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Docetaxel (Injection)

Docetaxel (doe-se-TAX-el)

Treats cancer, including breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, stomach cancer, and head and neck cancer.

Brand Name(s):

Docefrez, NovaPlus Docetaxel, Taxotere

There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

This medicine is not right for everyone. You should not receive it if you had an allergic reaction to docetaxel or to a preservative called polysorbate 80, if you are pregnant, or if you have a low white blood cell count.

How to Use This Medicine:

Injectable

  • Medicines used to treat cancer are very strong and can have many side effects. Before receiving this medicine, make sure you understand all the risks and benefits. It is important for you to work closely with your doctor during your treatment.
  • Your doctor will prescribe your dose and schedule. This medicine is given through a needle placed in a vein.
  • You will receive this medicine while you are in a hospital or cancer treatment center. A nurse or other trained health professional will give you this medicine.
  • You will also be given a steroid medicine for a few days to prevent side effects from docetaxel. Carefully follow the instructions about how to take the steroid. If you forget to take the steroid, tell your doctor before you receive the dose.
  • Read and follow the patient instructions that come with this medicine. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.
  • Missed dose: This medicine needs to be given on a fixed schedule. If you miss a dose, call your doctor, home health caregiver, or treatment clinic for instructions.

Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Some medicines can affect how docetaxel works. Tell your doctor if you are using atazanavir, clarithromycin, indinavir, itraconazole, ketoconazole, nefazodone, nelfinavir, ritonavir, saquinavir, telithromycin, or voriconazole.

Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • It is not safe to take this medicine during pregnancy. It could harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding, or if you have liver disease, blood disorders, fluid retention (edema), eye problems, or any type of infection.
  • This medicine can cause the following problems:
    • Serious allergic reactions
    • Acute myeloid leukemia (a type of cancer)
    • Serious skin reactions
    • Changes in vision
  • This medicine may make you bleed, bruise, or get infections more easily. Take precautions to prevent illness and injury. Avoid people who are ill, and wash your hands often. Brush and floss your teeth gently, do not play rough sports, and be careful with sharp objects.
  • Cancer medicines can cause nausea and/or vomiting in most people, sometimes even after receiving medicines to prevent it. Ask your doctor or nurse about other ways to control these side effects.
  • Your doctor will do lab tests at regular visits to check on the effects of this medicine. Keep all appointments.

Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing
  • Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash
  • Changes in vision
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches
  • Numbness, tingling, or burning pain in your hands, arms, legs, or feet
  • Rapid weight gain, swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Hair loss
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation
  • Pain, itching, burning, swelling, or a lump under your skin where the needle is placed
  • Sores or white patches on your lips, mouth, or throat
  • Tiredness

If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088


Last Updated: 10/4/2014


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