Docefrez

Generic Name: docetaxel (doe se TAX el)
Brand Name: Docefrez, Taxotere

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

You should not receive this medicine if you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to docetaxel or to any medicine that contains polysorbate 80.

Docetaxel can cause severe side effects including death, especially if you receive high doses, if you have liver disease, or if you have non-small cell lung cancer and you have been treated in the past with chemotherapy that contains platinum (cisplatin, carboplatin, oxaliplatin).

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Docetaxel can also cause a life-threatening allergic reaction. Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives, red skin rash; difficult breathing; feeling like you might pass out; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Docetaxel 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.

Docetaxel may cause fluid retention or severe skin reactions. Call your doctor if you have swelling of your ankles or feet, rapid weight gain, or redness and peeling of the skin on your hands or feet.

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

You should not receive this medicine if you have a low white blood cell (WBC) count, or if you have ever had a severe allergic reaction to docetaxel or to any medicine that contains polysorbate 80.

Tell your doctor about your complete health history and all medications you have used. Docetaxel can cause severe side effects including death, especially:

  • if you receive high doses;

  • if you have liver disease; or

  • if you have non-small cell lung cancer and you have been treated in the past with chemotherapy that contains platinum (cisplatin, carboplatin, oxaliplatin).

To make sure docetaxel is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • kidney disease;

  • a history of liver disease or alcoholism;

  • heart disease, congestive heart failure;

  • fluid retention or swelling problems;

  • an allergy to any medicines;

  • if you need to limit your alcohol intake; or

  • if you have lung cancer and you have received docetaxel in the past.

Using docetaxel may increase your risk of developing other types of cancer, such as leukemia. Ask your doctor about your specific risk.

FDA pregnancy category D. Do not use docetaxel if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control to avoid pregnancy during your treatment with docetaxel. Follow your doctor's instructions about how long to prevent pregnancy after your treatment ends.

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.

How is docetaxel given?

Docetaxel is injected into a vein through an IV, usually once every 3 weeks. A healthcare provider will give you this injection. You may receive other cancer medicines at the same time.

You may also need to take an oral steroid medicine to help prevent certain side effects of docetaxel. The steroid is usually taken within 12 to 24 hours before your docetaxel injection, and may be continued for a day or two afterward. Try not to miss any doses of your steroid medication.

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 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.

You may need to have your vision checked if you have any vision problems while receiving docetaxel.

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?

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

What should I avoid while receiving Docefrez (docetaxel)?

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

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

Docetaxel contains alcohol and may cause a drunken feeling when the medicine is injected into your vein. Avoid drinking alcohol on the day of your docetaxel injection.

This medicine may impair your thinking or reactions for 1 to 2 hours after injection. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

This medicine can pass into body fluids (including urine, feces, vomit, semen, vaginal fluid). For at least 48 hours after you receive a dose, avoid allowing your body fluids to come into contact with your hands or other surfaces. Patients and caregivers should wear rubber gloves while cleaning up body fluids, handling contaminated trash or laundry or changing diapers. Wash hands before and after removing gloves. Wash soiled clothing and linens separately from other laundry.

Body fluids should not be handled by a woman who is pregnant or who may become pregnant. Use condoms during sexual activity to avoid exposure to body fluids.

Docefrez (docetaxel) side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives, red skin rash; difficult breathing; feeling like you might pass out; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Call your doctor at once if you have:

  • sudden vision problems;

  • extreme weakness, severe vomiting or diarrhea;

  • redness or peeling of the skin on your hands and feet;

  • numbness, burning pain, or tingly feeling;

  • a feeling of being drunk--confusion, stumbling, extreme drowsiness;

  • signs of infection--fever, swollen gums, painful mouth sores, pain when swallowing, skin sores, cold or flu symptoms, cough, trouble breathing;

  • low red blood cells--pale skin, feeling light-headed or short of breath, rapid heart rate, trouble concentrating;

  • low platelets in your blood--easy bruising, unusual bleeding (nose, mouth, vagina, or rectum), purple or red pinpoint spots under your skin;

  • fluid retention--little or no urinating, swelling of your ankles or feet, rapid weight gain; or

  • liver problems--upper stomach pain, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

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

Common side effects may include:

  • mild weakness;

  • altered sense of taste;

  • nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite;

  • constipation, diarrhea;

  • temporary hair loss;

  • muscle pain;

  • mild skin rash; 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.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Docefrez (docetaxel)?

Docetaxel contains alcohol. Using other drugs that can make you sleepy can worsen the feeling of being drunk. Ask your doctor before taking a sleeping pill, narcotic pain medicine, muscle relaxer, or medicine for anxiety, depression, or seizures.

Other drugs may interact with docetaxel, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.

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.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 13.02. Revision Date: 2014-07-22, 1:38:03 PM.

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