Taxotere

Pronunciation

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

What is Taxotere?

Taxotere (docetaxel) is a cancer medication that interferes with the growth and spread of cancer cells in the body.

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

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

Important information

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

Taxotere 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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Taxotere 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.

Taxotere 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.

Taxotere 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.

Before taking this medicine

You should not receive Taxotere 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. Taxotere 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 Taxotere is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

  • kidney disease;

  • a history of liver disease;

  • heart disease, congestive heart failure;

  • fluid retention or swelling problems;

  • if you have are allergic to any medicines; or

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

Using Taxotere 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 Taxotere if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby. Use effective birth control to avoid pregnancy during your treatment with Taxotere. Follow your doctor's instructions about how long to prevent pregnancy after your treatment ends.

See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)

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 Taxotere.

How is Taxotere given?

Taxotere 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 Taxotere. The steroid is usually taken within 12 to 24 hours before your Taxotere 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 Taxotere is injected.

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

Taxotere 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 Taxotere.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Call your doctor for instructions if you miss an appointment for your Taxotere 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 Taxotere?

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.

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.

Taxotere side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Taxotere: 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;

  • signs of infection--fever, swollen gums, painful mouth sores, pain when swallowing, skin sores, cold or flu symptoms, confusion, 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 Taxotere 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 Taxotere?

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 Taxotere.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Taxotere only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. 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. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects.

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 12.01. Revision Date: 2014-02-07, 7:10:53 PM.

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