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paclitaxel

Pronunciation: PAK li TAK sel

Brand: Onxol

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

Multum nopreg

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

Multum donot

You should not receive this medication if you are allergic to paclitaxel, or to other medications that contain an ingredient called Cremophor EL (polyoxyethylated castor oil). This includes cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune) and teniposide (Vumon).

Before you receive paclitaxel, tell your doctor if you have HIV, AIDS, Kaposi's sarcoma, heart disease, high blood pressure, or liver disease.

Multum donot

There are many other medicines that can interact with paclitaxel. Tell your doctor about all other chemotherapy treatments you are receiving, and 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. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to any healthcare provider who treats you.

Multum emt

Paclitaxel can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. Your blood may need to be tested often. Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Avoid activities that may increase your risk of bleeding injury. Tell your doctor at once if you develop signs of infection.

Multum donot

Call your doctor if you have a serious side effect such as fever, flu symptoms, mouth sores, pale skin, easy bruising or bleeding, chest pain, trouble breathing, numbness or tingling, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), severe headache, buzzing in your ears, confusion, slow or uneven heartbeats, seizure (convulsions), or severe irritation where the medicine was injected.

What is paclitaxel?

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

Paclitaxel is used to treat breast cancer, lung cancer, and ovarian cancer. It is also used to treat AIDS-related Kaposi's sarcoma.

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

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

Multum donot

You should not be given this medication if you are allergic to paclitaxel, or to other medications that contain an ingredient called Cremophor EL (polyoxyethylated castor oil). This includes cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune) and teniposide (Vumon).

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

  • HIV, AIDS, or Kaposi's sarcoma;
  • heart disease;
  • high blood pressure; or
  • liver disease;
Multum nopreg

FDA pregnancy category D. Do not receive paclitaxel 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 paclitaxel passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while you are using paclitaxel.

How is paclitaxel given?

Paclitaxel is injected into a vein through an IV. You will receive this injection in a clinic or hospital setting. Paclitaxel must be given slowly, and the IV infusion can take up to 24 hours to complete.

Paclitaxel is usually given once every 3 weeks. Follow your doctor's dosing instructions very carefully.

You may be given other medications to prevent an allergic reaction while you are receiving paclitaxel.

Multum emt

Your breathing, blood pressure, oxygen levels, kidney function, and other vital signs will be watched closely while you are receiving paclitaxel.

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

Multum emt

Paclitaxel can lower blood cells that help your body fight infections and help your blood to clot. Your blood will need to be tested often. Your cancer treatments may be delayed based on the results of these tests. Visit your doctor regularly.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your paclitaxel injection.

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 severe forms of some of the side effects listed in this medication guide.

What should I avoid while using paclitaxel?

Multum noalcohol

Drinking alcohol can increase certain side effects of paclitaxel.

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

Multum donot

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while using paclitaxel. The vaccine may not work as well during this time, and may not fully protect you from disease. Live vaccines include measles, mumps, rubella (MMR), Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), oral polio, rotavirus, smallpox, typhoid, yellow fever, varicella (chickenpox), H1N1 influenza, and nasal flu vaccine.

What are the possible side effects of paclitaxel?

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:

  • 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;
  • flushing (warmth, redness, or tingly feeling);
  • slow heart rate, feeling like you might pass out;
  • seizure (convulsions);
  • chest pain, dry cough, wheezing, feeling short of breath;
  • numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands or feet;
  • severe redness or swelling, severe irritation, a hard lump, or skin changes where the injection was given;
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes); or
  • increased blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, uneven heartbeats).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • mild nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation;
  • weakness;
  • joint or muscle pain;
  • darkening of your skin or nails;
  • temporary hair loss; or
  • mild pain, swelling, or skin color changes where the medicine was injected.

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 paclitaxel?

Multum donot

There are many other medicines that can interact with paclitaxel. Tell your doctor about all other chemotherapy treatments you are receiving, and 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. Keep a list of all your medicines and show it to any healthcare provider who treats you.

Where can I get more information?

Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about paclitaxel.


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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