GENERIC NAME: DOCETAXEL - INJECTION (doh-seh-TAX-ell)
BRAND NAME(S): Taxotere
WARNING: Docetaxel has caused severe (rarely fatal) allergic reactions and swelling (fluid retention/edema) even with the use of preventive medications. This drug must not be used in patients who have previously had an allergic reaction to it or to other medications containing polysorbate 80.
There is an increased risk of serious (possibly fatal) reactions in patients using docetaxel who have liver problems, patients receiving higher doses, and patients with non-small cell lung cancer who have received certain other chemotherapy drugs known as "platinums."
If you have a low white blood cell count or liver problems, notify your doctor before using docetaxel.
Seek immediate medical attention if you experience swelling, dizziness or fainting, difficulty breathing, irregular heartbeat, severe swelling of the abdomen, skin rash, easy bleeding or bruising, sores in the mouth or throat, or symptoms of infection such as fever and sore throat.
Your doctor will closely monitor you and your blood counts and liver tests while you are receiving docetaxel.
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.
PRECAUTIONS: Before using docetaxel, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as polysorbate 80, alcohol), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.Before receiving docetaxel, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver problems, lung problems (e.g., pulmonary effusions), heart problems (e.g., congestive heart failure), weak immune system (e.g., neutropenia), blood problems (e.g., anemia, thrombocytopenia), blood pressure problems.Do not have immunizations/vaccinations without the consent of your doctor and avoid contact with people who have recently received oral polio vaccine.Use caution with sharp objects like razors or nail cutters and avoid activities such as contact sports to lower the chance of getting cut, bruised or injured.Wash your hands well to prevent the spread of infections.This medication and the pre-medications that you take before you take docetaxel may make you dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages as they may aggravate some of the side effects and make your stomach and intestines more likely to bleed.Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially anemia, dizziness, diarrhea, infection, swelling, mouth sores, and weight loss.This drug is not recommended for use during pregnancy. It may cause harm to an unborn baby. Consult your doctor before taking docetaxel and discuss the use of reliable birth control methods during therapy and for 3 months afterwards. If you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant, inform your doctor immediately.It is not known if this drug passes into breast milk. Because of the potential risk to the infant, breast-feeding while using this drug is not recommended. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
DRUG INTERACTIONS: Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.Other medications can affect the removal of docetaxel from your body, which may affect how docetaxel works. Examples include azole antifungals (such as itraconazole), macrolide antibiotics (such as erythromycin), rifamycins (such as rifabutin), HIV drugs (such as ritonavir), St. John's wort, among others.
OVERDOSE: If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
NOTES: Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., blood cell counts and liver function tests) should be performed periodically to monitor your progress or check for side effects. Consult your doctor for more details. Keep all scheduled medical appointments.
MISSED DOSE: For the best possible benefit, it is important to receive each scheduled dose of this medication as directed. If you miss a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist immediately to establish a new dosing schedule.
STORAGE: Not applicable. This medication is given in a clinic and will not be stored at home.MEDICAL ALERT: Your condition can cause complications in a medical emergency. For information about enrolling in MedicAlert, call 1-888-633-4298 (US) or 1-800-668-1507 (Canada).
Information last revised March 2014. Copyright(c) 2014 First Databank, Inc.
Latest MedicineNet News
Daily Health News
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
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.
Top docetaxel Related Articles
Breast cancer is an invasive tumor that develops in the mammary gland. Breast cancer is detected via mammograms, breast self-examination (BSE), biopsy, and specialized testing on breast cancer tissue. Treatment of breast cancer may involve surgery, radiation, hormone therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. Breast cancer risk may be lowered by managing controllable risk factors.
Drug interactions occur frequently. Get facts about the types of drug interactions, what substances or other things that may interact with drugs such as OTC drug and prescription drugs, vitamins, food(s) (grapefruit), and laboratory tests. Find out how to protect yourself from potential drug interactions.
Drugs: Questions to Ask Your Doctor or Pharmacist about Your DrugsImportant information about your drugs should be reviewed prior to taking any prescription drug. Side effects, drug interactions, warnings and precauctions, dosage, what the drug is used for, what to do if you miss a dose, how the drug is to be stored, and generic vs. brand names.
Gastroesophageal Junction AdenocarcinomaGastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma is cancer that forms in the area where the esophagus joins the stomach. Having GERD and Barrett's esophagus increases one's odds of developing gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma. Symptoms and signs of GE junction adenocarcinoma include dysphagia, weight loss, black stool, cough, nausea, and vomiting. Treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy.
Lung CancerLung cancer kills more men and women than any other form of cancer. Eight out of 10 lung cancers are due to tobacco smoke. Lung cancers are classified as either small-cell or non-small-cell lung cancers.
Ovarian CancerThere are many types of ovarian cancer, epithelial carcinoma is the most common. Women with a family history of ovarian cancer have an increased risk of developing the disease. Some ovarian cancer symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, and abnormal vaginal bleeding, however, they usually do not present until the disease has progressed. Early diagnosis is important for successful treatment.
Paget Disease of the Breast (Paget's Disease of the Nipple)Paget's disease is a rare form of cancer that forms in or around the nipple and frequently coexists with breast cancer. The exact cause of Paget's disease is unknown. Symptoms and signs include redness, scaling, and flaking of the nipple skin. A biopsy and imaging studies are needed to diagnose the disease. Treatment may include surgery, radiation, and adjuvant therapy.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men after skin cancer. Risk factors include age, family history, ethnicity, and diet. Prostate cancer is diagnosed by digital rectal exam, prostate specific antigen (PSA) test, and prostate biopsy.
Symptoms may include frequent need to urinate, incontinence, pain, blood in the urine, fatigue, and more. Prognosis and treatment depend on cancer staging. Watchful waiting, surgery, radiation, cryotherapy, and other management strategies are available. Research and clinical trials strive to find new and better treatments for prostate cancer.
Skin CancerSkin cancers occur when skin cells undergo malignant transformations and grow into tumors. The most common types of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, are highly curable when they are diagnosed and treated early. Sun exposure, tanning beds, depressed immune system, radiation exposure, and certain viral infections are risk factors for skin cancer. Skin cancers are treated with surgery or radiation. The prognosis of nonmelanoma skin cancers is generally very good.