells (neutrophils)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Docetaxel :

Some medical conditions may interact with Docetaxel . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have a history of liver problems; heart or kidney problems; swelling or fluid retention problems (eg, fluid in the lungs, swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet); chronic or recurring infections; or alcohol abuse or dependence
  • if you have an infection, bone marrow problems, a weakened immune system, or low white blood cell count
  • if you have a wound in the chest wall or have recently had surgery
  • if you are also receiving radiation treatment

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Docetaxel . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Azole antifungals (eg, ketoconazole), macrolide antibiotics (eg, erythromycin), nifedipine, or troleandomycin because they may increase the risk of Docetaxel 's side effects
  • Cyclosporine or terfenadine because additional monitoring of your dose or condition may be required

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Docetaxel may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Docetaxel :

Use Docetaxel as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • An extra patient leaflet is available with Docetaxel . Talk to your pharmacist if you have questions about this information.
  • Docetaxel is usually given as an injection at your doctor's office, hospital, or clinic.
  • Your doctor will prescribe a corticosteroid medicine (eg, dexamethasone) for you to take before you use Docetaxel . This will help to decrease the risk of severe fluid retention or allergic reaction with Docetaxel . Be sure to take the corticosteroid exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose of the corticosteroid or you do not take it exactly as prescribed, tell your doctor or nurse before your treatment with Docetaxel .
  • If Docetaxel comes into contact with your skin, wash it off right away with soap and water.
  • If Docetaxel comes into contact with your eyes, nose, or mouth, wash it off right away with cool water.
  • If you miss a dose of Docetaxel , contact your doctor right away.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Docetaxel .

Important safety information:

  • Docetaxel may cause dizziness. This effect may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Docetaxel with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Docetaxel may lower the ability of your body to fight infection. Avoid contact with people who have colds or infections. Tell your doctor if you notice signs of infection like fever, sore throat, rash, or chills.
  • Docetaxel may reduce the number of clot-forming cells (platelets) in your blood. Avoid activities that may cause bruising or injury. Tell your doctor if you have unusual bruising or bleeding. Tell your doctor if you have dark, tarry, or bloody stools.
  • Tell your doctor or nurse if you develop muscle or joint pain. They may be able to suggest ways to make you more comfortable.
  • Tell your doctor or nurse if you develop numbness, tingling, burning, or weakness in the hands, arms, legs, or feet.
  • Do not receive a live vaccine (eg, measles, mumps) while you are taking Docetaxel . Talk with your doctor before you receive any vaccine.
  • Patients who use Docetaxel along with certain other medicines (eg, anthracyclines, cyclophosphamide) may be at increased risk of developing a second cancer. Discuss any questions or concerns with your doctor.
  • Lab tests, including liver function, complete blood cell counts, and platelet counts, may be performed while you use Docetaxel . These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use Docetaxel with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially diarrhea, dizziness, infection, mouth sores or inflammation, or fluid retention.
  • Docetaxel should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Docetaxel may cause harm to the fetus. Do not become pregnant while you are using it. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor. You will need to discuss the benefits and risks of using Docetaxel while you are pregnant. It is not known if Docetaxel is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Docetaxel .

Possible side effects of Docetaxel :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Color changes of the toenails or fingernails; constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; hair loss; increased tear production; loss of appetite; mild pain, swelling, or redness at the injection site; muscle or joint pain; nausea; numbness, tingling, burning, or weakness in the hands, arms, legs, or feet; taste changes; vomiting; weakness or tiredness.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); back pain; black or bloody stools; chest pain or tightness; fainting; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, or sore throat; flushing; increased or painful urination; mouth sores or inflammation; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; severe or persistent dizziness or headache; severe or persistent nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or stomach pain; severe or persistent weakness or tiredness; shortness of breath; stomach swelling; sudden unusual weight gain; swelling of the hands, feet, or ankles; swollen lymph glands; trouble swallowing; unusual bruising or bleeding; vision problems; vomit that looks like coffee grounds; warm sensation while you are receiving Docetaxel ; yellowing of the eyes or skin.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include burning, numbness, tingling, or loss of feeling in the hands or feet; mouth sores or inflammation; severe weakness or tiredness.

Proper storage of Docetaxel :

Docetaxel is usually handled and stored by a health care provider. If you are using Docetaxel at home, store Docetaxel as directed by your pharmacist or health care provider. Keep Docetaxel out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Docetaxel , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Docetaxel is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Docetaxel . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

  • Docetaxel Professional Patient Advice (Wolters Kluwer)
  • docetaxel Intravenous Advanced Consumer (Micromedex) - Includes Dosage Information
  • Taxotere Prescribing Information (FDA)
  • Taxotere Consumer Overview

See Also...

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