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docetaxel

Pronunciation: doe se TAX el

Brand: Docefrez, Taxotere

What is the most important information I should know about docetaxel?

Multum nopreg

Do not use docetaxel if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby.

Multum donot

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to docetaxel, or to drugs made with polysorbate 80.

Before you receive docetaxel, tell your doctor if you have liver or kidney disease, heart disease, congestive heart failure, or fluid retention or swelling problems.

You may need to take a steroid medicine to help prevent certain side effects of docetaxel. Try not to miss any doses of your steroid medication.

Multum emt

Tell your caregivers if you feel any burning, pain, or swelling around the IV needle when docetaxel is injected.

Multum emt

To make sure this medication is helping your condition and not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested often. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests.

What is docetaxel?

Docetaxel is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.

Docetaxel is used to treat breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, stomach cancer, and head/neck cancer.

Docetaxel may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before receiving docetaxel?

Multum donot

You should not use this medication if you are allergic to docetaxel, or to drugs made with polysorbate 80.

To make sure you can safely receive docetaxel, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • liver disease;
  • kidney disease;
  • heart disease, congestive heart failure;
  • fluid retention or swelling problems; or
  • if you have ever had an allergic reaction to docetaxel.
Multum nopreg

FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use docetaxel if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control, and tell your doctor if you become pregnant during treatment.

Multum nobrfeed

It is not known whether docetaxel passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while receiving docetaxel.

Older adults may be more likely to have side effects from this medicine.

How is docetaxel given?

Docetaxel is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. Docetaxel must be given slowly, and the IV infusion can take up to 1 hour to complete. You may receive other cancer medicines at the same time.

Docetaxel is usually given once every 3 weeks, depending on the type of cancer being treated. Follow your doctor's instructions.

You may need to take a steroid medicine for a few days before your docetaxel injection. This may help prevent certain side effects of docetaxel. Try not to miss any doses of your steroid medication.

Multum emt

Tell your caregivers if you feel any burning, pain, or swelling around the IV needle when docetaxel is injected.

Docetaxel can be harmful if it gets on your skin during an IV infusion. If this happens, wash right away with soap and water.

Docetaxel can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill.

Multum emt

To make sure this medication is helping your condition and not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested often. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests. Do not miss any follow-up visits to your doctor.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your docetaxel injection, or if you miss a dose of your steroid medication.

What happens if I overdose?

Multum emt

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include some of the serious side effects listed in this medication guide.

What should I avoid while receiving docetaxel?

Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

Multum donot

Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding or injury. Use extra care to prevent bleeding while shaving or brushing your teeth.

What are the possible side effects of docetaxel?

Multum emt

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Multum donot

Call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • extreme weakness;
  • severe vomiting or diarrhea;
  • fever, chills, body aches, flu symptoms, sores in your mouth and throat;
  • pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating;
  • easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;
  • nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
  • swelling of your ankles or feet, weight gain;
  • urinating less than usual or not at all;
  • redness or peeling of the skin on your hands and feet;
  • numbness, burning pain, or tingly feeling; or
  • redness, swelling, burning, irritation, or skin changes where the injection was given.

Less serious side effects may include:

  • feeling weak or tired;
  • mild nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, or loss of appetite;
  • muscle pain;
  • missed menstrual periods;
  • temporary hair loss; or
  • fingernail or toenail changes.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What other drugs will affect docetaxel?

Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use, especially:

  • conivaptan (Vaprisol);
  • imatinib (Gleevec);
  • isoniazid (for treating tuberculosis);
  • an antibiotic such as clarithromycin (Biaxin), dalfopristin/quinupristin (Synercid), erythromycin (E.E.S., EryPed, Ery-Tab, Erythrocin, Pediazole), or telithromycin (Ketek);
  • antifungal medication such as clotrimazole (Mycelex Troche), itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Extina, Ketozole, Nizoral, Xolegal), or voriconazole (Vfend);
  • an antidepressant such as nefazodone;
  • heart or blood pressure medication such as diltiazem (Cartia, Cardizem), nicardipine (Cardene), quinidine (Quin-G), verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan), and others; or
  • HIV/AIDS medicine such as atazanavir (Reyataz), delavirdine (Rescriptor), fosamprenavir (Lexiva), indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), saquinavir (Invirase), or ritonavir (Norvir, Kaletra).

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with docetaxel. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about docetaxel.


Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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