- What is docetaxel, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for docetaxel?
- Is docetaxel available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for docetaxel?
- What are the side effects of docetaxel?
- What is the dosage for docetaxel?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with docetaxel?
- Is docetaxel safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about docetaxel?
What is docetaxel, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
Docetaxel is a drug that is used primarily for treating breast cancer. Docetaxel works by attacking cancer cells. Every cell in the body contains a supporting structure (almost like a skeleton) called the microtubular network. If this "skeleton" is changed or damaged, the cell can't grow or reproduce. Docetaxel makes the "skeleton" in cancer cells unnaturally stiff, so that these cells can no longer grow.
What are the side effects of docetaxel?
Following are some of the common side effects associated with docetaxel. Patients who have these or other side effects should tell their doctor or nurse.
Quick GuideBreast Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment
What is the dosage for docetaxel?
Docetaxel is given intravenously. Doses range from 60 mg/m2 to 100 mg/m2 every 3 weeks in combination with other chemotherapy agents. Dexamethasone also is administered prior to docetaxel to reduce the severity of fluid retention and occurrence of hypersensitivity reactions.
Which drugs or supplements interact with docetaxel?
Drugs that reduce the activity of liver enzymes that break down docetaxel and other drugs increase the blood levels of docetaxel and increase its side effects. Examples include ketoconazole (Nizoral, Extina, Xolegel, Kuric), erythromycin (E-Mycin, Eryc, Ery-Tab, Pce, Pediazole, Ilosone), and protease inhibitors (for example, ritonavir [Norvir]).
Is docetaxel safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Docetaxel can cause fetal harm when administered to pregnant women. Women of childbearing potential should use an adequate form of contraception and should be advised not to become pregnant during therapy with docetaxel.
NURSING MOTHERS: It is not known whether docetaxel is excreted in human milk. Because of the risk for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants, mothers should discontinue nursing prior to taking docetaxel.
What else should I know about docetaxel?
What preparations of docetaxel are available?
Injection Concentrate: 20 mg/0.5 ml, 80 mg/2 ml; Injection (Powder): 20 mg/vial, 80 mg/vial
How should I keep docetaxel stored?
Docetaxel concentrate should be stored between 2 C and 25 C (36 F to 77 F), and the powder should be stored between 2 C and 8 C (36 F and 46 F). They should be retained in their original package to protect them from light.
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information
Quick GuideBreast Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment
Docetaxel (Taxotere, Docefrez) is a medication prescribed primarily for the treatment of breast cancer. Docetaxel is also a second-line treatment for patients with non-small cell lung cancer, prostrate cancer, gastric adenocarcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Side effects, drug interactions, and dosing information should be reviewed prior to receiving this medication.
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Breast Cancer (Facts, Stages)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 InteractionsDrug 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: What You Should Know 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.
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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's Disease of The NipplePaget'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 CancerProstate 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 Cancer OverviewSkin 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.