docetaxel - injection, Taxotere

Cancer 101: Cancer Explained

USES: This medication is used to treat cancer (such as breast, lung, prostate, stomach, and head/neck cancer). Docetaxel is a member of a family of drugs called taxanes. This drug works by slowing cell growth.

HOW TO USE: Read the Patient Information Leaflet available from your pharmacist. Consult your doctor, nurse or pharmacist if you have any questions.This medication is given by injection into a vein by a health care professional, generally over 1 hour every 3 weeks or as directed by your doctor. The dosage and frequency is based on your medical condition and response to therapy.Your doctor may prescribe pre-medications (e.g., corticosteroids such as dexamethasone) to prevent side effects like swelling (fluid retention/edema) and allergic reactions. These are generally started 1 day before treatment and continued for a total of 3 days. Carefully follow your doctor's orders to prepare for your treatment. If you forget to take your pre-medication, or do not take it on schedule, tell your doctor or nurse before you receive your docetaxel treatment.

SIDE EFFECTS: See also Warning section.Pain or swelling at the injection site, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive tearing, fatigue, dizziness, constipation, and loss of appetite may occur. Nausea and vomiting can be severe. In some cases, drug therapy may be necessary to prevent or relieve nausea and vomiting. Not eating before your treatment may help relieve nausea and vomiting. Changes in diet such as eating several small meals or limiting activity may help lessen some of these effects. If these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.Temporary hair loss and nail changes may occur. Normal hair growth and nail appearance should return after treatment has ended.Remember that your doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: swelling of the hands/feet/legs, unexplained weight gain, numbness or tingling of the hands or feet, muscle or joint pain, persistent weakness or fatigue, eye pain, irregular heartbeat, severe stomach pain, black or bloody stools, severe headache, decrease in the amount of urine.Get medical help right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: chest pain, vision changes (such as blurred vision, decreased vision, seeing flashes of light).This medication can lower the body's ability to fight an infection. Notify your doctor promptly if you develop any signs of an infection such as fever, chills or persistent sore throat.A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but get medical help right away if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction may include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.In the US -Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.

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You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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CONDITIONS OF USE: The information in this database is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of healthcare professionals. The information is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, drug interactions or adverse effects, nor should it be construed to indicate that use of particular drug is safe, appropriate or effective for you or anyone else. A healthcare professional should be consulted before taking any drug, changing any diet or commencing or discontinuing any course of treatment.

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